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topography

What Is Topography?
Image: iStockphoto.com/benkrut

What Is Topography?

The study of any planet, moon, or other body's surface with its shapes, features, and elevations — that's topography. Many sciences contribute to our understanding of topography, including geography, geology, and cartography.

Topography's challenge is representing a 3D world on a 2D map. Explore how cutting-edge remote imaging from satellites and spacecrafts meet this challenge.

Monkey See
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Martian Topography: Image Gallery

Martian Topography: Image Gallery

More than 200 million measurements from MOLA (Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter) were used to create topographic maps of Mars. View the Red Planet in a new and fascinating way. More...

Images
NASA
Create a Topographic Map

Create a Topographic Map

With clay, toothpicks, dental floss, and a few other items, you can make an accurate topographic map of your own handmade mountain. Try it! More...

Activity
education.com
Earth’s Varied Topography

Earth’s Varied Topography

Increase your expertise with this crash course in topography. Each interactive screen presents a new challenge. Get help from the 3D images. More...

Interactive
McDougal Littell
Geographer

Geographer

If you think that GPS has put geographers and topographers out of business, you’re wrong. They make the connections between people, places, and the rest of the Earth. Find out more. More...

Profile
Science Buddies
High Resolution Global Topographic Map of Moon

High Resolution Global Topographic Map of Moon

View the moon up close and personal. High-tech cameras and other instruments on board the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter made this amazing high-res topographic map possible. More...

Article
NASA
How to Read a Topographic Map

How to Read a Topographic Map

Ever looked at a topographic (topo) map and wondered what all the lines and symbols mean? If so, check out this guide and you'll be fluent in topo maps in no time. More...

Article
HowStuffWorks
NASA, Japan Release Improved Topographic Map of Earth

NASA, Japan Release Improved Topographic Map of Earth

Test-drive the most complete digital topographic map of the Earth with a tour of the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. Japanese technology aboard NASA’s Terra spacecraft accomplished the huge project. More...

Video
NASA
The Ultimate Reading-a-Topographic-Map Quiz

The Ultimate Reading-a-Topographic-Map Quiz

Here are 20 questions about reading topographic maps that will test your knowledge of this very useful skill. More...

Interactive
HowStuffWorks
Visualizing Topography

Visualizing Topography

Manipulate the forms of hills, cliffs and valleys to get a hands-on feel for how these common land features translate to topographic maps. More...

Interactive
WGBH/PBS
Wildland Fires and Topography

Wildland Fires and Topography

Firefighters need a lot of info to fight wildfires successfully. Topographic maps can help them determine location, intensity, rate of spread, and direction of travel of wildfires. More...

Article
Idaho State University

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