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# Solving Scale Problems

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

## The real world distance between 2 features is

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

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?

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?

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)

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.

We know

xxxx

Photo
RW

## 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.

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

(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

## 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

(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

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

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