You are on page 1of 11

Solving Scale Problems

The solution will gradually build


for each problem

Some unit conversions

1 m = 100 cm = 1000 mm
1 km = 1000 m
1 foot = 12 inches (1 = 12)
1 mile = 63,360 inches

1 hectare (ha) = 10,000m2

The real world distance between 2 features is


1600m and the map distance is 8 cm.
What is the map scale ?

Scale = 1 / xxxxx = map dist / real world


distance

If we know 3 of the figures, then we solve


for the unknown by cross-multiply & then
divide

What are we solving for?

xxxx

Map dist.
Real world
dist.

xxxx

Map dist.
Real world
dist.

What do we know?:

Map scale is unknown


1 / xxx = map dist. / real world (RW) dist

Map dist = 8 cm
RW distance is 1,600 m = 160,000 cm

1 / xxx = 8 cm / 160,000 cm

xxx = (1*160,000 cm)/8 cm


xxx = 20,000
Scale is 1 : 20,000

1
xxxx

8cm
160,000cm

The distance between 2 features on a 1:10,000


map is 5 cm. What is the real world distance?

Scale = 1 / xxxx = map dist / real world


distance

If we know 3 of the figures, then we


solve for the unknown by crossmultiply & then divide

What are we solving for?

xxxx

Map dist.
Real world
dist.

xxxx

Map dist.
Real world
dist.

What do we know?:

Real world (RW) distance


1 /xxxx = map dist / RW dist

Scale of map (1/xxxx) is 1 / 10,000


Map dist = 5 cm

1 / 10,000 = 5 cm / RW dist. cm

RW dist (cm) = (5*10,000 cm)/1


RW dist cm = 50,000 cm
In metres, RW dist = 500 m

1
10,000

5 cm
Real world
dist. cm

What is the length in cm of one km


on a 1:25,000 map?

Scale = 1 / xxxxx = map dist / real


world distance

If we know 3 of the figures, then we


solve for the unknown by crossmultiply & then divide

What are we solving for?

xxxx

Map dist.
Real world
dist.

xxxx

Map dist.
Real world
dist.

What do we know?:

Length on map (in cm)


1 / x = map dist. / real world (RW) dist

Scale of map (1/x) is 1 / 25,000


1 km RW dist (1 km = 1,000 m =
100,000 cm)

1 / 25,000 = map dist cm / 100,000 cm

Map dist (cm) = (1*100,000 cm)/25,000


Map dist = 4 cm

1
25,000

Map dist. cm
100,000cm

You have a photo with a scale expressed as


1 = mile. What is the scale as a representative fraction?

This is really a unit conversion


question
Scale = 1 / xxx = map / RW
Scale of photo is 1 = mile
If you convert top and bottom
values to the same units, then you
have a representative fraction
(since the units will cancel out)
So the question really is how
many inches in mile?
1 mile = 63,360 inches
mile = 63,360 inches / 4 =
15,840 inches
Scale is 1 : 15,840 (NO need to
show units anymore)

xxxx

Real world dist.

xxxx

xxxx

1 inch
mile

xxxx

Map dist.

1 in
15,840 in

1
15,840

A map scale is 1 cm = 750 m and a photo covers a portion of the map area.
The distance between two road intersections measures 9.8 cm on the photo
and 5.0 cm on the map. Determine the scale of the photo.

Photo scale = 1/xxx = photo/RW


We know

xxxx

Photo
RW

photo measure of 9.8 cm

If we had the RW distance we


could determine the photo scale.
Can we find RW distance?
Yes, as we have map scale and a
map measure

So first we find RW distance from


map, then use it to solve for photo
scale
Map scale is
1 cm = 750 m, or
1 cm = 75,000 cm, or
1 : 75,000

RW distance is
RW = 5.0 cm * 75,000
RW = 375,000 cm

xxxx
1
75,000

9.8 cm
RW

5.0 cm
RW

A map scale is 1 cm = 750 m and a photo covers a portion of the map


area. The distance between two road intersections measures 9.8 cm
on the photo and 5.0 cm on the map. Determine the scale of the photo.

From last slide


Photo scale is

RW distance (from map measures) is

RW = 5.0 cm * 75,000
RW = 375,000 cm

1
xxxx

1
xxxx

Realize that RW distance is the same


no matter if we calculated from a map
or a photo the RW distance is the
same

Now we can solve for photo scale


(xxxx)

xxxx = (1 * 375,000cm) / 9.8 cm


xxxx = 38,265
Scale is 1 : 38,265

9.8 cm
RW cm

9.8 cm
375000 cm

Solve for Area


The unit we will use for an area measure
is the hectare (ha)
1 ha = 10,000 m2
You can visualize this as a large square
that measures 100m on each side.

How many hectares are covered by a


standard air photo at a scale of 1:20,000

First remember that an air photo


measures 9 by 9
We want to know what ground area is
covered in the photo.
First, since we will be solving for a
metric area measure (ha), it is best to
first convert 9 to cm

Second, we find the RW distance in


metres

Photo edge = 9 in
= 9 in * 2.54 cm/in
= 22.86 cm

RW = (20,000*22.86cm) / 1
RW = 457200 cm = 4572 m

Third, we find area (L * W)

Area = 4572m * 4572m


Area = 20903184m 2
Area = 2090 ha

1
20000

22.86 cm
RW cm

How many hectares are covered by a standard air


photo at a scale of 1 = mile

The photo scale 1 = mi. needs to be


converted to a representative fraction

Next, convert the photo edge (9) to metric


(cm)

Since we will be solving for a metric measure


(ha), it is best to first convert 9 to cm
Photo edge = 9 in
= 9 in * 2.54 cm/in
= 22.86 cm

Now we find the RW distance of the photo


edge

Solve by converting mi to inches


63,360 in/mi / 4 = 15,840

RW cm = (22.86 cm*15840)/1
RW = 362,102 cm = 3621 m

Last we calculate area, in m2, then convert


to ha

Area = 3621 m * 3621 m = 13,111,641 m 2


Area = 13,111,641 m2 / 10,000 = 1,311 ha

xxxx
1

mi
=

xxxx

1
15840

1
15,840

22.86 cm
RW cm