What is a topographic map?

A topographic map shows the physical features of Earth. These features can be mountains, rivers, lakes, valleys, craters, and more. Man-made features such as roads may also be included.

In addition to physical features, a topographic map shows the elevation changes of land. Elevation is the height of land above a given level, usually sea level. Elevations are indicated with contour lines. Every point on the map connected to the same line is the same elevation. The lines have

How are maps used with GPS and GIS?

A Geographic Information System (GIS) takes the information gathered from Global Positioning System (GPS) units and organizes the information into maps. GIS maps are interactive. They allow you to see the map from different angles, to zoom in and out, and to hide selected features. Some GIS programs are designed to help track storms or predict erosion patterns. Other systems, such as the GPS in a car, can provide a map and help you navigate to a particular location. …

What is a map?

A map is designed to represent a variety of information. Some maps show where roads are located. Others show the location of tourist attractions or local landmarks. Other maps show weather patterns.  

The objects on a map are indicated by symbols. The symbols are pictures that represent something in the real world. The map key or legend tells you what the symbols mean. For example, a picture of an airplane likely means there’s an airport located there. 

A map also …

Frank Wideman

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Frank Wideman is a Natural Resources Engineering Specialist with the University of Missouri Extension.  He specializes in natural resource management, water quality, farm and home energy and emerging technologies.  He includes GIS, GPS, and Remote Sensing in all those areas.  He also utilizes distance education, social media, and community resource management to develop these programs.  He is currently serving as an eXtension Question Wrangler along with his duties for University of Missouri.  Frank has a B.S. & M.S. in …

What is GPS?

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a navigation and precise-positioning tool. Developed by the Department of Defense in 1973 with the first satellite being lanched in 1978, GPS was originally designed to assist soldiers and military vehicles, planes, and ships in accurately determining their locations world-wide. Today, the uses of GPS have extended to include both the commercial and scientific worlds. Commercially, GPS is used as a navigation and positioning tool in airplanes, boats, cars, and for almost all outdoor …

What is geospatial science?

Geospatial is a combination of geography and spatial.  Geography is a science about the earth.  Spatial is about the space around us.  Geospatial describes the use of spatial analysis with geographic information.…

Geospatial Technology for Youth

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Want to go on real treasure hunt? Want to know more about how maps are used to help you find where you are and where you’re going? Ever get frustrated if the GPS in your phone takes you to the wrong place?  

Geospatial technology is all about using maps and technological devices to design maps and locate specific points on Earth. Click below to learn how this technology works. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you might want to try your …