I answer the question, “What is a topographic map?” by giving you the definition, explaining contour lines, and I show you how to get FREE topo maps for GPS and printing
First thing I want to point out is what a topographic map is. A topographic map, otherwise known as topo map, is a map that attempts to make a 3 dimensional and scale-able map of landscape on a flat map. Furthermore, A topographic map is a detailed and accurate graphic representation of cultural and natural features on the ground.
The 3D indication of the land is graphed out using contour lines. If you have read my posts on hybrid-hugal beds, you probably have a good idea of contour lines. In a map, the line is all squiggly because the line is at the same elevation all the way around. They generally have elevation numbers beside them and are usually the same elevation change between each contour line, be it 10 ft, 20 ft, or even 100 ft between lines.
Allow me to give you a picture that will explain this even better:
The entire contour line is all one elevation. Contour lines that are close show steep elevation change and those that are far apart show a gradual grade.
Lastly, I wanted to give you some helpful links:
This link has a lot of maps available, but it is paid to get print capabilities: http://www.trails.com/maps.aspx
I enjoy using my GPS, so I actually have a site that I go to for the maps on my Garmin Dakota 20. These are almost all free maps and are pretty darn good: http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/state/all
One place I found to print out topographical maps for free was: http://www.mytopo.com/maps/
If you want a site that will take a little bit of work to figure out but has the best quality USGS Topo Maps, then look no further. It is free to download the maps, but you have to pay to get full printed maps on stock (not a bad price either.) https://store.usgs.gov/
In addition to this post, I have a .PDF to send your way to explain more about maps, just sign up for my email list using the form below only:
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