University of Edinburgh

BSL Geography Glossary - Maps and different types of Scale - Example

Example: What is a map? Maps are used to show a specific area for example, to help with navigating while walking, on a computer while using Google maps, navigating while driving or even on a smart phone using an app. There are many different kinds of maps. Maps show information about an area including the locations of forests, rivers and houses, all of which help the user to know where they are. Maps can often have different scales. For example, 2 cm on the pink map represents 1 km on land, however on the orange map 4 cm on the map represents 1 km on land. The orange map is more detailed than the pink map as the scale is larger; this map would be good to use while walking. The pink map has a scale of 1:50,000 while the orange map has a scale of 1:25,000. Always check the scale, 1:25,000 is good, 1:50,000 isn’t bad. A scale of 1:100,000 is much bigger but good for driving, for example, as driving is fast and you will cover a lot of ground.