This WebQuest will help you to become a topographic map expert. A map is a representation of the Earth, or part of it. The distinctive characteristic of a topographic map is that the shape of the Earth's surface is shown by contour lines. Contours are imaginary lines that join points of equal elevation on the surface of the land above or below a reference surface such as mean sea level. Contours make it possible to measure the height of mountains, depths of the ocean bottom, and steepness of slopes. A topographic map shows more than contours. The map includes symbols that represent such features as streets, buildings, streams, and woods. You'll also learn about watersheds, which are a drainage basin or area in which surface water drains toward a lake, stream, or river at a lower elevation.
Be prepared to become an expert!