Topo 101 - Topographic Maps, The Basics

Topographic maps produced Natural Resources Canada are used for a wide variety of applications, from camping, canoeing, fishing and hiking to urban planning, resource development and surveying. Why? Because they represent the earth's features accurately and to scale, on a two-dimensional surface.

Topographic Maps ... The Basics brochure

National Topographic System (NTS) map sheets offer detailed information on any particular area. They are an excellent planning tool and guide and, at the same time, help make outdoor adventures enjoyable and safe.

To help you understand what topographic maps are and how to use them, we have answered some of the more commonly asked questions. You will also find tips on how to get the most out of a topographic map, explanations of technical terminology.

Be sure to browse our list of map dealers. If you would like to locate a Map Library in Canada or overseas, please see our Map Depository page.

Note on "Provisional Prints"