How to read contour lines

Contour line

how to read contour lines

Learn the use and meaning of contour lines on maps and understand how to use them on your map when you're planning routes or out and about. Hills, slopes and mountains are represented on a map using contour lines. Look for the height and shape of the ground which is shown on

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Understanding contour line formations and how to read topographic maps. Ever noticed those squiggly lines all over your hiking map? Other than the obvious trails and rivers, these squiggly lines are contour lines. Put simply, contour lines mark points of equal elevation on a map. If you trace the length of a line with your finger, each point you touch is the same height above sea level. If you were to walk the path of a contour line in real life, you would remain at the same elevation the whole hike, never traveling up or down. Contour lines are critical to understanding the elevation profile of your terrain or a particular land formation.

A contour line also isoline , isopleth , or isarithm of a function of two variables is a curve along which the function has a constant value, so that the curve joins points of equal value. In cartography , a contour line often just called a "contour" joins points of equal elevation height above a given level, such as mean sea level. More generally, a contour line for a function of two variables is a curve connecting points where the function has the same particular value. The gradient of the function is always perpendicular to the contour lines. When the lines are close together the magnitude of the gradient is large: the variation is steep.

Learn the use and meaning of contour lines on maps and understand how to use them on your map when you're planning routes or out and about. Hills, slopes and mountains are represented on a map using contour lines. By studying the contour lines you can work out lots about the surrounding terrain including gradients of hills, valleys and steepness of climbs. The ability to understand the shape of the ground from a map is a useful skill to learn, particularly in mountainous landscapes and when you are out and about hiking. Look for the height and shape of the ground which is shown on scale maps by brown contour lines. A contour is a line drawn on a map that joins points of equal height above sea level. For scale maps the interval between contours is usually 5 metres, although in mountainous regions it may be 10 metres.

The thin brown lines snaking around a topographic map are called contour lines. All points along the same contour line are at the same elevation above sea level. Think of a contour line as a closed loop. By following a contour line on the ground, you would travel neither uphill nor downhill, eventually ending up back at your starting point. A line marked "," for example, means that point on the map is 6, feet above sea level. Contour lines allow you to infer general terrain characteristics from their patterns.



Map Reading Contour Lines

How To Read A Map & Contour Lines

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4 thoughts on “How to read contour lines

  1. A detailed guide to contour lines, formations, drawings, hills and depressions. How to read and understand topographical maps for trails and hiking while.

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