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Topographical maps in ICSE Geography: Deciphering the symbols correctly

Maps form an important part of class 10 ICSE Geography syllabus. Among the different maps that a student is expected to comprehend and solve are Topographical maps or Topography sheets. Topography maps are different than normal political or physical maps. The major area of difference lies in its predominance with symbol. Normal maps are representational in nature whereas topographical maps are symbolic ones.

Maps are anyhow reduced representation of the real world and thus without some kind of symbol it is impossible to represent the real objects on paper. For a student taking the ICSE examination it is vital to understand the symbols well. A topography map is a combination of shapes and colors which are symbols themselves. For example, different colors define different type of land forms. A green colored area normally represents forest land. Yellow areas stand for cultivable lands and brown for hilly areas. Again some maps may have yellow for deserts. So how does a student make out these symbols?

Apparently these symbols are incomprehensible. If we look at these symbols individually often a student might not be able to decipher them correctly. To continue the above example, color yellow can represent desert or agricultural land and the particular land in question must be judged on the basis of the other features or symbols around it. So if there are no wells, tube wells, rivers or any other water body near the yellow marked land, a student can safely say that it is not an agricultural land because farmlands would also require water for irrigation. So a student can write the answer as ‘desert land’ though the color is yellow.

There are numerous symbols for physical features of land, transportation, vegetation, population, man-made structures, boundaries, water bodies, marine landscape and various others. Each segment includes hundreds of symbols. A teacher will mark out the important symbols to be memorized because it is impossible to remember all. Correct interpretation of the important symbols along with association with other symbols is sufficient to find the right answer for the topography questions.

Detailing is the key for making as well as interpreting topographical maps in ICSE Geography. For example, a given topographical sheet might be covered with circles. For the uninitiated this is impossible to decipher. But with some practice it can be found out that these circles represent the depth or the height of that part of the land. And the numbers beside the concentrating circle are actually the height of the land and this will in turn help the student to decipher the type of land in question that is flat lands, plateaus, hills or marshy lands. Also the distance and direction of fixed points or locations in the map are questions that a candidate is expected to answer.


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20 Responses to “Topographical maps in ICSE Geography: Deciphering the symbols correctly”

  1. Anandi says:

    nice :)

  2. Lyle says:

    nice…love dis site…

  3. ananthu says:

    nice and useful!

  4. harshitha.priya says:

    mm!!!its informative.

  5. nida rahman says:

    atually i wanna to know that what should i do in last minute revision

  6. nida rahman says:

    thanks fo rhelp

  7. RIA says:

    thanks for the help….. it will help me to score good marks in icse 2011….thanks a lot….

  8. bineeshbgopal says:

    yes ………………………………………………………………….

  9. akshaya says:

    nice…..and are very helpful!!!!!!!!!!!thanks….

  10. KHUSHBOO says:

    nice and it will help me in solving my paper properly

  11. rahul says:

    very very good for us .

  12. sruthy says:

    really helped a lot.nw in our class this chapter is goin on… was really tough in understanding all those symbols…………………

  13. Shradha says:

    Tnx…this is of gr8 hlp…:)

  14. Saurav says:

    I m quite impressed with this site….there r very valuable study material in this site….this is very helpful for getting good marks in icse 2012 boards…..!!

  15. admin says:

    Thanks Sourav! All the best for ICSE!

  16. Shailja says:

    plz post the convection signs n symbols

  17. Priyadarshini says:

    i badly need to know how to decipher the symbols in geography…
    can sm1 pls help…

  18. reshma says:

    it is very interesting with this site send the convectional signs and symbols to my email id

  19. Somu says:

    Please send me the conventional signs and symbols needed for the Topography section.

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