[Vocabulary] Scale

Status
Not open for further replies.

Maybo

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Hong Kong
Current Location
Hong Kong
Maps show you where things are and can be used to help you get from one place to another. They can also show you the distance between two places, but the map needs to be accurate and to scale.

What does 'scale' mean?

Source: Mapping Europe
 

tedmc

VIP Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Malaysia
Current Location
Malaysia
A map of a place that is "to scale" means the size of it accurately represents that of the real thing. Distances if required can be measured from the map.
 

tzfujimino

Key Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
Japanese
Home Country
Japan
Current Location
Japan
May I ask what you mean by "the size of it accurately represents that of the real thing," ted?
Are these two things the same size?
 

tedmc

VIP Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Malaysia
Current Location
Malaysia
May I ask what you mean by "the size of it accurately represents that of the real thing," ted?
Are these two things the same size?

OK, I should have elaborated,
If the size of the map and the real thing are the same, then the scale is 1:1.
If the map is 100 times smaller, then the scale is 1:100.
Something that "represents" another does not mean they are the same.
 

Lynxear

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2007
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
Maps show you where things are and can be used to help you get from one place to another. They can also show you the distance between two places, but the map needs to be accurate and to scale.

What does 'scale' mean?

"To scale" means that very part of what ever you are viewing is an accurate representation in every way.

Take a car for example. If a real car measured 100 inches from bumper to bumper. A toy car with a bumper to bumper measurement of 5 inches, has been scaled down in this aspect by a factor of 20.

For this toy car to have been built "to scale", then every dimension of this toy car must be 1/20th of the real car.

For you map it might have a scale of 1 inch = 100 miles. For the map to be drawn "to scale" every section of the map of the map would be accurate to that scale.

Can a map be drawn "not to scale"? Of course, it can.

If you asked me to hand draw a map as to how to drive from my home to my friend's house. I would make a sketch where I showed the major streets/roads that you would use and where you should turn off one street to another. In addition I would add key intersections that you will pass on your way so that you would be warned that you were approaching a point that you would change streets.

This map would be accurate as far as the names and position of the streets/roads were concerned, but I would not make it accurate as far as the distances between them. So this map would not be "to scale".
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
With digital maps, you are changing the scale when you zoom in and out. The country image is accurate enough for that scale, but doesn't show much detail, to get closer, you zoom in to look at areas in a smaller scale.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top