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Knowing how to read a USGS topographical map is essential to successfully finding a ghost town. USGS topographical maps are useful because they show the terrain and lay of the land as well as feature like roads, structures and mines. As you read this, it would be helpful if you also had your own topographical map to refer to.


The first thing to notice on a topographical map is the title. It is found in the top right hand corner of the map:

The next thing that you should notice on a topographical map are the numbers running all around the outside of the map. These numbers represent two grid systems that can be used to find your exact location. The first is called latitude and longitude. The exact latitude and longitude is given at each corner of that map and at equally spaced intervals between the corners. The second is called UTM's. These are the smaller bold numbers that run along the border of the map.

Topography is the scientific study of surface feature and shape of earth. It involves the study of terrain, the three-dimensional quality of the surface, and the identification of specific landforms. In modern usage, this involves capture and creation of digital data of elevation using modern imaging methods. It includes the graphic representation of the land form on a map. The digital elevation model is a raster-based digital dataset of the topography of all or part of the Earth . Each  pixels of the dataset are  assigned with an an elevation value with details of coverage area. This  may be derived from combination of  existing paper maps and survey data/  satellite image/ other remotely sensing devices.