A topographical plan is a representation of an areal view of a parcel of land including the different field elevations observed while doing the actual survey. These altitudes, normally indicated in meters are most often in relation to the geodesic system of Québec SCOPQ. Depending on the needs of the users, they can also be based on any other arbitrary system.
The altitudes are shown on a plan via a system of dots specifically dispersed throughout the parcel of land. The actual distance separating the dots depends on the needs of the user. Although a greater number of dots give a better representation of the actual terrain, more dots means more survey time which in turn means additional costs.
The field elevations are sometimes represented by topographical curves. These curves are a graphical approximation of the actual nature of the terrain. Each curve is drawn by connecting dots of the same altitude. Once again, the exactitude of the curves is in direct relation to the quality of the survey done.
These plans sometime show specific physical element found on the terrain such as buildings, structures and dependencies, waterways, flood lines, fences or other marks of occupation as well as any geographical feature required by the user.