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Contouring and Topo Maps

Twice during college I was taught to do hand contouring. One time in a meteorology class where the class was drawing isobars and isotherms on a weather map. One time in a geology class where we were drawing the topographical contours on an elevation map. I really enjoyed those exercises, but both times I remember thinking, “This is elementary school level.”

Contouring teaches both estimation and spatial visualization skills. To have experience visualizing 3 dimensional fields from a 2 dimensional map helps students throughout their mathematical career. You can’t start too soon, and it is so easy!

Grade Level: Upper Elementary (3-5)
Curriculum Topic Benchmarks: M1.2.1, M1.2.3, M1.2.6, M4.2.13, M5.2.1, M6.2.8
Subject Keywords: Contour, Contouring, Topo maps, Topography, Elevation, Visualization, Map, Landscape, Estimation, 3 dimensions, 3 dimensional

Author(s): Lorraine Remer
PUMAS ID: 12_04_01_1
Date Received: 2001-12-04
Date Revised: 2002-12-18
Date Accepted: 2002-12-20

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