Also called "topo map" or "topographic map"; a type of map which uses contour lines and elevation indicators to show the shape of the region depicted. Each contour line represents a set of spots having the same elevation, or height above (or below) sea level. In a place where the ground slopes steeply, the contour lines will be close together, and if the lines are far apart, that means the ground there is flatter. Topo maps will generally show roads, trails, oceans, lakes and rivers; if the map is made to a sufficiently detailed scale, it may show individual buildings.

Topo maps are particularly useful when hiking and backpacking, and are indispensable for orienteering.

The United States Geological Survey has performed detailed mapping of all of the United States and US territories, and provides maps at many different levels of detail. Here's a web site that explains how to locate the right map and order it:

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