Reading Maps for Evidence

Maps are rich resources. They can do more than show you how to get from place to place. They are filled will information about the places they describe.

It takes practice to learn how to read maps. Each map you read will make you better at map reading. A topographic map shows the shape of Earth's surface. It uses contour lines to show that shape. Contours are imaginary lines. They show the height of mountains, they show how steep slopes are, and they also show sea level. These two maps are contour maps. The first one is a side view. You can see the actual high and low parts of the land, and you can see how the land is shaped.

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