Topographic map

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A topographic map is a type of map characterized by large-scale detail and quantitative representation of relief, usually using contour lines in modern mapping, but historically using a variety of methods. Traditional definitions require a topographic map to show both natural and man-made features. A topographic map is typically published as a map series, made up of two or more map sheets that combine to form the whole map.A contour line is a combination of two line segments that connect ,these lines do not intersect and represent elevation on a topographic map

The Canadian Centre for Topographic Information provides this definition of a topographic map:[1]

Other authors define topographic maps by contrasting them with another type of map; they are distinguished from smaller-scale "chorographic maps" that cover large regions,[2][3] "planimetric maps" that do not show elevations,[4] and "thematic maps" that focus on specific topics.[5]

However, in the vernacular and day to day world, the representation of relief (contours) is popularly held to define the genre, such that even small-scale maps showing relief are commonly (and erroneously, in the technical sense) called "topographic".[3]

The study or discipline of topography, while interested in relief, is actually a much broader field of study which takes into account all natural and man made features of terrain.


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