NWP105A: Use maps, plans and drawings

Topographic maps

Hikers reading a map

A topographic map is a detailed and accurate graphic representation of cultural and natural features on the ground.

Topographic maps are used for many purposes, such as:

  • camping and canoeing
  • hunting and fishing
  • urban planning
  • resource development and surveying.

Many of the skills you need to read a topographic maps are the same as those for basic maps.

A topographic map, though, is more likely to be used if you are doing field work so it is important to be able to interpret them correctly.

Reflect:

What is the difference between natural and man–made features?

What features might appear in a map of your local area?