Author Topic: A method for teaching contour interpretation?  (Read 1966 times)

captain paranoia

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A method for teaching contour interpretation?
« on: July 09, 2013, 06:37:18 PM »
Having been given a new PC at work, I've been trying to get all my old software tools re-installed, and one of them is

Since my new PC is supposed to be faster than the old one (it has 8 cores now...), I thought I'd throw some more difficult tasks at LandSerf, so I got it to generate contours for my local area, from the Space Shuttle Radar Telemetry elevation data.  And it still takes quite a long time, because it only uses one core to do the processing.

However, having generated the contours, I thought how useful they might be for helping to teach contour interpretation and use of contours for navigation.  You could generate a pure contour map for an area, and give it to students to get them to navigate with it.  This would remove the 'unnecessary clutter', and force them to look at the contours.  There are other tools to do this contour generation, or you could use the topo data generated from the SRTM data and available for Garmin units (on the SMC website)

LandSerf is a rather nice little tool for geomorphological analysis, but I've hardly touched its capabilities.  I've used it to take the 1 degree SRTM tiles and re-project them to OSGB projection, to add elevation colouring and solar relief shading, and to generate contours, but it can do all sorts of other clever analysis, like slope, slope aspect, profile curvature, etc. most of which I don't understand... the 'feature analysis' can be made to find valleys, ridges, peaks and troughs in terrain.