What you need to know to make a map.
Information in the legend will vary with the map. All road maps will include some of the following symbols or information:
|highways, roads, trails|
|railroad, bridges, tunnels|
|distance between towns and junctions|
|total miles between cities|
|wildlife areas, game refuges, national forests and parks|
|state parks, campsites, recreational areas, boat launches|
|state, county, national boundary|
|land types, such as marsh, swamp, etc.|
|other points of interest|
Maps may use a number of other icons as symbols, such as dots in different sizes to indicate population size of cities. Check your road map for notations of symbols and their designation.
On topographic maps elevation is indicated by contour lines. The contourline system is the use of imaginary horizontal planes cutting through the vertical features of the earth's surface. Imagine that we had an exact model of the state of Louisiana, one that we could look at from every angle. If we decided to cut horizontally into it at regular intervals from the highest point we could then look at each section and transfer that information to a topographic map. Each contour line closes on itself and represents lines of equal elevation.
This information is given on the topographic map itself. Each vertical interval is the same, i.e. 50 feet or 5 meters. These vertical intervals are much like the rise of a step, one above each other. All contour intervals start with sea level as 0. As the contour interval number increases the terrain is more elevated. Contour lines which are close together indicate steep slopes. Contour lines which are far apart indicate gentle slopes. Check the bottom of the map for contour line interval.