That was a very good explanation compared to what I've heard. Thank you.You profile topographic maps, not highway maps, since topographic maps deal more with elevation. It's just like a picture profile- instead of looking at the map from above, you're looking at it from the side, so you see all the contours rising and falling like hills and valleys (or whatever the technical terms are for those, it's been awhile.)
You'll be given a line between two points on the map. Imagine drawing that line on the map in your head, and sticking it to the ground. The line is going to go up and down a lot as it crosses the contour lines. A profile is basically just a plot of how it goes up and down. For a simple example, let's say that the line you need to profile is over an area of land that decreases at a constant rate. The profile would just be a line going down and to the right at that rate (think the graph of y = -x).
Or, let's say it went down at a constant rate, reached its lowest point in the middle, then went back up at a constant rate. Then the profile would form a V.
I know I didn't explain that very well. Perhaps someone could add on to it more if you don't quite understand it yet?
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