What is a scale in human geography?
The concept of scale as used in human geography is a bit different than that used on a map. The scale of a map is the ratio of a distance on the map to the corresponding distance on the ground. The concept of scale in human geography is somewhat less straightforward.
Map scale refers to the relationship (or ratio) between distance on a map and the corresponding distance on the ground. For example, on a 1:100000 scale map, 1cm on the map equals 1km on the ground.
- Numbered below are decriptions of cartographic elements that are commonly found on a map layout.
- Data Frame. The data frame is the portion of the map that displays the data layers.
- Legend. The legend serves as the decoder for the symbology in the data frame.
- North Arrow.
- A verbal scale statement expresses the amount of distance on the map that represents a particular distance on the earth's surface in words, e.g., 'one inch equals a mile.' The representative fraction (RF) expresses scale as a numerical ratio of map distance to earth distance, e.g., '1:63,360.'
- Scale (map) The scale of a map is the ratio of a distance on the map to the corresponding distance on the ground. This simple concept is complicated by the curvature of the Earth's surface, which forces scale to vary across a map.
Types of Map Scales. We can relate map and ground with three different types of scale. Verbal scale expresses in words a relationship between a map distance and a ground distance. The third type of scale is a representative fraction, or ratio scale.
- Almost all maps are drawn to a scale, so it should be possible for these maps to indicate what the scale of the map is. There are three primary ways to indicate scale on a map: a representative fraction (e.g., 1:24,000), a verbal scale (e.g., “One inch to the mile”), or a graphic scale bar.
- Such maps are called large scale because the representative fraction is relatively large. For instance a town plan, which is a large scale map, might be on a scale of 1:10,000, whereas the world map, which is a small scale map, might be on a scale of 1:100,000,000.
- How many types of scales are there?
- Placoid (sharks and rays)
- Cosmoid (lungfishes and some fossil fishes)
- Ganoid (bichirs , Bowfin, paddlefishes, gars, sturgeons)
- Cycloid and Ctenoid (most bony fishes)
The first is a ratio scale. The ratio scale on this map is 1:24,000. What it means is that one inch on the map represents 24,000 inches on the ground. Or one centimeter on the map represents 24,000 centimeters on the ground (or any other unit you want to choose).
- 1:50000 represents the map scale as a mathematical ratio or fraction, thus the name ratio scale or fractional scale. 1:50000 can be shown as 1/50000 as well. Here such a scale means that one unit of measurment on the map is equal to 50000 of the same unit on the ground.
- The numerical scale of a map indicates the relationship of distance measured on a map and the corresponding distance on the ground. This scale is usually written as a fraction and is called the representative fraction. The RF is always written with the map distance as 1 and is independent of any unit of measure.
- A linear scale, also called a bar scale, scale bar, graphic scale, or graphical scale, is a means of visually showing the scale of a map, nautical chart, engineering drawing, or architectural drawing.
Updated: 6th October 2019