University of Edinburgh

BSL Geography Glossary - Contours - definition

Definition: Contours are a collection of lines found on maps that show mountains, valleys and landforms. Contours are measured from sea level. If contours are closely spaced, it means that the land is very steep, if the contours are widely spaced, it means the land is more flat. Contours can be used to understand the map and to know where land will be steep or flat.