Geographers have found a way of making this kind of map.
This section explains what the maps mean and how to make such a map.
World Builders, this is something that you need to know!
Map courtesy of Chalk Butte Digital Maps
The first step is to decide on your measuring units. This pyramid is about 300 feet high. I have decided to measure it in 50 foot increments. By this I mean
I use the measuring rod to find the elevations of different parts of the pyramid. I make dots all around the pyramid where the pyramid is 50 feet above the ground. When I have finished, I join the dots with a line. Next I make dots around the pyramid where it is 100 feet up from ground level and join that set of dots. I do this for each level. The lines that join the dots are called contour lines.
Note that we are not measuring up the slanted side of the pyramid. We are measuring the distance straight up from the ground.
Now we color in each level of the pyramid to correspond with the elevation colors that we have chosen.
Even though the pyramid sides slope upward, we will make the sides vertical, in order to show the greatest area at each elevation level. This makes the colored areas into rectangles.
Now let's cut the pyramid horizontally to separate the colors.
Because the pyramid has four sides, the pieces that we cut are squares of different sizes.
When we lay them out, they look like this.
If we put one color on top of another, the stack of colors will look like this.
We have just made a relief map!
By comparing the colors, we can see which parts of the map represent the tallest part of the pyramid.
Compare these two pictures. You can see a model and a picture. Match the colors up!
Of course, people don't make maps of pyramids. The map of a planet has many different types of changes in elevation. Did you get the idea?
Try this. Here is a picture of the elevations of an island.
Now, click on the map that shows the best picture of this island.