You could use the shaded relief map to find the locations of cities and towns. But, most important, it shows the shape of the land--mountains, valleys, rivers, and lakes. Using the legend for this map, you can also find out which towns are the largest and which are the smallest.
Road maps show people how they can travel from one place to another. They show some physical features, such as mountains and rivers, and political features, such as cities and towns. A road map also shows you which are the local roads and which are the main highways.
This topographic map shows a small area of Salt Lake City. Topographic maps use contour lines to show elevation (height above sea level). Contour lines join points of equal elevation above a specified reference, such as sea level. Think of a contour line as an imaginary line on the ground that takes any path necessary to maintain constant elevation. Using the legend for this map, you can locate schools and churches. People frequently use topographic maps when hiking. Builders use topographic maps to figure out where to put buildings and roads. There's a topographic map like this for every part of the United States, including one for where you live.
Maps and text adapted from teacher packet ``What Do Maps Show?'' published by the U.S. Geological Survey. To order, call