Classification of map scales based on their sizes

Classification of map scales based on their sizes

Based on sizes, the scales are classified into three categories:

  1. Small scales
  2. Medium scales
  3. Large scales

Small scale

A map drawn using a small scale is called a small-scale map. A small-scale map has the
following characteristics:

It represents a large area of the earth’s surface on a piece of paper.

The features on a small scale map appear crowded and closer to each other than they
really are. As a result, they are not seen clearly.

The map shows fewer details as it covers a large area on a piece of paper e.g. an atlas
map of the world, Africa or Tanzania. It only gives a general picture of the area represented.
Examples of small scales are: 1:10,000,000 or 1 cm:100 km; 1:1,000,000 or 1 cm:10 km

Medium scale

This is a scale ranging between a small scale and a large scale.
Examples of medium scales are: 1:500,000 or 1 cm:5 km; 1:250,000 or 1 cm:2.5 km

Large scale

A map drawn using a large scale is called a large-scale map. A large-scale map has the following

The map shows many details of a small area on a piece of paper, e.g. a map drawn to
represent a small area such as a town, a certain location or village etc. Therefore, more features
can be represented on a large scale map.

The map appears large in size though it represents a small part of the earth’s surface.

The features on the map are large in size, so they can be seen quite clearly.
Examples of large scales are: 1:50,000 or 1cm:.0.5km; 1:25,000 or 1cm:.0.25km


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