In this module we will be doing some extensive hands-on to better our understanding of fundamental terrain features we learned in the previous module – contours, peaks, ridges, valleys and saddles.
In module 4 we had a look at the contour map of a fairly small hill range “Parvathiamalai”. Now, let’s take a peek at the slightly larger “Kannamangalam Forest” mountain range over here.
Open the above contour map, zoom in / out and pan across the entire Kannamangalam terrain carefully inspecting the various peaks (inner contours), ridges (U-shaped contours), valleys (Inverted U-shaped contours) and saddles (X-shaped contours) drawn to verify that you have a clear understanding of all terrain features.
My First Terrain Map
Once you think you have grasped the concepts clearly, pick a random mountain range in South India with at least 10 peaks / 10 ridges / 10 valleys / 10 saddles, create a new “My First Terrain Map” in Google Maps, switch to Terrain view and mark the peaks (red), ridges (red), valleys (blue) and saddles (blue) on your map. Indicate the altitude of the peaks and saddles. In case of any doubts refer to the above sample terrain map of Kannamangalam which is an excellent reference.
Members of the same team should pick different mountain ranges and submit their terrain maps individually in this form to complete this assignment.
Now that you have mastered the art of reading topographic maps you are ready to plan your own trails through the mountains and navigate the same in the next assignment. Get your hiking shoes ready!