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Math Help - Map scale factors

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Map scale factors

    Would somebody please advise me how to correctly interpret how the scale factors of maps are read?

    I have a question which say somebody walked 8 km, then used a map with a scale of 1:25000, then it says on the first part of the map the distance was 18.4cm, find the corresponding distance in km?

    So how do I know what the scale represents?

    Is it 1cm = 25000 km or 1 km = 25000 km or 1cm = 25000 cm?

    Please advise how one is to know?
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  2. #2
    MHF Contributor
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    Is it 1cm = 25000 km or 1 km = 25000 km or 1cm = 25000 cm?
    The last two variants are correct. One unit on the map corresponds to 25000 of the same units IRL (in real life). In particular, 1 cm on the map corresponds to 25000 cm = 250 m = 0.25 km IRL. This works when units are kilometers as well, but it's less convenient to measure maps in kilometers.
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