Topography is a detailed map of the surface features of land. It includes the mountains, hills, creeks, and other bumps and lumps on a particular hunk of earth.
This handy word is a Greek-rooted combo of topos meaning "place" and graphein "to write." The suffix -graphy means writing or representation made in a specific way, and shows up in familiar words like photography, oceanography, or even geography, which is similar to topography, but refers to where things are, but not what's on top. Topography represents a particular area in detail, including everything natural and man-made — hills, valleys, roads, or lakes. It's the geographical contours of the land.