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Do they only shown 50’ changes in elevation? The reason I ask is, where I live in Midland county, it seems none of the topography maps I have come across are accurate, or they don’t show reality. I took a hike the other day and it showed on my elevation tracker app that I varied in terrain, anywhere from 645’ to 686’, yet none of these changes show on maps? I see all sorts of small ridges/valleys, but they aren’t mapped. Is this normal?


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Did you try another map scale?
 

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Midland County's GIS website has a terrain layer you can turn on. It will show 1' contour intervals. It's slow on a phone but a PC or laptop will work fine.

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Ok I just read about using a paper topo. map and compass to navigate in woods and water.magazine and it has my interest.
But it did not say where to get there maps.
How do I get these?
 

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I see plenty of contours on onx maps and it's not that hill around here.

You might be able to get a paper topo online. If you are shooting azimuths you will need a protractor, a declination adjustment for your area, a marker, and preferably a compass with a sighting system. But you are much better off with a cell phone and just a basic compass and direction to nearest road as a backup.
 

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I think I got my paper topo maps years ago from our Soil Conservation office. Do nt hold me to that a I am getting old and forget full.
 

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Do they only shown 50’ changes in elevation? The reason I ask is, where I live in Midland county, it seems none of the topography maps I have come across are accurate, or they don’t show reality. I took a hike the other day and it showed on my elevation tracker app that I varied in terrain, anywhere from 645’ to 686’, yet none of these changes show on maps? I see all sorts of small ridges/valleys, but they aren’t mapped. Is this normal?


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I don't normally visit this forum but your "Topography Maps" caught my eye. For starters I have a very strong cartography/geography background both by education and profession.

Having said that :dizzy: :

What "topographic maps" are you using ? U.S.G.S. (United States Geological Survey) 7 1'2' maps 1:24,000 etc. ??? What is the scale of your map/maps ? The contour interval on U.S.G.S maps will vary depending on the general terrain - a steep terrain will have a large contour interval while a flat terrain will have a lesser contour interval.

Your Midland area is relatively flat so the contour interval on a 7 1/2' topo. should be about three meters. In spite of what you write U.S.G.S topo. maps show "reality" within realistic parameters given the usage and scale of the map. If in fact you are using a U.S.G.S 7 1/2' topo. the contour interval of that map for that area will be printed underneath the map scale.

tracker app.... showed on my elevation tracker app that I varied in terrain, anywhere from 645’ to 686’, yet none of these changes show on maps?
Varied from 645' to 686' from what datum point ? If your map has a contour interval of three meters it will only show a contour line for the the next three meters in elevation or the next three meters down.Find an index contour on your topo. map and go from there. Given a relatively flat terrain a contour interval less than three meters would only be a mass of indistinguishable brown lines. Your terrain variance between 645' and 686' occurred over what distance ?

This is a small portion of the Pentwater, MI 7 1/2' 1:24,000 quadrangle. The contour interval is 3 meters - that means the elevation between each contour line is 3 meters. You can see along the shoreline the steep contours of the sand dunes - contour lines are close together but as you move east/inland the terrain begins to flatten and the contour lines while maintaining a contour interval of 3 meters are further apart.






Hope this helps.

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Ok I just read about using a paper topo. map and compass to navigate in woods and water.magazine and it has my interest.
But it did not say where to get there maps.
How do I get these?
Topographic maps of the entire U.S. and all Territories etc. are available from the United States Geological Survey.

This is a good starting point: https://store.usgs.gov/maps.

The most detailed maps are the 7.5' 1:24,000 series - each sheet covers 7 1/2' of latitude and 7 1/2' of longitude. The larger the scale the less area the sheet will cover but the detail will be greater. A 7/1/2' 1/24,000 map for the Muskegon area covers approx. 54 sq. miles. - roughly 6 miles of E/W longitude and 9 miles of N/S latitude.

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