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Map Scales
The scale to which a map is drawn represents the ratio of the distance between two points on the earth and the distance between the two corresponding points on the map.
Map Scale = Map Distance
Ground Distance

Types of Scale
Verbal Scale

When a scale is expressed in words, for example one inch represents one mile, it is referred to as a Verbal Scale

Visual Scale

Almost every map has a bar scale, or a Visual Scale, that can be used for measuring.It shows graphically the relationship between map distance and ground distance. 

Representative Fraction

The scale of a map, expressed as a numerical ratio of map distance to ground distance, is called a Representative Fraction (or RF). It is usually written as 1/50,000 or 1:50,000, meaning that one unit of measurement on the map represents 50,000 of the same units on the ground. 

Changing Scales

The maps shown here show the effects of scale changes moving "closer to" or "farther from" the earth. A large scale map shows a small area with a large amount of detail. A small scale map shows a large area with a small amount of detail. 

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