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Geography topics for you to learn and enjoy

Contour maps

There are many activities that contour maps can be used for. They can be used to identify landscape features and they can be used in route planning activities. For example in choosing the optimal route for a new road. 

Geography topics for you to learn and enjoy

Map with contours, only contours.

With this map, you can mark on the heights of the contours, and then use this information to identify areas with steep slopes and areas with gentle slopes. The peaks and valley bottoms can be marked on and features such as ridge, escarpment and spur can be identified and labelled.

Contour map with settlements marked on.

Contour maps with water features marked on.


There are three ways of showing height on a map. You can use contour lines, layer shading and spot heights. These maps use contour lines to indicate height. The height referred to is the height above sea level and is most commonly measured in metres. The patterns that the contours make help geographers to read the shape of the land and recognise landscape features that they would see in real life. 
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