What Is a Physical Feature on a Map?

Getty Images News/http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/tourists-look-at-a-map-next-to-the-spanish-steps-on-march-news-photo/163800323/Getty Images

A physical feature on a map is a representation of the terrain and topography of the earth’s surface in the area shown on that map. Each physical feature has a symbol to identify it and is sometimes identified by the use of contour lines.

Some symbols are easy to recognize on a map, while others might be illustrated in the key below the map. Contour lines are used to give information about the landscape features and their particular patterns. Most physical features can be described in brief on the map. Cartographers, the map creators, show what every symbol means for easy identification.