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From the Greek iso, for “equal,” the word isoline refers to a line symbol to connect points of equal or constant value. The term isarithm is the proper generic term for a line on a map connecting points of constant value. However, because the Greek ending is poorly understood, the mixed term isoline is commonly used. The most familiar isoline and the most prevalent form of isarithmic mapping is the contour, a line that follows the contour of the land to depict elevation. An isoline may be viewed as the trace of a horizontal slice through a surface. The surface can be a real surface, as with a landscape, or a statistical surface, as with a map of population density.

This method of mapping can be ...

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