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A TOPOGRAPHIC MAP is a depiction of the earth's landscape, displaying elevation and selected natural and human features. The map portrays elevation as contour lines, lines that connect points of equal elevation, the natural features of hydrology and vegetation, and a variety of cultural characteristics such as roads, buildings, or cemeteries. Topographic maps are generally produced at different scales, with corresponding variations in the configuration of contours, natural and human features and labels to make the map legible.

Landscape portraits depicting relief have been used for over 2,000 years. Beginning in the Middle Ages and continuing into the 1800s, hachuring was used to illustrate slope, using lines drawn downhill to illustrate steep or low relief. In the early to mid-1800s, the French were the first to ...

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