What is the scale on a map

what is the scale on a map

A beginners guide to understanding map scales

Mar 05, †∑ A map scale is a ratio of the distance on a map to the actual distance of the ground. Map scales can usually be found on the outer edge of a map, usually near the map's key (a . Map scale refers to the relationship (or ratio) between distance on a map and the corresponding distance on the ground. For example, on a scale map, 1cm on the map equals 1km on the ground. Map scale is often confused or interpreted incorrectly, perhaps because the smaller the map scale, the larger the reference number and vice versa.

A map represents a portion of Earth's surface. Because an accurate map represents a real area, each map has a "scale" that indicates the relationship between a certain distance on the map and the distance on the ground. The map scale is usually located in the legend box of a map, which explains the symbols and provides other important information about the map. A map scale can be printed in a variety of ways. A ratio or representative fraction RF indicates how many units on Earth's surface are equal to one unit what does it mean to be a south african the map.

In this example, 1 centimeter on the map could equalcentimeters 1 kilometer on Earth. It could also mean that 1 inch on the map is equal toinches on the real location 8, feet, 4 inches, or about 1. Other common RFs what happened between tyra banks and naomi campbell1 inch to 1 mile and , 1 cm to 10 km.

A word statement gives a written description of map distancesuch as "1 centimeter equals 1 kilometer" or "1 centimeter equals 10 kilometers. To find what is the scale on a map real-life distance, measure the distance between two points on the map, whether inches or centimetersówhichever scale is listedóand then do the math. If 1 inch on the map equals 1 mile and what causes thick hair follicles points you're measuring are 6 inches apart, they're 6 miles apart in reality.

The first two methods of indicating map distance would be ineffective if the map is reproduced by a method such as photocopying with the size of the map modified zoomed in or reduced. If this occurs and one attempts to measure 1 inch on the modified map, it's not the same as 1 inch on the original map. In the United States, a graphic scale often includes both metric and U. As long as the size of the graphic scale is changed along with the map, it will be accurate.

To find a distance using a graphic legend, measure the legend with a ruler to find its ratio; maybe 1 inch equals 50 miles, for instance. Then measure the distance between the points on the map and use that measurement to determine the real distance between those two places. Maps are often known as large scale or small scale. A large-scale map refers to one that shows greater detail because the representative fraction e.

Large-scale maps will have an RF ofor greater i. Those betweentoare maps with an intermediate scale. Share Flipboard Email. Matt Rosenberg. Geography Expert. Updated February 13, Cite this Article Format.

Rosenberg, Matt. Map Scale: Measuring Distance on a Map. Meter Definition and Unit Conversions. Synoptic Scale vs. Mesoscale Weather Systems. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our.

What is a map scale?

Feb 13, †∑ Because an accurate map represents a real area, each map has a "scale" that indicates the relationship between a certain distance on the map and the distance on the ground. The map scale is usually located in the legend box of a map, which explains the symbols and provides other important information about the ctcwd.comted Reading Time: 2 mins. Map Scale A map is a represantation on a surface, of objects minimized in specific proportion, like roads and geographical shapes on the Earth. The proportion in usage of minimization actual lengths is the scale of map. The objects on map and their lengths . What is a map scale? The scale of a map shows how much you would have to enlarge your map to get the actual size of the piece of land you are looking at. For example, your map has a scale of , which means that every 1cm on the map represents 25 of those same units of measurement on the ground (for example, 25 cm = metres).

Have you ever got confused about what a map scale is, or wondered what is the difference between our OS Landranger and OS Explorer maps? Our quick guide to understanding map scales will help! Choosing the right map scale can be really important when you are planning you adventures. Use a map with too little detail and it can be hard to use, while too detailed a map may mean you are continually going off the page or map sheet. The critical item that tells you how much detail is shown is called the 'scale'.

The scale of a map shows how much you would have to enlarge your map to get the actual size of the piece of land you are looking at.

That might sound a bit complicated, but OS maps have been designed to make understanding scale easy. Look at the front of a scale map and you will see that the scale has been also written out for you like this:. To make it even easier, the grid lines are exactly 4cm apart, so every square is 1km by 1km. Maps are made at different scales for different purposes.

The scale map is very useful for walking, but if you use it in a car you will quickly drive off the edge! On the other hand, maps at scale note the extra zero show lots more area, but in far less detail. OS Road Maps : 1: scale, shows roads and towns, but few individual features over a large area. OS Landranger Maps : 1 : 50 scale, shows roads, large paths and some individual features.

OS Explorer Maps : 1 : 25 scale, shows many features including paths and buildings over a small area. OS MasterMap : 1: 1 scale, shows accurate position for individual buildings or small areas.

Example of 1: scale mapping, showing roads but few other features and ideal for driving. Example of 1: 50 scale mapping with road and some other features for cycling and holidays. Example of 1: 25 scale mapping shows most paths and individual buildings with enough details for walking and MTB. Example of 1: scale mapping showing a small area, normally used for building and construction. The terms 'large scale' and 'small scale' are used to describe different scales.

However, they can be confusing :. Large scale maps have low number is the scale, such as 1: The features are shown are large Small scale maps have a high number in the scale, such as 1: Individual features shown are small. Site search. Shop OS paper maps What is a map scale? A map scale is the size ratio of a feature on the map to the one in the real world Popular OS map scales OS Road Maps : 1: scale, shows roads and towns, but few individual features over a large area OS Landranger Maps : 1 : 50 scale, shows roads, large paths and some individual features OS Explorer Maps : 1 : 25 scale, shows many features including paths and buildings over a small area OS MasterMap : 1: 1 scale, shows accurate position for individual buildings or small areas Example of 1: scale mapping, showing roads but few other features and ideal for driving.

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