Any scale can be used for a map, but a few common scales have been settled on for use by most organizations:
The smaller the number on the bottom of the map scale, the more detailed the map will be. A 1:10,000 map will show objects ten times as large as a 1:100,000 map but will only show 1/10th the land area on the same sized piece of paper.
Here is an example of a Bar Scale found on a map. The scale shows that about 1.25 inches equals 5 miles. The smaller increments to the left of zero are each 1 mile and are used to estimate smaller distances. Notice the scale is 1/250000 - that means 1 inch on the map is equal to 250,000 inches on the real land. (5 miles = 5*5280 feet = 5*5280*12 inches = 316800 inches. 316800 inches / 250000 = 1.27 inches)
By including a map scale like the image above, if the map is photocopied and reduced in size, the scale can still be used. Otherwise, 1 inch would no longer equal what it should.
Distance on Ground |
== |
5 miles |
= |
316800 inches |
== |
250000 |
Maps are considered
Here are 3 views of the same location on maps with different scales:
Why are maps like fish? They both have scales! |