Features of a Topo50 map

Learn about the different features of a Topo50 map, such as legends and reading references, and what they mean.

All our Topo50 maps are ‘A1’ in size and portrait format. They include a number of features: 

Legend key – maps use symbols to represent features on the ground. These features include roads, tracks, rivers, lakes, vegetation, fences, buildings, power lines, etc. The legend essentially explains the different symbols,  grouping them in themes in the legend key (such as ’roads and tracks’, ’railways’, ’relief features’).

Different scale maps show different levels of information – larger scale maps show more detail and a greater number of features.

Colour plays an important part in symbols; for example, blue for water features, black for cultural features and green for vegetation features.

Back cover – displays information such as:

  • a locality indicator to show where the map sheet fits within the island-wide geographic region
  • warnings and important information
  • reference to the LINZ website and an invitation for you to advise us if we’ve made any errors or omissions.

Back cover of the Topo50 Map

Front cover – includes features such as:

  • a distinct design to easily distinguish it from the previous NZMS260 series
  • the names of adjacent maps sheets on the reference panel
  • an awareness panel, which indicates the maps are ’Used by New Zealand Emergency Services’
  • use of different sheet numbering; for example, Christchurch area was ‘M35’ and will now be ‘BX24’.

Map reading references – projection parameters that provide information for the map user, including scale and information on grid referencing.

Last Updated: 16 September 2015