A major problem in map making is the visual representation of relief features such as mountains, plateaus, hills and valleys. The essential difficulty is that we are accustomed to viewing these and other surface features diagrammed from above, as show n on a map, is unfamiliar to most of us.

Use the Columbia quadrangle map for the following lab which has been designed to serve as a means of acquainting you with symbolization and to provide practice in understanding current large and small scale maps.


Examine a sheet of topographic map symbols. Note that five colors are employed in showing natural and cultural features: red, green, brown, blue and black.

a. Describe the use of each of these colors on a map.

1. Red

2. Green

3. Brown

4. Blue

5. Black

b. Try to find an example of each of the following features on the quadrangle. Draw the symbol as shown in the space provided. Use colored pencils to note the precise color used.

1. School

2. Church

3. Quarry

4. Orchard

5. Road, medium duty

6. Power Line

7. Railroad, single track

8. Intermittent Stream

2. A standard topographic quadrangle has two parts: the mapped area and the marginal information that puts the map into its spatial, temporal and jurisdictional context. Using the Columbia map, fill in the map information below.

1. Name of the quadrangle

2. Representative Fraction scale

3. Date of Publication

4. Minimum and Maximum Latitude

5. Minimum and Maximum Longitude

6. E-W extent

7. N-S extent

8. Map Series

9. Magnetic Declination

10. Date of Declination

11. UTM Grid Zone

12. General Location in State

13. Name of quad just to the east

14. Name of quad just to the northwest

15. Contour Interval

16. Datum