Maps, part 1
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Here we go again.....

Map Exercise BNLHS

Turn in the answers to ALL questions today.

Go to the following USGS web site at
USGS Map Symbols Booklet

(and also links from this page) and answer the following questions.

1. What is the distinctive characteristic of a topographic map?

2. Contour lines make it possible to do what?

3. Why do contour lines NEVER cross?

4. Contour lines that are close together show what feature?

5. Where do bathymetric contours usually occur?

6. What do bathymetric contours show?

Go to the following website, read the material, andwer the appropriate questions, then click on the link at the page bottom "continue to..." and go on to the next page. Stop when you get to the page that asks you to use the maps. That will happen in class later.

Idaho State Topo Map Field Exercises

7. What is a map?

8. How does a topographic map show the third dimension?

9. Where is the title of the quadrangle printed?

10. Where are the titles of adjacent quadrangles printed on the map?

11. Where on a topographic map can you find information about the projection and grid(s) used, scale, contour intervals, magnetic and declination?

12. Where are Township and range designations, UTM coordinates, and minute and second subdivisions printed on a topographic map??

There are many features (buildings, swamps, mines, etc.) that are designated on topographic maps, which are not described in the map legend. Refer to the USGS Booklet on topographic map symbols to learn more by clicking the link provided on the ISU website, then click back to the ISU website. Continue by clicking the "continue to" link at the page bottom.

13. What is a reference datum?

Click on "continue to" at the page bottom...

14. In order to represent the surface of the earth on a flat piece of paper, what is done?

Click on "continue to" at the page bottom...
15. There are four basic characteristics of a map that are distorted to some degree, depending on the projection used. List them.

Click on the USGS link to Map Projections to see some of the different map projection types. Pick any 3 and describe their uses, their distortions, and why they are used. The link is 2nd in the list.

Click back, then click on "continue to"...

16. List the 4 common grid types published in the United States.

17. Explain the differences between each of the 4 grids used.

Read the material for the Public Land Survey System using the 4th link.
Continue reading pages and clicking on "continue to", stopping when you reach the link that says "Continue to ...Exercise 1"

Go to the
Google Maps
homepage, and explore. You can get different maps - which you will want to explore; find your house, zoom in and see what can be seen from a satellite! It may scare you...

Go to Satellite view, then click on an object. The place name should pop up, and the latitude and longitude coordinates will be under the place name. 1st is latitude, 2nd is longitude. A - sign on longitude means that it is west of the Prime Meridian.

Make sure you check out the following using the satellite photos:

18. BNLHS - What details are you able to see once you've zoomed in? (How large an area does a pixel represent?

19. Bedford - Find the courthouse. What are its coordinates (lat/long)? (The latitude and longitude are shown as part of the URL as decimal degrees after you drag the marker to the spot you wish to mark)

20. Indianapolis - Describe the detail you can see around the Circle. What pattern do the streets form?

21. Bloomington - Find Assembly Hall. What are its coordinates?

22. Lake Monroe - Check out the Dam. What are its coordinates?

Check out the local area where you live - Fayetteville, Williams, Heltonville, etc.

23. For kicks, Take a look at the following and list their coordinates: Grand Canyon, in Northern Arizona, and (24) Devils Tower near Sundance, Wyoming.

Go to the
American Museum of Natural History web site
and check out the maps they have.

25. List as many map types used on this website as you can find.

26. Check out the following site:


Lowell Bailey

Bedford-North Lawrence High School
595 Star Boulevard
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