CERENITY WILSON - Reading Topographic Maps.docx - Reading...

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Reading Topographic MapsContour lines are the greatest distinguishing feature of a topographicmap.Contour linesare linesdrawn on a map connecting points of equal elevation, meaning if you physically followed a contourline, elevation would remain constant. Contour lines show elevation and the shape of the terrain.They're useful because they illustrate the shape of the land surface -- its topography-- on the map.Here's a cool way to understand how to interpret contour lines: Take an object like a ball or a pile oflaundry, and shine a redlaserpointer along the object's side. The line you see will look like a contourline on a topographic map.In order to keep things simple, topographic maps show lines for certain elevations only. These linesare evenly spaced apart. We call this spacing the contour interval. For example, if your map uses a10-foot contour interval, you will see contour lines for every 10 feet (3 meters) of elevation -- lines at0, 10, 20, 30, 40, and so on. Different maps use different intervals, depending on the topography. If,
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Term
Fall
Professor
MasterZen
Tags
Topographic map, contour lines, greatest distinguishing feature of a topographic map