Author Topic: Contour lines  (Read 1892 times)

Claire

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Contour lines
« on: December 09, 2012, 05:25:28 PM »
I'm looking for some advice and tips to further my knowledge in interpretating contour lines to the ground.  I live in Suffolk and as you know its very flat and hours from the hills  :(.  So my question is, are there any ways in which I can practice this at home? Any advice would be great thanks.  :)

Hugh Westacott

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Re: Contour lines
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2012, 07:48:34 PM »
Claire

I'm not very familiar with Suffolk but I've had a look at the map and there are some hills just to the north and also to the south of Hadleigh which might help.

Contours are not very important for navigating in lowland countryside whereas they are very important for micronavigation in upland areas.

You may find it helpful to obtain an Explorer map of somewhere like he Peak District or the Lake District and spend some time studying it. Note how contours indicate the shape of hills which fall into recognizeable patterns such as conical hills, summits with sharp peaks, ridges and edges (see pp 50-1 of The Ultimate Navigation Manual). Note that the contour interval on both Landranger and Explorer maps of upland areas is 10 metres (it's 5 metres on Explorer maps of lowland areas).

Hugh

Claire

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Re: Contour lines
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2012, 09:31:10 AM »
Hugh,

Thanks for the advice, I've only just started reading UNM and its great.  Hope some study helps.

Claire

captain paranoia

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Re: Contour lines
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2012, 06:38:31 PM »
I'd suggest playing with 3D view in GoogleEarth (select 'Terrain' in the 'Layers' control).  This should help you get a feel for what contours mean when related to the 3D world.  You'll need to have the appropriate map handy, since GoogleEarth doesn't seem to have the mapping layers available (unlike GoogleMaps*).

If you exaggerate the vertical scaling (Tools/Options/Terrain Quality/Elevation Exaggeration), it will make the terrain clearer, if a little unnaturalistic.  You might use this to make Suffolk appear hillier than it really is...

* Having said that, GoogleMaps with Terrain view enabled will also help, since it shows a representation of solar relief shading along with the contours, which helps me visualise the shape of the land.

GoogleEarth is free.