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Meaning of topographic map

A topographic map is defined as a detailed, graphical, and accurate representation of the features on Earth’s surface. The maps are an essential part of the geology field as they comprehensively analyze a particular surface. On a topographic map, one can find the locations of geographical features, such as valleys, mountains, water bodies, plain surfaces, etc. Topographic maps are large and medium scales, incorporating a deep variety of information; every map component carries equal importance. In other words, a topographic map is a graphical representation of the three-dimensional configuration of the surface of the Earth. These maps also showcase the size, distribution, and shape of the landscape features. Moreover, one can see the vertical and horizontal positions of the features.

The structure of a topographic map is detailed. The aspects of the map can be categorized into three major groups-

Relief- It depicts the relief aspect with brown contour lines representing the mountains, plains, hills, valleys, etc.

Water- It depicts the water aspect in blue color representing the rivers, oceans, swamps, lakes, streams, etc.

Cultural – It depicts the culture in black color, representing man-made features.