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Febrilyn L.

Pagulayan Soil Science April 12, 2019

Laboratory Exercise 3
Reading and Interpreting Topographic and Soils Map


Maps are essential tools in geology. Maps are as important in geology as written texts are in
the study of literature. By studying maps, a geologist can see the shape and geology of the
earth’s surface and deduce the geological structures that lie hidden beneath the surface.
Geologists are trained in map reading and map making. Many geologists have experience
mapping some part of the earth’s surface. It takes some training to read maps skillfully. You
are not expected to become a geological expert in reading maps. However, it will be expected
to develop a map reading skills as it use maps to help learn geology.

A topographic map is one type of map used by geologists. Topographic maps show the three-
dimensional shape of the land and features on the surface of the earth. Topographic maps are
also used by hikers, planners who make decisions on zoning and construction permits,
government agencies involved in land use planning and hazard assessments, and in engineers.
Topographic maps are important in geology because they portray the surface of the earth in
detail. This view of the surface shows patterns that provide information about the geology
beneath the surface. In addition, topographic map provides the frame of reference upon which
most geologic maps are constructed. Reading a topographic map requires familiarity with how
it portrays the three-dimensional shape of the land, so that in looking at a topographic map you
can visualize the shape of the land. Also, to read a topographic map, you need to understand
the rules of contour lines.

A soil map is an object specific spatial model of the soil cover, whose compilation is dominated
by the consideration of soil forming processes (Böhner et al., 2001). Soil mapping is very
important for the correct implementation of sustainable land use management. In recent
decades, soil mapping methods and data availability have increased exponentially, improving
the quality of the maps produced. Despite these advances, local knowledge is a great source of
information, refined for centuries and useful for soil mapping and the implementation of a
sustainable land management. Local wisdom and experience should be an important aspect of
soil mapping because farmers will be one of the major end-users of the maps produced and
they should account for the farmers’ reality. Geographic information systems and spatial
statistics offer powerful tools for producing soil maps, but to maximize their utility it is
important for the mapper to understand the principles and assumptions behind the methods.
However, several problems have been identified in the spatial correlation between folk and
scientific classification related to different cultural variables that influence local soil

Materials and Methods

Area measurement
In measuring the area, the total length and total width of the area covered by each topographic
map quadrangle was measured and the total area of the map was computed. The total area map
measurement converts from m2 into hectares (1 ha. = 10,000 m2).

Interpreting Map symbols

1. Determine the symbols and/ or the color used to identify the following map features: River
(large), Road ( National & Provincial), Contour, Swamp, Buildings – using google map
(government offices, hospital & restaurants), Woodland Area, Agricultural Area, Grassland/
Shrub land, Wetland

2. Draw the symbols of the map features and their corresponding color.

Results and Discussion

Results and Discussions

Area Measurement
As shown in the figure presented below, the measured total length is 281.05 m and its width is
195.79 m. The total area of the quadrangle map which is converted from square meter into
hectares is 5.5027 ha.

195.79 m

281.05 m

Figure 1. Aerial Photograph quadrangle map of Cagayan State University

AREA = 281.05m x 195.79m = 55,026.7795÷ 10,000 = 5.5027 ha.

Interpreting Map symbols

It is indicated in the table that map has different features such as river, road, swamp, buildings,
woodland area, agricultural area, grassland and wetland as shown in the figure below.

Table 1. List of symbols and colors to identify the map features

River (large) Dark blue
Road Red
National Black
Swamp Blue
Government offices

Woodland Area Green
Agricultural Area Yellow
Grassland/ Shrub land Light green
Wetland Blue and green

The table shows that the river has a dark blue color depicting water in the map. Furthermore,
roads which consist of two categories namely the national and provincial road wherein national
road has a red in color and provincial road has black. On the other hand, the swamps have blue
in color. The buildings like government offices, hospital and restaurant which have their
corresponding symbols to easily identify those buildings on a map. Moreover, woodland area
has a green color, the agricultural area has a yellow color, the grassland or shrub land composed
of light green and last is the wetland which contains blue and green color. These features serves
as a legend in interpreting the different map types that the earth’s surface have.

Distance measurement
Figure2. Landmarks of Cagayan State University – Carig Campus

The data on the distances of the different landmarks reveals that Cagayan State University
College of Medicine and Surgery to Red Eagle Gymnasium is 0.0583 kilometers. Next, the
Cagayan State University College of Medicine and Surgery to DZDD – AM Radio Station is
0.12708 kilometers. Moreover the distance between the Cagayan State University College of
Medicine and Surgery to Radyo Pilipinas DWPE Transmitter is 0.20208 kilometers. The Red
Eagle Gymnasium to DZDD – AM Radio Station is 0.06875 kilometers. The distance of Red
Eagle Gymnasium to DZDD – AM Radio Station is 0.14375 kilometers and lastly, the DZDD
– AM Radio Station to Radyo Pilipinas DWPE Transmitter is 0.08125 kilometers which is
shown in the table below.

Table 2. Distance in kilometers between the landmarks at Cagayan State University – Carig


Cagayan State University College of… to

Red Eagle Gymnasium
Cagayan State University College of… to
DZDD – AM Radio Station

Cagayan State University College of… to

Radyo Pilipinas DWPE Transmitter

Red Eagle Gymnasium to DZDD – AM

Radio Station

Red Eagle Gymnasium to Radyo Pilipinas
DWPE Transmitter
DZDD – AM Radio Station to Radyo 0.08125
Pilipinas DWPE Transmitter

Reading Soils Map

In every municipality of Cagayan, there are different soil types that exist and one of the
municipalities that have its own soil type is Enrile as shown in the figure below.

The figure shows that the said municipality is mainly composed of rock land and silt loam.

Figure 3. Soil map of Enrile, Cagayan

It is gleaned in the table below that the municipality of Enrile has different soil types along
with their colors rock land ( brown ), clay ( yellow ), clay loam ( apple green ), silt loam ( blue
green ) and sand ( dirty white ). It is located in a longitude of 17.5689 ͦ N and latitude of
121.6511 ͦ E.

Table 3. Different soil types of the municipality of Enrile, Cagayan

Municipality of Enrile
Soil Type Color
Rockland Brown
Clay Yellow
Clay Loam Apple Green
Silt Loam Blue Green
Sand Dirty White

Map/Photo Scale Determination

Using ruler in measuring the distance between point A and Point B, the photo distance
measured 163.16 meters or 0.16316 kilometers while the actual or ground measurement from
point A to point B is 167.7 meters or 0.1677 kilometers and by using the equation: Scale =
Photo distance/ Ground distance, the scale is equal to 0.97 kilometers.
Figure 4. Aerial Photograph of a section in CSU Carig Campus

Global Positioning System

Using the Global Positioning System, the coordinates of each locations are determined.

Figure 5. Determining the coordinates of the landmarks

Table 4. List of landmark along with their coordinates

Landmark Coordinates
Radyo Pilipinas DWPE 17.659907 ͦ N , 17 ͦ 39’ 35.67” , 121 ͦ 45’
Transmitter 121.754605 ͦ E 16.58”

17.659264 ͦ N , 17 ͦ 39’ 33.35” , 121 ͦ 45’

Red Eagle Gymnasium
121.753374 ͦ E 12.15”

Cagayan State University

17.658983 ͦ N , 17 ͦ 39’ 32.34” , 121 ͦ 45’
College of Medicine and
121.752866 ͦ E 10.32”
17.658866 ͦ N , 17 ͦ 39’ 31.92” , 121 ͦ 45’
Cagayan State University
121.752503 ͦ E 9.01”

The table shows that Radyo Pilipinas is located at 17 ͦ 39’ 35.67”, 121 ͦ 45’ 16.58”. The Red
Eagle Gymnasium is at 17 ͦ 39’ 33.35”, 121 ͦ 45’ 12.15”. The coordinates of Cagayan State
University College of Medicine and Surgery is at 17 ͦ 39’ 32.34”, 121 ͦ 45’ 10.32” and the
Cagayan State University is located at 17 ͦ 39’ 31.92”, 121 ͦ 45’ 9.01”.

The coordinates of each landmark are almost the same because each landmark is located near
to each other.




Bradley A. Miller, in Soil Mapping and Process Modeling for Sustainable Land Use
Management, 2017