this report is the first of three on the application of terrain evaluation to highway engineering in the humid tropics.the study area is the south west corner of the malay peninsula,and this report describes the procedure for classifying its terrains,using aerial photographs.the oxford-mexe system of land classification is explained,and briefly compared with the work of other organisations.the procedure for classifying the terrains of south west malaysia is then described.the dense vegetation severely hindered air photo interpretation,but in the lowlands,where most of the terrain variations occurred,there were enough gaps in the tree cover to see the land is concluded that no modifications are required to the established system of land classification,although the complexity of the terrain (due to the intense climatic weathering)has demanded a larger mapping scale than hitherto. under complete forest cover it is not possible to carry out a fully detailed land classification needed for site investigation,because the trees obscure the details of the land surface.but under these conditions a more general classification can be made which is useful in the preliminary stages of engineering surveys.two appendices give an outline of the climate,geology and structural history of the malay peninsula,and a description of the effects of weathering upon the rocks.(a)

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