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Words nearby topographic map
What is a topographic map?
A topographic map is a map that indicates the features of the land’s surface, such as mountains, hills, and valleys. This is typically done with wavy lines that represent the curves and elevation of the land.
Topographic is the adjective form of the noun topography, which refers to the surface features of land. Topographic maps are sometimes called topo maps for short.
Topographic maps are frequently used by hikers to navigate and plan their routes, but they’re for more than just recreation. Architects, biologists, and many other professionals rely on them for important information about a particular landscape.
What are topographic maps used for?
If you’re exploring the big outdoors, you need a map. But not all maps are created equal. It’s no use using a road map to explore the back country of a national park, for example—you’re going to need a topographic map. Hiking on a steep incline is a lot different than on a flat surface, and topographic maps help to identify land features that are not shown on other maps. They show all the features of the land, including how high or how low a particular area is, so you can know what you’re getting into—instead of heading blindly toward your destination and ending up having to walk on the side of a steep cliff. (Been there. Not fun.)
Of course, topographic maps aren’t only for hikers. They are also used for many professional and scientific purposes. Because of their detailed representation of the land, topographic maps are also important to the military. Even if you’re not a hiker, it’s probably a good idea to learn how to read one, just in case you ever find yourself in the middle of the wilderness with nothing but your wits and a topographic map.
How to read a topographic map
Traditionally, a topographic map is a two-dimensional representation of three-dimensional features. Most maps show landmarks and represent distance in some way, but topographic maps have to show the ups and downs of the landscape on the flat surface of the map. They typically do this by using contour lines to represent elevation. When these lines are very close together, it means the incline is steep. When they are farther apart, it means there is a gradual slope. They also use numbers to indicate just how high the elevation is in certain areas, such as at the bottom of a valley and at the top of a mountain. This way, you can tell how much elevation change there is between two points—which is crucial information for hikers who want to know how difficult a part of a trail will be.
Did you know ... ?
The first known topographic map of an entire country was a multi-page topographic map of France, completed in 1789. The United States Geological Survey started making topographic maps of the U.S. in 1884. The British mapping agency, the Ordnance Survey, grew out of efforts to map the Scottish Highlands so the English could suppress a rebellion.
What are real-life examples of topographic map?
Topographic maps are used in all kinds of professional contexts but are perhaps most associated with hikers, who often call them topo maps. Here’s a video showing how to read a topographic map.
— USGS (@USGS) April 29, 2019
— MapScaping (@MapScaping) August 19, 2019
What other words are related to topographic map?
Which of the following things would you be able to learn from a topographic map?
A. the height of a mountain
B. how steep the side of a valley is
C. the increase in elevation from one point to another
D. all of the above
Example sentences from the Web for topographic map
He’d searched topographic maps and the land itself, looking for scars on the landscape, or roads that seemed to lead nowhere.A CIA spyplane crashed outside Area 51 a half-century ago. This explorer found it.|Sarah Scoles|January 5, 2021|Popular Science
They decided to create a topographic map for Ceres to identify the trapped liquid, when they realized a similar approach would work for the Moon.New 3D moon models show it might hold up to 15,000 miles of frozen water|Kat Eschner|October 27, 2020|Popular Science
This was also the year Duke University student Belle Knox put college girls on the map.Porn Stars on the Year in Porn: Drone Erotica, Belle Knox, and Wild Sex|Aurora Snow|December 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The Millennial Action Project (MAP) seeks to engage young people in politics and give them more of a voice in governing.
A map shows each station on the route, along with marking POW camps and other landmarks along the way.
“Please,” he laughed, handing me the map after he was finished sketching.The Life and Hard Times Of The Family A Cuban Defector Left Behind|Brin-Jonathan Butler|December 19, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In fact, what this map really showed was the fallacy of aggregates – and how statistics can mask real cultural shifts.
On a small scale map, in an office, you may make mole-hills of mountains; on the ground there's no escaping from its features.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I|Ian Hamilton
We righted the boat and laughed, and then Sangree produced the map and explained exactly where we were.Three More John Silence Stories|Algernon Blackwood
Illustrated with a map, 14 full-page and 46 text drawings in half-tone by Howard V. Brown.
Illustrated with a map, 16 full-page and 71 text drawings in half-tone by Howard V. Brown.
Smith carefully drew a map of the entire area and called it a "Map of the Chesapeake."Hallowed Heritage: The Life of Virginia|Dorothy M. Torpey