• The map scale is used to measure the distance of actual ground represented by the 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 the area on the map. This is because it helps the map reader to measure various dimensions in the map such as width and length.
  • The scale is used in map enlargement and reduction
  • Scale help to determine the amount of content/feature that a map will contain

Importance or advantages of map scale
Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels.com



What is a map?

The map is a scaled representation of the earth’s surface or part of the earth’s surface on the flat surface

Types of maps

There are two types of map

topographical map and statistical map

topographical map

this is a type of map drawn to show both natural and artificial features.

Examples of natural features are hills, mountains, valleys, and rivers

Examples of artificial features are roads, railways, and buildings

Statistical or distribution map

This is a type of map that is drawn to show the distribution of data or information.

For example, the map of California shows the distribution of people

According to Scale size;

1)     Large scale maps

Are those maps drawn to large scale size e.g. 1:10000

These maps gives a larger representation of small area, they are also more detailed (shows a lot of information). They represent areas like cities, towns and villages.

2)     Medium scale maps

Are those maps drawn to medium scale size e.g. 1:100000

They show a moderate amount of details. They represent areas like districts, regions and countries.

3)     Small scale maps

Are those maps drawn to small scale size e.g. 1:1000000

They give a small presentation of a large area; they show little content (little information) They represent areas like continents and the world.



Statement scale is the type of map scale expression in which scale is expressed in form of a written statement, for example, one centimeter on the map represents ten kilometers on the ground. This can also be expressed in short as 1cm represent 10km or 1cm to 10km.

The following are features of statement scale;

  • The scale is expressed as a word statement. 
  • The scales bear specific units of measurement. The unit of measurement used in the map is smaller than the actual measurements on the ground, for example, 1cm represents 10km  

  • The word ”represent” should be used. do not use ”equivalent” or ”equal”. For example, do not say one centimeter on the map is equal to ten kilometers on the ground. This is because the statement is not true. instead, say one centimeter on the map represents ten kilometers on the ground.
  • The map distance always carries the digit 1 while that of the ground may be less than 1, 1, or more than one.

A statement scale is simple to express. However, it may be difficult for users who are not familiar with the unit of measurement used in the scale. If the map is used or enlarged, the scale will not remain the same


%d bloggers like this: