Interpreting map features
Spur: A spur is a short, continuous sloping line of higher ground, normally jutting out from the side of a ridge. A spur is often formed by two roughly parallel streams cutting draws down the side of a ridge. Contour lines on a map depict a spur with the U or V . A spur is a long, gently-sloping 'tongue' of ground that runs down from a hill to lower ground. Spurs often provide access to and from the high ground, for walkers, for roads, etc. You can spot a spur on the map quite easily - it looks like a long, narrow tongue of contour lines, dropping away from a mountain top or a ridge.
A spur route is a short road forming a branch from a longer, more important road such as a freewayInterstate Highwayor motorway. A bypass or beltway should not be considered a true spur route as it typically reconnects with another or the same major road. A stands for "Alternate Route", and usually links a highway to a town's central core or main attraction, while B stands for "Business Route" or "Bypass", but are used when a main highway is routed around a town and away from its former alignment.
Both highways have long since been retired and are now county roads. There was also one road with the D designation Highway 8D, later the original Highwayand this may have stood for "Diversion", as it was along the first completed divided highway in Canada at the time Cootes Drive in Hamilton.
The Indian National Highway system designates spur routes of the main National Highways with letter suffixes.
While the spur routes essentially originate at the parent National Highway, they are not merely secondary in status as some of the spur routes serve important cities in India. In Japan, spurs of its expressways are usually designated with an added letter "A". This designation applies to all routes that are part of a "family" of routes with the "parent" route lacking the added "A".
In New Zealand, spurs on state highways are usually designated with an added letter. Not all such alphabetic suffixes refer to spurs, however; ring roads and linking roads between highways are also so designated. Such spurs and how to write pseudocode for java roads leading from smaller urban thoroughfares to individual facilities are often referred to in New Zealand as "feeder roads".
All national roads, local roads and county roads have spur routes. In the UKa spur route carries the same definition, but the numbering rules differ.
Short spurs from primary roads or motorways typically are not given a unique number, and three arms of the junction will apparently have the same number. To distinguish the spur on road signs, the road it leads to is usually given - for example "Gatwick Airport A23 ". Typically, slightly longer spurs, or those with intermediate junctions of their own, are given unique numbers to distinguish them from their parent road, for example, the A48 M motorwaya spur of the M4.
There is a loose numbering system for these spurs on the motorway network, not dissimilar to the US system — the road takes a three-digit number derived from that of the parent road. Examples include the M motorway spur of the M60 and M62 motorwaysM motorway spur of the M62 and M1 motorwaysand M motorway spur of the M27 motorway. There are anomalous spur numbers though, for instance the M motorway spur of the M8 motorway ; number given to match with a unique A-number road and the unique case of the M motorwaya spur of a spur M motorwayand that of the M18 motorway.
A-road spurs do not follow a noticeable numbering system; they would be impossible to assign due to the quantity of A-road numbers in use. In the US, many Interstate Highways have spur routes when they enter a large metropolitan area.
Interstate spur routes are numbered with a three-digit number. The last how to screen grab on iphone digits of the number are the number of the "parent" Interstate Interstatewhich connects Interstate with Interstate near Hayward, CA, is the only exception to this ; e.
Spur Interstate routes have three-digit numbers with an odd what is a spur on a map digit. A subsidiary route either passing through a city or bypassing it and then reconnecting to a major highway would receive an even first digit, and be considered a loop rather than a spur.
For example, in the case of Interstate 5Interstate is a spur route ending at Los Angeles International Airportwhereas Interstate begins and ends at Interstate 5bypassing downtown Los Angeles. Spurs are also found branching from US highwaysstate routesand county routesoften as extended onramps and offramps of expressways. There are many numbering violations in the spur route numbering system, thus the general rules above do not always apply e.
Route —there is no parent "route 0". From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Short road how to get rid of hard ear wax a branch from a freeway, Interstate Highway, or motorway. Not to be confused with a railroad spur linewhich is a very short branch line. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
See also: series highways Ontario. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. January Retrieved 15 August Route designations in the United States. Interstate U. Toll road State highway Secondary highway County highway Farm-to-market road. Bicycle Route Forest highway Indian route Territorial highway. Categories : Types of roads. Hidden categories: Articles with short description Short description matches Wikidata Articles needing additional references from August All articles needing additional references Articles to be expanded from January All articles to be expanded Articles using small message boxes.
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A Spur is a sloping line of higher ground with lower ground on three sides. A saddle is a low spot between mountains A Slope is the decrease or increase of the height there is Two types Steep Slope when the slope is very high and the contour lines are close to each other. Spur: A spur is a short, continuous sloping line of higher ground, normally jutting out from the side of a ridge. A spur is often formed by two roughly parallel streams cutting draws down the side of a ridge. The ground will slope down in three directions and up in one. A map is a representation of part of the surface of the Earth and cartographers have developed many different ways of representing landscape features. Some of these are human made like villages, quarries and power lines, whilst others are natural - valleys, spurs, rivers etc.
How to interpret topographic features Being able to interpret how topographic features fit together in the landscape gives the user a much deeper understanding of the lay of the land and how to identify where they are and how to move through it.
On topographic maps, contours represent the shape of the land. Contour lines fit together in many different ways, and they form shapes which can be recognised by the user. Features of the landscape that are useful to know are:.
Elevation and slope are the two elements that determine how landforms physically appear and connect. On , maps usually used by bushwalkers, contours are either 10 or 20 m apart.
For measuring between contour lines see here. Slope Steepness The rate of rise or fall of a terrain feature is known as its slope. The speed at which a bushwalking group can move is affected by the slope of the ground or terrain features. This slope can be determined from the map by studying the contour lines—the closer the contour lines, the steeper the slope; the farther apart the contour lines, the gentler the slope.
Totally flat ground has no contour lines. Four types of slopes that concern bushwalkers are gentle, steep, concave, and convex. All terrain features are derived from a complex landmass known as a ridgeline, not to be confused with a ridge. By comparison, a ridge is a sloping line of high ground. Major terrain features include hills, saddles, gullies, ridges, and depressions, and they each have characteristic contour lines that make it easy to pick them out in the landscape.
On a map, a ridge is depicted as two contour lines often of the same contour running side by side at the same elevation for some distance. When the lines diverge, the ridge is either flattening out to a high plateau or continues to rise with additional contour lines. When the lines converge, the ridge is falling in elevation, creating a spur. Closed contour loops represent hills or bumps along the ridgeline.
The real art of map reading comes with interpreting how individual landscape features fit together in the terrain: saddles connect ridges to knolls to cliffs; gullies form into rivers and valleys. Interpreting how contour lines fit together helps understand the lay of the land and be able to navigate through it. The big picture 1 — hill, 2 — valley, 3 — ridge, 4 — saddle, 5 — depression, 6 — gully, 7 — spur, 8 — cliff, 9 — cut, 10 — fill.
This image describes a landscape by contours. In words: Running east to west across the complex landmass is a ridgeline. A ridgeline is a line of high ground, usually with changes in elevation along its top and low ground on all sides. The changes in elevation are the three hilltops and two saddles along the ridgeline.
From the top of each hill, there is lower ground in all directions. The saddles have lower ground in two directions and high ground in the opposite two directions. The contour lines of each saddle form half an hourglass shape. Because of the difference in size of the higher ground on the two opposite sides of a saddle, a full hourglass shape of a saddle may not be apparent.
There are four prominent ridges. A ridge is on each end of the ridgeline, and two ridges extend south from the ridgeline. All of the ridges have lower ground in three directions and higher ground in one direction. To the south lies a valley; the valley slopes downward from east to west. Note that the U of the contour line points to the east, indicating higher ground in that direction and lower ground to the west.
Another look at the valley shows high ground to the north and south of the valley. Just east of the valley is a depression. Looking from the bottom of the depression, there is higher ground in all directions. Several spurs extend south from the ridgeline. They, like ridges, have lower ground in three directions and higher ground in one direction. Between the ridges and spurs are draws. They, like valleys, have higher ground in three directions and lower ground in one direction.
Two contour lines on the north side of the centre hill are touching or almost touching. They have ticks indicating a vertical or nearly vertical slope or a cliff. The road cutting through the eastern ridge depicts cuts and fills.
The breaks in the contour lines indicate cuts, and the ticks pointing away from the road bed on each side of the road show fills. Common mistakes Here are some tips and tricks to identify between standard features. Practicing Map reading takes practice. One of the easiest ways to do this is to become aware of the shape of the surrounding land at all times, even when driving and walking through an urban area.
Most navigation and map reading is about matching up the form of the land with that on the map. Practice recognising and naming key features knoll, hill, spur, ridge, cliff, valley, etc.
Look at the map regularly and match it with the surrounding landscape. Some bushwalkers enjoy taking part in Rogaine competitions to improve their navigation. There are subtleties to map reading that take time to develop. Some common things to watch out for include:.
Features of the landscape that are useful to know are: Elevation and steepness Hills, valleys, depression, gullies, ridges. Elevation and slope Understanding how elevation and slope are depicted on topographic maps. Gentle : Contour lines showing a uniform, gentle slope will be evenly spaced and wide apart. Easy walking. Steep : Contour lines showing a uniform, steep slope on a map will be evenly spaced, but close together. Very challenging, or impossible walking i. Concave : Contour lines showing a concave slope on a map will be closely spaced at the top of the terrain feature and widely spaced at the bottom.
Bushwalkers going up the slope will find the terrain increasingly steep and challenging. Convex : Contour lines showing a convex slope on a map will be widely spaced at the top and closely spaced at the bottom. Bushwalkers going down the slope cannot observe most of the slope or the terrain at the bottom, so extra care must be taken when route finding.
Common terrain features Understanding how common terrain features are depicted on topographic maps. Hills, peaks, knolls, mountains : A hill, peak, knoll or mountain is an area of high ground.
From a hilltop, the ground slopes down in all directions. A hill is shown on a map by contour lines forming concentric circles. The inside of the smallest closed circle is the hilltop. Saddle : A saddle is a dip or low point between two areas of higher ground.
A saddle is not necessarily the lower ground between two hilltops; it may be simply a dip or break along a level ridge crest. When standing in a saddle, there is high ground in two opposite directions and lower ground in the other two directions. A saddle typically looks like an hourglass. Gully : a gully is a stretched-out groove in the land, usually formed by a watercourse, and has high ground on three sides.
Depending on its size and location water sometimes flows through it, from high to low. Contour lines forming a gully are either U-shaped or V-shaped. To determine the direction water is flowing, look at the contour lines. The closed end of the contour line U or V always points upstream or toward high ground. A valley is a large gully, often very flat, wide and open with a large watercourse running through it.
Ridge : a ridge is a sloping line of high ground. When standing on the centerline of a ridge, there is usually low ground in three directions and high ground in one direction with varying degrees of slope. When crossing a ridge at right angles, there is a steep climb to the crest and then a steep descent to the base. When moving along the path of the ridge, depending on the geographic location, there may be either an almost unnoticeable slope or a very visible incline.
Contour lines forming a ridge tend to be U-shaped or V-shaped. The closed end of the contour line points away from high ground. Spur : A spur is a short, continuous sloping line of higher ground, normally jutting out from the side of a ridge. A spur is often formed by two roughly parallel streams cutting draws down the side of a ridge.
The ground will slope down in three directions and up in one. Contour lines on a map depict a spur with the U or V pointing away from high ground. Depression : A depression is a low point in the ground or a sinkhole.
It could be described as an area of low ground surrounded by higher ground in all directions, or simply a hole in the ground. Usually, only depressions that are equal to or greater than the contour interval will be shown. On maps, depressions are represented by closed contour lines that have tick marks pointing toward low ground.
Cliff : A cliff is a vertical or near vertical feature; it is an abrupt change of the land. Cliffs are also shown by contour lines very close together and, in some instances, touching each other. Topographic maps cannot always be used to identify cliffs, however, particularly on those with 20m contour intervals, and hence some steep areas require careful negotiation.
Tips, tricks and common mistakes Some tips, tricks and common mistakes to avoid when reading topographic maps. Subtle features Recognising subtle features on topographic maps.