VARIANCES AMONG TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS AND REGULAR MAPS
Variances Among Topographic Maps And Regular Maps
Maps are symbolic diagrams representing selected characteristics or physical features of any place like cities, roads, streets, buildings, lakes etc. It is usually drawn out on a flat surface.
Maps present information about the world in a simple, visual way. They teach about the world by showing sizes and shapes of countries, locations of features, and distances between places.
Maps are created for many different purposes. The purpose determines the type of map that will be created. A primary reason for creating maps is the illustration of details, to determine distance between places and navigate locations. An important factor to note is that maps are a blueprint of history. They can show the stages of development of a region between years and centuries.
As explained above, there are several different kinds of maps, at the very least, we can find 7 kinds of maps namely:
- Physical Maps show the physical features of a place or country, like rivers, mountains, forests and lakes. The features are elucidated by means of colours. Each colour depicts a particular feature which anyone who knows how to read maps can easily decode.
- Road Maps, which are the most popular type to the non-geographically inclined.
- General reference maps show general geographic information of a region
- Cadastral Maps show the boundaries and ownership of land parcels.
- Climatic Maps which shows information on the climate in a given area.
- Topographic Maps show the physical features of an area. These maps use a particular type of line, known as a contour line, to depict different elevations on a map.
- Navigation Charts combine aspects of topographic, and other types of maps. They are produced as navigation aids for sailing ships, boats and aircraft.
In this article, we’d illuminate the differences between Topographic maps and other maps on the above list.
As explained above, Topographic maps show physical features. Topographic maps are created from aerial photographs and reveal the contours of the land, including hills, ridges, and valleys, as well as lakes, rivers, creeks, trails, and roads.
What distinguishes a topographic map from others is the use of elevation contour lines to show the shape on the Earth’s surface. These contours are lines connecting points which have the same elevation on the surface of the land above or below sea level. Contour lines show the elevation of the ground.
While other maps might show physical features as well, topographic maps do more by telling the height or depth of each features and how they connect to one another. Topographic maps show latitudes, longitudes, landforms, and elevations. They show mountainous regions, lakes, creeks, rocks etc.
Uses of Topographic Map
- Geographic planning or architectural purposes.
- For Earth Science and Geography.
- It can be used in mining and other purposes like the construction of ponds etc.
- It can be used for recreational purposes like hiking or mountain climbing, etc.
- It can be used to get detailed description of any area or geographical feature like drainages, landforms, forests, communication or transportation routes, etc.
- It can be used to get detailed information on any man-made features.
- It can be used in civil engineering as well to to determine where roads, tunnels, and bridges should go in a construction plan.
- It can be used by the government for planning or administrative purposes or used by private Industries.
COMPONENTS OF TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS
Relief: Regions of mountains, valleys, slopes, depressions as defined by contours.
- Hydrography: Water bodies such as lakes, rivers, streams, swamps, rapids, waterfalls.
- Vegetation: Forest, grassland, bushes, wooded areas.
- Transportation: Roads, trails, railways, bridges, airports/airfield, seaplane anchorages etc.
- Culture: Buildings, urban development, Power, transmission lines, pipelines, towers.
- Boundaries: International, Provincial/territorial.
Mostly, these maps have a very comprehensive and detailed structure of any feature that occurs on the surface of the Earth and this structure provides all the information about that particular feature with the help of contour lines and graphical representation.