How do we Draw Topographic Profiles? 


The three illustrations above are all drawn in profile, which means that they are drawn to show us the side view of the subjects face.  One of the most difficult skills in using topographic maps requires us to construct similar (not as artsy) profiles but of a landscape instead of a face.

Topographic Profiles


Topographic profiles show us the side view of a landscape.  They are a cross section, showing us how the land rises and falls between two points.   They can be difficult, and confusing to draw, but if you follow the steps below you will be drawing beautiful profiles in no time!

How To Draw Topographic Profiles: 

1.  Label the elevation of every contour line on the map

2. Line up a paper between the two points

3.  Mark the two end points on the paper.


5.  Make a Mark for every contour line you cross and label with the elevation of the line.


6.  Line up your paper with the bottom of the grid


7.  Move straight up from every mark on your paper to the matching elevation on the grid and make a point


8.  Connect the points with a smooth flowing line