In this paper, we present novel features based on the topography of a character as visible from different viewing directions on a 2D plane. By topography of a character we mean the structural features of the strokes and their spatial relations. In this work we develop topographic features of strokes visible with respect to views from different directions (e.g. North, South, East, and West). We consider three types of topographic features: closed region, convexity of strokes, and straight line strokes. We have tested the proposed method on printed and handwritten Bengali and Hindi isolated character images. Initial results demonstrate the efficacy of our approach. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011.