An essay on the features of a topographic map, include a in depth description of colours, contours, legend, area references, and grid references

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A topographic map is a map that shows the actual shape of the landscape and the various heights of the landscape. The map allows geographers to see the height and shape of the land by using contour lines. Contour lines are lines that join together all points that have the same height above sea level. The height between contour lines is called the contour interval. The map on the opposite page has various contour lines with an interval of 50 metres. The numbers on the contours show how high the land is above sea level. Mount Florence, for example, is more than 400 metres above sea level. The map also shows that some contour lines are close together while other contour lines are far apart. Close contours mean that the slope of the land is steep; contours well apart mean that the slope of the land is gentle. The closer the contours, the steeper the slope. The further apart the contours, the latter the slope. Therefore, on the map on this page, the land around X is steeper than the land around Y. The relative steepness of the slope is called the gradient. Topographic maps also show in detail both the natural and human features of the landscape. Natural features include rivers, lakes, swamps, hills and beaches. Human features include roads, towns, railways and dams. Topographic maps use conventional signs and symbols to show water, rivers, vegetation, roads, railways and buildings. The meaning of each sign or symbol is explained in a key, or legend.ColoursDifferent colours are also used on topographicmaps to indicate certain features, for example:· brown...

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