What is a Relief Map?

What is a Relief Map?

Have you ever wondered what Mt. Everest looks like compared to Kilimanjaro? Or the depth of Death Valley compared to the height of the Sierra Nevada’s? Each of these great landmarks reflects the amazing diversity of our planet; from great mountains spanning hundreds of miles both high and wide to valleys below the sea. Even if you are world traveler and have seen the magnificence of these places in person it can be hard to imagine how they would compare if they were placed next to each other. To get a real comparison you need a relief map.

A relief map is a 2 or 3 dimensional map that shows varying elevations. On 2 dimensional versions shading is done using different colors are used to show varying degrees of elevation for things like mountain ranges. The 3 dimensional maps are the most impressive. Combined with the color a variety of different materials –plastic, rubber etc. –are used to display different features like valleys, mountains, rivers. The result is a map on which you can actually see and touch the top of Everest and the floor of Death Valley.

You can acquire relief maps of the world, individual countries, states, and even other planets like Mars.

With a relief map you can discover things about your own town that you never knew before. They are a great way to learn more about the terrain of a given area. Teachers like to use them in schools to help make the world come alive to their students.

Relief maps are a great way of looking at the world in a new way. It is not just a flat round ball in primary colors. Relief maps allow you to see things as they really are from the mountain highs to the valley lows, the forests green and deserts brown.

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