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What is a Topographic Map? In contrast to most maps, a topographic map shows the shape of the Earths surface by using contour lines.
Contours are imaginary lines that join points of equal elevation above or below sea level.
Lets take a walk up a hill!
Were now at an elevation of 100 meters. 100m
Lets keep going! 100m
Now were at 200m. 100m 200m
Shall we march on? 100m 200m
Weve made it to 300m! 100m 200m 300m
On to the peak! 100m 200m 300m
Were on the peak, but whats our elevation? 100m 200m 300m
Any ideas? 100m 200m 300m Lets add contour lines for every 50 meters and see if that helps.
100m 200m 300m We know that we are above 350m, but less than 400m. 50m 150m 250m 350m
100m 200m 300m Lets head down the hill, its getting late! 50m 150m 250m 350m
100m 200m 300m Now whats our elevation? 50m 150m 250m 350m If you said somewhere between 200m and 250m you are right!
100m 200m 300m Lets try this again! 50m 150m 250m 350m
100m 200m 300m Whats our elevation now? 50m 150m 250m 350m If you said 50m or just under, youre right!
Lets now look at the same hill, but the way we might see it from an airplane!
Each color change represents a 50 meter increase.
Now, lets try the same hike! Our elevation is 0 meters.
Now what is our elevation?
If you said more than 150 meters, but less than 200 meters your right!
Lets go a little higher.
Think you know our elevation now? More than 300meters But less than 350meters
If we were standing on the peak, what would be our elevation? More than 350 meters, less than 400 meters
Lets head down hill.
Know our elevation?
More than 100 meters, less than 150 meters
Lets see what you know. 400m 800m 1000m 1200m A B C D E F 600m
Grab a piece of paper and write your answers to the following questions. Ready?
1. Could the elevation at the peak (B) be 1410 meters? 400m 800m 1000m 1200m A B C D E F 600m
2. What is the elevation at (E)? 400m 800m 1000m 1200m A B C D E F 600m
3.What is the elevation difference between (A) and (B)? 400m 800m 1000m 1200m A B C D E F 600m
4. Could the elevation at (F) be 417 meters? 400m 800m 1000m 1200m A B C D E F 600m
5. If you walked a straight line from (D) to (C) would you walk over a ridge or down a valley? 400m 800m 1000m 1200m A B C D E F 600m
6.Just looking at the map, would it be easier to head down from the peak going East, or going North? 400m 800m 1000m 1200m A B C D E F 600m E N S W
1. No :The elevation must be under 1400 meters, but over 1300 meters. 2. about 400 meters
3. (A) is probably close to the 750 meter line, (B) is above 1300 meters. The difference between the two would probably be 650 to 700 meters.
4. No: It must be more than 700 meters and less than 800 meters. 5. Down a valley: If the contour lines point up the slope its a valley, if they point down the slope its a ridge.
6. East: When contour lines are close together that means there is a steep slope, the further apart the lines, the more gentile the slope and therefore an easier walk! Go east!
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