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USGS Topo Maps

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 however, shows more than just contours. These maps include symbols that represent such features as streets, buildings, section township & range, trails, mountain peaks, streams, and vegetation. These symbols are constantly refined to better relate to the features they represent and to improve the appearance or readability of the map.
We have lots of other recreational maps as well, over in our aptly named Recreational Maps category...includes Trails Illustrated maps, Green Trail maps, Custom Correct maps, Fish-N-Maps, U.S. Forest Service maps, Gem Trek maps, and Big Sky county maps...go ahead, check it out!


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