How Are Landforms Represented on Flat Maps?
ES0307  A Topographic Tour

To practice reading topographic maps, you’ll access electronic topographic maps of features from across the United States. Think of some features in your own state or region that you’d like to examine, or list some familiar landmarks such as national parks or monuments.

Once you click the image below, type the name of the place in the Place Name Search field, select the state that it is in if you know it, then click Search. From the list that comes up, click the name of the map you want to view.

In the maps, identify as many landforms as you can. Try to visualize each landform's three-dimensional shape. Explore as many maps as your allotted time for this investigation permits.

  !   Click the image to access topographic maps. After your exploration, close the extra browser window to return to this investigation, and answer the question below.

D. Roddy, LPI and USGS
The three-dimensional structure of Meteor Crater as shown in an aerial photograph and on a topographic map.

12. Which of the landforms was easiest to recognize from its topographic map?

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