• Depicts physical features of the earth’s surface such as mountains, rivers, lakes, and other natural landforms.
  • Uses contour lines, shading, and different colors to indicate variations in elevation and terrain.
  • Often includes relief shading or hypsometric tints to show changes in elevation.
  • Provides a three-dimensional representation of the earth’s surface.
  • May include insets or enlarged portions of certain areas to show more detail.
  • Often includes a key or legend to interpret symbols and colors used on the map.
  • Scale is generally larger than political maps, allowing for more detailed representation of physical features.
  • Useful for scientific research, outdoor recreation, and natural resource management.

Examples of physical maps:

  • Topographic maps
  • Geologic maps
  • Bathymetric maps
  • Climate maps
  • Soil maps

Uses of physical maps:

  • Useful for navigation and understanding the geography of a particular area.
  • Important for geological studies, particularly in the search for natural resources.
  • Helps in natural disaster preparedness and response, particularly for areas prone to flooding, landslides, and other natural hazards.
  • Useful for planning outdoor recreation activities such as hiking, camping, and skiing.
  • Helpful for understanding climate patterns and changes.

Limitations of physical maps:

  • Limited information on human-made features such as roads, buildings, and cities.
  • May not be as useful for political or economic analysis.
  • Can be difficult to interpret without knowledge of map symbols and scales.
brown and black rock formation


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