Earth Revealed_lab05-KEY.doc - Laboratory#5 Topographic...

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Laboratory #5: Topographic MapsMaterials Needed:1.Pencils2.Metric/Standard Ruler3.Calculator4.Triangles or right edgesMap Contours and ScaleTopographic maps indicate the three dimensional shape of the Earth’s surface on a flat piece of paper. The most precise method of indicating the shape of the Earth’s surface along with the elevation of different areas above sea level is by means of contour lines. Contour lines are linesthat connect points of equal elevation; similar to bathtub rings that form when a bathtub is emptied.The vertical distance between contour lines is a fixed number chosen by the people that make themap. This distance is known as the contour intervaland is an even number such as 10, 50, or 100 feet (or meters).The scale of a map indicates the relationship between a linear distance on the map and the corresponding linear distance on the Earth’s surface. For example, a scale shown on a map as 1:62,500 indicates that one unit length on the map represents 62,500 of those same units on the Earth’s surface. The ratio is called the representative fractionor R. F.Shown below in Figure 1are two maps drawn at different R.F.s.

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