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A topographic map depicts the geographic variation of height and shape over the surface of the earth. Displaying information about the surface of the earth's three dimensions, or topography, with a flat twodimensional map is a challenge. The most common technique used by cartographers to meet this challenge is the use of contour lines. Contour lines on topographic maps are lines of equal elevation. In addition to elevation data, topographic maps normally include physical and cultural features such as rivers, lakes, roads, and buildings. National mapping agencies typically develop standard topographic map product lines that provide a common geographic reference for the general population.

Topographic Mapping Basics

Topographic maps have a wide variety of uses. They are used for navigation by hikers, hunters, military personnel, and the ...

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