It is important to underline the etymological origin of the term topography in order to better understand its meaning. In this case, that is in the Greek where we discover that it is determined that said concept is formed by the union of three clearly differentiated parts: moles which can be translated as "place or territory", the verb graph which is synonymous with "write or paint" and the suffix -ia which is equivalent to "quality".
It is known by the name of topography to discipline or technique which is responsible for describing in detail the surface of a given ground . This branch, it is said, focuses on the study of all the principles and processes that provide the possibility of transferring the characteristics of the surface , whether natural or artificial.
Surveyors use two-dimensional systems on the axes for their task X and AND , while the height constitutes the third dimension. The elevation of the land, however, is reflected in the topographic maps by means of lines that join with a reference plane, known as contour lines.
These maps are characterized, therefore, not only because they represent what is the relief of the surface determined at a clearly defined scale, but also by the fact that they have the advantage of representing a very wide area of a territory such as a province or even a region.
A circumstance of the latter is the one that exerts as the main difference with respect to what are the so-called topographic plans that refer to a smaller extension of territory. Among their hallmarks, they emphasize that they are usually divided into what are grids equivalent to a real kilometer of the said territory, and that they have the so-called legends.
Some elements of the latter thanks to which any person in front of one of these plans can understand perfectly what is represented in it. And those determine what symbols identify what rivers, trees, buildings, roads or even bridges are.
In the same way it should be stressed that these documents are usually used in what are the development of outdoor activities.
It should be noted that the topography has great value for sciences such as agronomy , the architecture , the geography and the engineering . The application of geometric concepts to describe the physical reality is very important in agricultural activity or in the construction of buildings, for example.
The topographic activity has a double dimension: it is necessary to visit the place in question to analyze it with the appropriate instruments, while at a later stage it is required to transfer the collected data to a cabinet or laboratory for its interpretation and the development of maps.
It is known as total station to the device that is needed and used to measure both horizontal and vertical paths or distances and angles. By knowing the coordinates of the site where the station was installed, you can set the three-dimensional coordinates of any point that is measured. When these coordinates are processed, the surveyor can begin to graph the surface details.