Jun 25, 2011

Some Common Questions Based On Toposheets

Sourced from :- B R Hector
If you get these questions, look for these points in the toposheets and can write these answers:

1.Mention ay two features seen in the map extract which indicate the region has seasonal rainfall.Seasonal streams/ Broken ground/open scrub/seasonal tank/cart track motorable in dry season/narrow perennial channel in the dry bed of the river(after looking for these features, select any two features that you find on the topo sheet and write this way)

Ans: Open scrub and seasonal streams are two features in the map that indicate the region has seasonal rainfall. 
Rivers, steams and ponds/tanks are dry in nature.
Barren land shown in white colour also indicate tht the region has seasonal rainfall.
2.Mention any three features seen in the map extract which attract holiday makers.(look for various tourist destinations like temple, water falls, lakes, park, sunset points, etc and then write answers)

3. Which is the chief form of irrigation shown in the map extract? Give somE evidences to justify your answer.(look for perennial wells first, then the rivers, lakes, tanks, etc and give answer. For example, if you find the presence of many blue circles in the map, then you can write your answer this way.)
Ans: The chief form of irrigation is perennial well-irrigation. Presence of blue circles scattered all over the map .

4. Give one reason to explain why the steams in grid square ......... do not join a river.
(look for sandy soil , rainfall, etc)Ans; Reasons for streams not meeting the main river due to:-
* presence of sandy soil which is porous
* poor rainfall
* high rate of evaporation. (any two ) 

5. State two reasons for the absence of human habitation in some region of the map extract.( check for any features that is not suitable for human habitation – like dense forest, open shrubs, steep hills, deserts, lack of roads, etc)Ans: The region is densely forested, many streams with very steep hills. Expensive to build roads. 

6. What is the small white patch in the river?Ans: Barren island 

7. What will be the main occupation of the people be in i. highlands ii. Lowlands?i. highlands – collection of forest products
ii. Lowlands - agriculture

8. Why are there no metalled roads in the mapped area?( reasons may be many- look for dense jungles, or barren land, steep hills, or many streams – and then answer according to the features,)Ans: The area has dense jungles, steep hills and no important settlement- steams and barren land discourage the building of metalled roads.

9. Give evidence to prove poor rainfall in the region.

(look for features like sand dunes disappearing steams, scrub vegetation, broken grounds, etc. If you find these features, then you write the answer this way)Ans. The region has poor rainfall due to the
•Presence of sand dunes
•Presence of undefined and disappearing streams
•Presence of scrub vegetation
•Presence of broken grounds 

10. Give two reasons for the presence of only footpaths in the green wash.The reasons for the presence of foot-paths are:
* seep and rugged terrain makes construction of roads difficult.
* temples are the only destinations in the forested mountain region and hence foot-paths are created by the pilgrims.
* footpaths may be created by people who depend on forest produce. 

11. Why do so many contour lines so close together in the extract indicate about the topography?(look for steep hills, or a temple in the jungle and if u find these.................)Ans: Very steep (indicated by close contours) and hilly (indicated by many contours) land. 

12. How can we draw a climatic inference from a toposheet?

(there may be a question - what type of climate do you find in the particular area - look for these features and then write the answers accordingly -First of all, we should try to know which area of the toposheet belongs to. This gives us a faint idea about the part of the country and the type of climate prevailing there. Further, scanty amount of rainfall can be judged by seeing dry rivers, dry tanks, sand dunes and scrubs and scanty vegetation. Similarly dense forests indicate tropical monsoon climate.)

(If you find dry rivers, or dry tanks or sannd dunes, scrubs, scanty vegetation, then your answer wil be)

The area experiences scanty rainfall or poor rainfall with dry weather.

(if you find dense forests, then your answer will be)

The area experinces Tropical Monsoon climate.

Questions on occupation

13. What is the occupation of the people of a particular region from an extract of the survey map or toposheet?

(When you get a question on the occupation of the people , look for these features. Directly from a toposheet, we cannot know about the occupation of the residents. We can amplify the occupation by inferences provided on the toposheet. Therefore one must know the colours and what it indicates. For example, all of you know that yellow colour indicates agricultural land and hence agriculutre can be major occupation. Green colour shows forested or wooded area and this indicates that people follow in lumbering, furniture making, carpentry and bamboo work, etc. Presence of big towns, industrial area, railway station, etc., indicates that people must be employed in urban services. Rest houses in hilly areas show devp of tourism. symbols of mines, may suggest that some people are employed in mining activities. if you find grassy area, then it indicates sheep or cattle rearing. Settlement along roadside indicates devp of trade and commerce. If you locate wells, tanks, canals, etc., show the cultivation of cash or cereal crops. parks, lawns, historical monuments indicate occupations like tourism, recreation, cultural devp, etc. So, my dear students, when you get a question on the occupation of the people, look for these features and write the answer accordingly. for example if you find grassy area or open shrubs, then the occupation will be sheep and cattle rearing. I hope you got me. )

14. What occupations do the people follow in Highland areas?
Ans: High land regions with steep slopes have the following features: 

  • most of the slopes are unsuitable for agriculture. Pastures on the slopes may be fit for grazing.
  • forestry may be a predominant economic activity in this region.
  • flat area over plateaus may be used for cultivation.

15. How can you judge the suitablity of land for agriculture from toposheets? give a good reason.

  • a meandering river on the toposheet will indicate a lower or nil gradient. Thus, such a plain area would be suitable for cultivation.
  • Dendritic or tree-like drainage pattern would confirm soft surface suitable for agriculure wheras trellised drainage pattern suggests chalk country, which is not much suited for cultivation.
  • Sand features, e.g. barkhans and disappearing streams would indicate the dry conditions with the high temperature. These conditions are unsuitable for agriculture.
  • presence of broken ground would confirm seasonal flooding. Silt deposition by rivers is a good sign for agriculture.
  • network of canals, dams, tanks and tubewells will indicate intensive use of land for agriculture.
  • so look for these features on the toposheet and write accordingly.

For example, which are the main occupations of the people in this area? give reasons in support of your answer.

( if you see yellow wash, perennial wells, green colour,kilns on the toposheet, your answer will be like this.)

Ans: Farming and forestry seem to be the two occupations in this area because a large part of the map has yellow wash which symbolizes cultivated area. A large number of perennial wells present in the area also support this inference. Some part of the map shows presence of open jungles.......(mention, south, or north, west or east) which is indicated by green colur which suggests forestry as an important occupation there. presence of kilns shows that lime and brick making is also an occpation of some people.


  • If you find KILN , then the occupation will be drying and baking bricks, pottery, limestone, etc. So you write the answer this way: The occupation is drying and baking bricks, pottery, etc due to the presence of Kiln in the area.
  • if you find STONE QUARRY, then the occupation is quarring.
  • If you find irrigation from wells, canals or tanks, farming is the occupation.
  • if you find yellow wash, agriculture is the occupation of the area.
  • if you dont find any source of irrigation, it means farming is likely to be dependent on rainfall only.
  • mining is the occupation if you find settlements near mines or quarries.
  • if you find settlements along the banks of the river, then fishing is an occupation of that area.
  • if settlement is near the forest(green colour), then the people are dependent on forest products like fruits, nuts, or leaves. there may be primitive agriculture. so when you write the answer, write this way: people are dependent on forest produce or foresty and may practice primitive agriculure.
  • if you find large settlements, esp near the metalled roads, the occupation can also be industries, trade, services.
  • in case they are headquarters of districts, taluqs, employment can also be in administrative sector because of the presence of large number of offices and organisations.

so please go through the toposheet properly since one question will be definite on occupation.

16. What is the brown line in grid square ............. called? What does the figure written aong this line indicate?
(if it is a brown line , then it is a contour. Second part of the question - imagine you see figure 280 m ... then it means 280 m above sea level.)
Ans: The brown line that we find in grid square is Contour line. The line 280 m joins places 280 m above sea-level on the map.

17. What are the brown lines seen in such abundance? What do they indicate?
(same answer as question 16)
ans: They are contour lines. They indicate lines joining places having the same height above sea-level. Closeness of the contours indicates mountainous topography.

17. What is a causeway? Why are there so many causeways in the map?
Ans: Causeways are land raised across streams for use as metalled road or paths. The numerous streams crossing the metalled road are likely to flood them. 

18. Explain the term Depression in the map.

Ans: Depression is a shallow lowland in a sandy region often created by deflation of wind.

19. Name the geographical feature represented by white patches in the middle of the river.

Ans: The geographical feature in the middle of the river represented by white patches is an island or rocks or stores.

20. What do the following represent in the map? i. Black broken lines ii. Black curved lines.

i. Black broken lines indicate disappearing stream and black curved lines indicate broken ground.

21. Name 4 methods by which relief is shown on the map.
* Contour lines * Layer Colouring/tinting * Spot height * Hill shading.

22. What is layer-tinting/colouring?

It is a method, where a colour scheme is used to show relief on the map.

23. What is cartography?

Cartography is an art and science of drawing maps, diagrams and charts.


RELATIVE HEIGHT OR APPROXIMATE HEIGHT: REMEMBER:-This height is not taken from the sea level but with respect to the surrounding area. It may be height of a dam, bridge, sand dune, or it can be depth of a well, tank, hill, or river canal, for example 2r, 3r, 5r, 6r, etc.


3r the relative depth of the perennial lined well is 3 metres.(if 3r is written near the symbol of perennial well. don't write height but the depth)

5r the relative height of dry tank is 5 metres ( if 5r is written near the dry tank symbol)

16r therelative height of sand dune is 16 metres. (if 16r is written near the symbol of sand


8r the relative height of river bank is 8 metres (if 8r is written near the river bank)

PLEASE NOTE: you must write the word RELATIVE HEIGHT/DEPTH of .................................


7 COLOURS are used on toposheets:

i. BLACK: Names, lines of latitudes and longitudes, broken grounds, river banks, dry rivers, surveyed trees, heights and their numbering, railway mines, telephone, telepgraph lines

ii. RED: Grid lines (eastings and northings) , their numbering, roads, cart tracks, settlements, huts and other buildings.

iii. GREEN: Forested and wooded areas, scrubs, scattered trees, orchards

iv. BLUE: Water bodies containing water like wells, rivers, etc

v. YELLOW: cultivated areas

vi. BROWN: Contour lines, their numbering, form lines, all sand features like sand dunes, sand hills, stony waste

vii. WHITE PATCHES: uncultivated and barren lands


Directions are important for physical as well as urban features. the physical features involve the directions of rivers, streams, and the urban cities from one another.

When a question is asked regarding the banks of the river or direction of the river, the following steps should be observed.

  • first of all, look at the spot heights to determine the slope of the land. As you know, spot heighs are marked this way ●265 ●289
  • see which spot heights are higher and where it is lower, and then you will know which way or direction it slopes. the slope of the land may be from north east to south west. and if you see a river , then it flows from north-east to south-west.
  • to know on which side or bank of the river a place is situated (a place may be a temple, settlement, town, etc)one has to locate the source of the river. Having located the direction of the river, imagine yourself standing at the source of the river f acing the main river. to your right is right bank and to your left is left bank. SO SIMPLE, BOSS!!!

when a question is askend on directions with reference to urban cites/settlements, remember these points.

  • some times the questions are asked on the direction of a city or settlement with a reference to the other. First of all, pay attention to the words 'FROM' a place and 'TO' a place. Imagine yourself standing on the 'FROM' PLACE and look at the TO PLACE. Use the direction arrow and write the direction.


A. Layer Tinting: Layer tinting is a method of showing relief by color. A different color is used for each band of elevation. Each shade of color, or band, represents a definite elevation range. A legend is printed on the map margin to indicate the elevation range represented by each color. However, this method does not allow the map user to determine the exact elevation of a specific point—only the range.

b. Form Lines. Form lines are not measured from any datum plane. Form lines have no standard elevation and give only a general idea of relief. Form lines are represented on a map as dashed lines and are never labeled with representative elevations.

c. Shaded Relief. Relief shading indicates relief by a shadow effect achieved by tone and color that results in the darkening of one side of terrain features, such as hills and ridges. The darker the shading, the steeper the slope. Shaded relief is sometimes used in conjunction with contour lines to emphasize these features.

d. Hachures. Hachures are short, broken lines used to show relief. Hachures are sometimes used with contour lines. They do not represent exact elevations, but are mainly used to show large, rocky outcrop areas. Hachures are used extensively on small-scale maps to show mountain ranges, plateaus, and mountain peaks.

e. Contour Lines. Contour lines are the most common method of showing relief and elevation on a standard topographic map. A contour line represents an imaginary line on the ground, above or below sea level. All points on the contour line are at the same elevation. The elevation represented by contour lines is the vertical distance above or below sea level.

(1) Index. Starting at zero elevation or mean sea level, every fifth contour line is a heavier line. These are known as index contour lines. Normally, each index contour line is numbered at some point. This number is the elevation of that line.
(2) Intermediate. The contour lines falling between the index contour lines are called intermediate contour lines. These lines are finer and do not have their elevations given. There are normally four intermediate contour lines between index contour lines.
(3) Supplementary. These contour lines resemble dashes. They show changes in elevation of at least one-half the contour interval. These lines are normally found where there is very little change in elevation, such as on fairly level terrain.


  1. its great thanks a thousand-tons

  2. thank you so much!!
    i am reading this on the day before my boards!!
    ths is really helpful!

    1. mee tooo i m also reading this out bfr my brd exam

    2. Me too...!! =D


    4. Me too
      tomorrow is my board exam 2016
      thanks a lot
      it really helped me a lot

    5. me too
      thanks a lot

    6. aight mate..i agree
      thumbs up and fingers crossed for my xms

    7. Thnxzzz a ton......
      My board xam is tomorrow n these notes really helped me a lot ����

    8. hell yeah!! me too!!
      Thanks a lot. This will help me a lot

  3. really good info XD and i thought websites were crap for studying turns out i was wrong

  4. Very well explained... Great effort

  5. Thanks...:)It helped me a lot....:)

  6. thanxxxxxxxxxxx verrryy useful..

  7. really great, thanks

  8. Hi
    Pls tell how to find bed level from toposheet?

  9. its really great.. helping me a lot before my boards... thanks a lot..

  10. thanks..:)its really helpful...

  11. wow... thanks for this great work... keep up with this work of helping out the students...

  12. ths really hlps thanxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!!!


  14. THANK YOU SO MUCHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Thank you so much! helps a lot b4 my exam!

  16. Thanks for this site. Good job please make same blog for chemistry.
    Once again thank u.

  17. hey, great job you guys.
    detailed and well explained.

  18. Thank you. I've read this today for my board exams. Its really useful. Thank you

  19. great Job
    best for unattentive's in class

  20. Thank you, it really was worth spending my time reading this.THANKS!!

  21. started reading with force......continued reading with interest....ended up reading with confidence!!!

  22. Thankyou so much...I have now gained confidence in solving the questions based on grid maps...

  23. iam sure with your help i will score full marks in topography

  24. its really very helpful

  25. it is really helpful

  26. well explained,great job

  27. great help :) thank you

  28. Great..Could you do this for other topics/subjects too?! =)

  29. Thank you so much.its really helpful.

  30. i could gather more information here than i could from my books and classes.. Thanks a ton.

  31. Thank u soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much

  32. Really really really really very helpful...............
    Thank you so so so much BOSS.
    Don't mind but their are certain spelling mistakes.

  33. Keep up the good job!!!!!!

  34. EXCELLENT! Thank you so much, this really helped.

  35. simply incredible !

  36. it has been a really great help on the night before exam, but a sample toposheet along with questions would have made an even better tutorial. still, i am very grateful towards this tutorial. THANKS A LOT FOR THIS HELP!!

  37. Thank you so much !! :)

  38. It's accurate notes.very helpful to Score marks.I think one must follow it.

  39. God,my Mother, and my Father were the last people who helped me so much when they gave me birth. You have been immensely helpful and informative. Thanks for all the hard work you have put in by typing all the articles and unknowingly making me more interested in topography. Another BIG THANK YOU.

  40. thanks a lot..that's really helpful

  41. Thanks,very well written

  42. the matter on occupation and irrigation is just superb. Well done Bro

  43. i have a doubt... in the boards do we need to write the degree of direction of one town from another or is just the direction eg northwest enough??!!

  44. Hello, I'm Br Hector. For more details on toposheets, just go through www.brhectorsgeoworld.blogspot.com

  45. Big thank you to icsehelp for using my blog to help students.

  46. Big thank you to icsehelp for using my blog to help students.

  47. Anyone who actually wrote the board exam, did it help u?just asking...found the site helpful.....preparing for the board exam...wish me luck

  48. Woaah!!! Awesome .....tysm.... ICSE 2016 geo gonna be the best... gonna recommend this to all my friends...

  49. I was tensed about fearful topo maps! but now I think I am done.Hope for the best.Thanks for stretching your helping hands during the crisis.Surely you are my saviour!!!

  50. thanks a lot ....really helpful

  51. whoa..never thought topo could be so easy
    thanks mate for all your help
    this should suffice
    am just gonna flip through these notes and lemmy brain do the rest

  52. This has been really helpful. Understanding toposheets now really much better. Hats Off and a huge thanks to the admin. Sir, you've really helped me. :)

    1. My exam is aalo tmr i hope it would help me ☺☺☺😊😊😊

  53. Really gud.....today's my board xam n m reading it jut bfr may god bless me that I can do well in my xams.....:-) :-) :-) :-)

  54. Thank you so much sir. Don't have enough words to express my gratitude. THANK YOU