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Can anyone help me with this Topographic Map project?

I need to create a topographic map of an imaginary place. My map has to be on regular printer paper. The map has to include At least 20 contour lines with none crossing, Contour Intervals/Index Lines, Map Legend, Large Hill that has steep and gentle sides with river, Small hill that features a cliff, Depression, at least 3 Water Features w/contour lines, 5 types of buildings/locations.

I need help with understanding what to put on the map first through last. I also would like a more deep understanding of what's needed and what that thing is.

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1 Answer

First deal w/ the assignment in steps. You need to understand what contour lines represent. They are general representations of a given elevation across a contour. The contour is dictated by points in space that lie on a plane. Only the points that have the correct elevation will be used in the contour profile. If you took a cone and sliced it into different pieces like a loaf of bread the pieces would look like circles that get progressively larger the farther down the cone you went. If you took every other slice of the cone and removed them and then reassembled the cone it would look jagged and not progressive. that is the first step to understanding what your up against. Contour lines are more like steps rather then an angular transition. The rest of it is pretty straight forward, the buildings would look like squares or other geometric shapes sprinkled around the area. The water features would be represented by the width of the stream and direction of flow pointing down stream and represented by contour lines that are represented as being lower then the surrounding land as they go from one side of the stream to the other and some arrows pointing down stream. The arrows would be shown in the legend (a smaller bordered area generally square or rectangular w/ information in it) and depicted as water flow. The lines for the contours also show up in the legend by the type of line you used (dashed, long dash short dash etc...) The border and title block for the drawing are generally the widest lines in the drawing. 

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