MAP SKILLS HELP CARD 7 HOW TO…..

INTERPRET CONTOUR LINES
On an Ordnance Survey map the relief of the land (its height and shape) is shown by contour lines. A map is obviously a flat piece of paper that makes the land look flat too. It is therefore very important that you can understand the contour lines and visualise what the land on the map actually looks like. The contour lines are thin orange or brown with numbers on them, the numbers tell you the height of the land above sea level (usually in metres). Contour lines link up all of the land that is at the same height. Basically the closer the lines are together the steeper the land will be. If the contour lines are far apart then the land is flat. Look at the diagrams below that show you how contour lines work and how steep and hilly land can be represented on a flat piece of paper!

Can you match the contour lines with the correct landscape?

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