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.


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

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