A relief map shows changes of elevation in the terrain. Sometimes this is done in 2D. The 2D maps use lines and rings to represent terrain on the map. Relief maps are often done in 3D. The map is raised in an actual depiction of the terrain. The mountains, valleys, rivers, and other features will be raised and lowered in scale with each other to give an image of how they actually appear.
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_difference_between_an_elevation_map_and_a_relief_map An elevation map depicts the topology of the surface without regard for illumination effects. A relief map depicts the topology of the surface with regard to illumination effects. Certain types of maps combine both elevation and relief shadings to create a composite or visually pleasing appearance of the surface. An elevation map has no slope shading, only elevation shading. A relief map incorporates slope shading. The most common standard attribute of relief shading is having the light source appear to emanate from the upper left of the map, the north-west, regardless of the true position of the sun. This will depict shadows on the south-east slopes of the relief map.
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