Map scale is the ratio of distance in the map with the distance on actual ground represented by the map.For example, on a 1:100000 scale map, 1cm on the map equals 1km on the ground. Map scale is used to translate distance on the map to actual distance on the ground.
Map scale can be expressed in 3 ways that is in words or statement, in linear way and in the ratio.
The formula for translating map distance to the actual ground distance is shown below
map distance = map distance/actual ground distance
The following are importance/usefulness of map scale:
- Map scale is used to measure distance of actual ground represented by map. As we said in our introduction that map scale is used to translate map distance to actual ground distance therefore you can know the actual ground from the map using the map scale through the formula shown above.
- Scale help in calculating area in the map.This is because it help map reader to measure various dimensions in the map such as width and length.
- Scale is used in map enlargement and reduction
- Scale help to determine the amount of content/feature that a map will contain