How Are Landforms Represented on Flat Maps?
ES0307  Showing Topography on Maps

A 3-D flyby is one way to see Earth’s shape, but being able to read the information from a flat map is much more convenient. A special kind of map, called a topographic map, uses contour lines to represent the shape of surface features.

  !   Examine this aerial photo to interpret the shape of the land. Click the Identify button to check your interpretation. Click the other buttons to see how the area is represented on a topographic map.

Aerial photo and topographic map of an area west of Tucson, Arizona.

2. Compare the photo to the topographic map. Describe the pattern of the contour lines around features on the photo.

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