Physical Geography 102 Topographic Maps and Location Systems Study Guide

After the "Maps and Location Systems" lecture and readings you should be able to answer and discuss the following questions.

What is a map?

What are the advantages of using a globe over using a flat map?

What are the disadvantages of using a globe?

What are the advantages of a flat map?

What are the disadvantages of a flat map?

What are the difficulties in transferring the features from a spherical surface to a flat surface?

What are the differences between a developable and an undevelopable surface? Give examples of both.

List and describe the charcacteristics of the three main types of map projections.

What is the most widely used cylindrical projection? What is its biggest advantage? What are its serious drawbacks?

Describe a line of Longitude.

Describe a line of Latitude.

A full circle has how many degrees of arc in it?

Lines of Longitude are measured starting at ____ degrees (also known as the ________________) and reach their maximum value at ____ degrees (also known as the ________________).

Lines of Latitude are measured from ____ degrees (also known as the ________________) to ___ degrees at the ________________ and ________________.

One degree of arc is equal to ___________ minutes of arc.

One minute of arc is equal to ___________ seconds of arc.

List and define the pieces of information that all maps should have.

The ratio scale 1:50,000 literally means ____________.

Why is it called a ratio scale?

If no compass direction is given on a map, what must you assume?

What is a topographic map and what is its main purpose?

What is elevation?

Why do we use mean sea level instead of sea level to measure elevation?

Why will using mean sea level ultimately cause problems?

How do you determine the relief between two features?

What is a contour line?

How are contour lines representing a hill and a depression similar and different?

What things can a contour line never do?

Why does a contour line from a V-pattern when crossing a stream? What does the V-pattern tell you?

How do you measure the contour interval?

What is the relationship between the spacing of contour lines on a map and the actual slope as seen in the real world?