Topo Maps
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Topo Maps

Topographical maps, commonly known as \\\'topo maps\\\', are special field maps that show a three-dimensional surface on a two-dimensional sheet of paper. This is achieved with the help of contours which are isolines that connect places of the same elevation (height above mean sea level). Each contour line is separated from the next by a uniform interval called the contour interval. On the quadrant topo sheets (1:50000) published by the Survey of India the contour interval is 20 m.

Maps are a pictorial means of displaying a vast amount of information with the help of simple tools like colors, conventional signs and symbols, scale, contours, etc.

Topographical maps, commonly known as 'topo maps', are special field maps that show a three-dimensional surface on a two-dimensional sheet of paper. This is achieved with the help of contours which are isolines that connect places of the same elevation (height above mean sea level). Each contour line is separated from the next by a uniform interval called the contour interval. On the quadrant topo sheets (1:50000) published by the Survey of India the contour interval is 20 m.

Topographic maps are prepared painstakingly after a very careful and accurate survey. These topo maps were first prepared in 1765 for the British army in India under the directions of Major General Roy. They were found to be extremely useful and in 1767, the British established the Survey of India Department with Major James Renell as its first Surveyor General. This depart¬ment was tasked to prepare maps of India and the neighboring countries on a scale of 1:1000000 (known as one million maps). Sir George Everest, after whom Mount Everest is named, was one of the famous Surveyor Generals of India. The Survey of India is our survey and mapping organization. It comes under the Ministry of Science and Technology. It conducts all the survey and production of political and physical maps and aeronautical charts.

The topographical maps depict both the natural features of an area (relief, drainage, vegetation, etc) and the man-made features (roads, railways, settlements, water works, agriculture, industry, etc). The details shown on the topo map depend on the scale.

Conventional signs and symbols are used to represent various natural and man-made features such as names of places, rivers, etc, on a topo map. These are mentioned in a legend or key. Symbols are either universal (conventional symbols) or country specific. The important or commonly used ones are invariably shown on the margin to facilitate ready reference for the user.

In order to meet the different requirements, Topo maps are prepared to scales ranging from 1:1000000 (million sheet) to 1:25000. Maps of scale 1:25000 are special maps and not available for general use. The topo maps of 1:50000 scale are most useful for the following purposes.

• development of roads, railways and canals

• planning and execution of military operations

• setting up of industry and obtaining raw materials

• afforestation, flood control, and

• tourism

They are most essential for geographers for a vivid study of natural and man-made features.

 

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Comments (1)

Great to know this facts, thanks.

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