Meaning, Types, and How to Calculate Scales

In maps, we recognize the existence of scale. This scale is a comparison between the actual distance and the distance on the map. Scale becomes important to draw the map correctly or compare it to the original distance.

Then, how to calculate the scale correctly? Reader can listen to the following explanation.

Meaning and Conditions of Maps According to Members

A map is not just a picture of the terrain. But, it also concerns distance, estimated travel time, mapping about something, ease of navigation, and so on. To know more about the map, Reader can listen to the explanation below.

The International Cartographic Association (CA) defines a map as an object in the picture of all elements of the earth’s surface drawn on a small scale. According to Bakosurtal, the map is a place to store and present data with environmental conditions so that it becomes an important source of information to be used in planning and decision-making in development.

According to Erwin Raisz, a map is a conventional representation of all appearances of the earth’s surface reduced to scale and drawn on a flat surface. In accordance with Erwin Raisz, Aryono Prihandito formulated a map as a picture of the earth’s surface by using certain scales presented in the form of a flat plane with a system of applied projections.

Soetarjo Soerjosumarmo defines a map as a form of drawing of the earth’s surface that is depicted with a scale form through the comparison of certain measurements from the real form. Meanwhile, HR Wilkinson and FJ Moukhous think that a map is an assembly of four types of information (points, names, regions, and lines) that are written or drawn in the form of terms.

As for the Indonesian Language Dictionary (KBBI), a map is a picture or drawing on paper and so on that shows the location of land, sea, river, mountain, and so on; representation through pictures of an area that expresses the nature, such as the boundaries of the area, the nature of the surface; plan.

Launched from the website, the conditions for creating a map are as follows.

  • Give a true picture;
  • Easy to understand;
  • Not confusing for the readers;
  • Carefully and according to the purpose of the actual situation;
  • Clean and tidy.

To see a map of Indonesia or the world, Reader can buy an atlas. The book can be obtained through the Sinaumedia bookstore or online by clicking on the book cover or the icon below.


Functions and purposes of Map Making

Everything on earth is not created without a purpose. The same goes for maps. Launching from the site, the following is the purpose of making the map.

  • Helps analyze spatial data, for example calculating water discharge, volume, etc.
  • As a media to store and communicate information that is spatial or spatial in nature.
  • Assist in the creation of a regional design such as residential planning, business complexes, and green belts.
  • Helping with a job such as making irrigation canals, navigation, and making roads.

The map making function is as follows.

  • Shows measurements, distances on the earth’s surface, and area.
  • Present data on the potential of a region.
  • Shows information about the position or location of a province on the face of the earth.
  • As an aid in field research, regional planning, military operations, etc.
  • Provide an overview of the physical and non-physical conditions of an area such as the number of people, distribution, density, etc.

Types of Maps Based on Scale

Maps can be grouped based on scale. Here are the details.

  1. A cadastral map is a type of large-scale map with a ratio of 1 : 100-1 : 5,000. For example, the National Land Agency map, development or project planning map, etc.
  2. A large scale map is a map that has a scale of 1:5,000 to 1:250,000. For example village map, village map, etc.
  3. A secondary scale map is a secondary map with a scale of 1:250,000 to 1:500,000. For example district map and province map.
  4. A small scale map is a map that has a scale of 1:250,000 to 1:500,000. For example a country map.
  5. A geographic map is a map with a scale of more than 1:1,000,000. Such as continental regional maps and world maps.

Definition of Scale According to Members

In the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), a scale is defined as a row of lines or dots and so on with the same distance between them, used to measure, like a thermometer, a glass measuring liquid; a column used to determine the level or amount of something (such as on salary regulations and on interest registers); comparison of the size of the picture and so on with the actual situation.

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Based on, the scale is a comparison of the distance on the picture with the original distance. Scale can be calculated using the scale formula to draw a map or plan so that it can represent the real situation of an area.

Reader certainly knows maps or globes. Both are made by applying a comparison or ratio between the distance on the map and the actual distance on the earth’s surface with the same unit.

Types of Scales

Based on, scales are grouped into three types, namely numerical scales, line scales, and verbal scales. Here are the three explanations.

1. Numerical Scale

The numerical scale shows the comparison between the distance on the map and the actual distance. For example 1 : 300,000, the way to read it, ie 1 cm on the map represents 300,000 cm of actual distance.

2. Line Scale or Graphic Scale

Line scale is made by drawing a line or stick as a distance comparison on the map. Usually divided into several segments. Each segment shows the same unit of length. Reader can listen to an example of the line scale below.

0_2_4_6_8_10 km

0_1_2_3_4_5 cm

The scale above is read every 1 cm on the map representing 2 km in the field. The last denominator in kilometers is divided by the last centimeter denominator. In the example above 10 : 5 = 2 km (the unit used is kilometer).

3. Verbal Scale

Verbal scale is a scale expressed verbally or in a sentence. The scale that often appears on maps does not use metric units of measurement. For example, maps in England. It uses units of mils, 1 inch = 5 mils. This type of scale is more widely used in Europe.

Scale related to geography subjects. For a deeper understanding of scale and geography, Reader can read the book below.


How to Calculate Scale

The scale on the map is calculated based on the following formula.

Scale = distance on the map : actual distance


Scale = 10 cm : 50 km = 10 : 5,000,000 = 1 : 500,000

To better understand how to calculate the scale, Reader can listen to some of the questions below which are reported from the site.

1. The distance between city S and city M is 150 km, while the distance on the map is 25 cm. So, what is the scale of the map?


Scale = distance on map/ actual distance

= 25 cm/ 150 km

To determine the scale, first equate the two units.

Distance on the map = 25 cm

Actual distance = 150 km = 15,000,000 cm

So obtained, scale = distance on the map/ actual distance

= 25 cm/ 150 km

= 25 cm/ 15,000,000 cm

= 1/600,000

So, the scale of the map is 1 : 600,000. That is, each distance of 1 cm on the map represents 600,000 cm = 6 km in real conditions.

2. The plan of Bayu’s house is drawn with a scale of 1:150. The length of the land on the plan is 9 cm and the width is 5.5 cm. Calculate the actual length and width of the bayu house.


Length of land on the plan = 9 cm

The actual length of the land is 9 cm x 150 = 1,350 cm = 13.5 m

Width on the plan = 5.5 cm

Actual land width = 5.5 cm x 150 = 825 cm = 8.25 m

Actual area = actual length x actual width

= 13.5 x 8.25

= 111,375

So, the area of ​​the bayu house is actually 111,375 cm 2

3. When a map with a scale of 1 : 2,000,000 is reduced twice, then the scale will change to?


Reduced scale = scale x reduced amount

= 2,000,000 x 2

= 4,000,000

So, the scale of the map changes to 1 : 4,000,000. However, the resulting map will be smaller and less detailed.

Scale and Purpose of Measurement

Scale is not only used in maps or plans. Scales are also used in measurements. According to Muhammad, the measurement scale is formulated as the determination or determination of the scale on a variable based on its nature inherent in the research variable.

Sugiyono defines the measurement scale as an agreement that is applied as a template to determine the short length of the interval on the measuring instrument so that it will produce quantitative data.

The purpose of the measurement scale that was reported from the page is as follows.

1. Able to Solve Statistical Tests

Knowing the level of measurement is important in the process of determining the statistical analysis techniques that will be applied. The main consideration is the appropriateness of the set values.

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2. Able to Interpret Research Variables

Knowing the correct measurement scale is important because it helps in determining the decision. It also helps in interpreting data from a variable. The research variable itself is a quantity whose value changes throughout the population and can be measured. Like a sample of employed individuals.

Variables for the population group such as location, industry, gender, skills, age, type of job, etc. Each employee has a different variable value in the sample.

Scale is not only used to calculate maps. There is another meaning of the diction “scale”, it can be interpreted as a comparison in a measurement. As is the case in the field of psychology.


Various Measurement Scales

Sugiyono grouped measurement scales into several groups as follows.

1. Likert scale

The likert scale is used to measure the opinion, attitude, and perception of a person or group of people about social phenomena. In research, social phenomena are usually defined specifically by the researcher. The social phenomenon is called a research variable.

2. Guttman scale

The guttman scale is a measurement scale that will get a firm answer, namely “yes or no”; “true or false”; “positive or negative”; “ever or never”; and so on. The data obtained is in the form of interval data or dichotomous ratio.

3. Differential Scale

This scale is used to measure attitudes. The format is not in the form of a handa choice or a checklist, but arranged in a continuous line where the “very positive” answer is located on the right side of the line and the “very negative” answer is on the left side of the line or vice versa. The data obtained is in the form of interval data and is usually used to measure certain attitudes or characteristics of a person.

4. Rating Scale

The three data above are in the form of qualitative data that will be quantified. Meanwhile, the rating scale is a scale whose raw data is numerical or quantitative, then interpreted in qualitative explanations.

Unlike Sugiyono, Sekaram and Roger grouped the measurement scale into four groups as follows.

1. Nominal Scale

The nominal scale is the lowest scale or level of measurement from the other three ways of characterizing data. Nominal data has the meaning “only in name”. Nominal information or data refers to data related to labels, categories, and names. The data obtained are measured with a qualitative approach.

A nominal scale is a measurement that allows researchers to group according to categories or groups. This measurement scale is allowed to use words, letters, and other alphanumeric symbols. In a nominal scale, numbers are only used to group variables and there is no implied order whatsoever.

For example, the variable of gender, respondents are grouped into two, namely men and women. These two groups are given codes A and B.

2. Ordinal Scale

The ordinal scale groups the variables at the same time making a sequence according to the agreed categories. An ordinal scale presents more information than a nominal scale. In the ordinal scale, there is a strong relationship between research variables.

The ordinal scale provides space for Reader to sort items using ordinal numbers to indicate position or rank in sequence. For example, order from best to worst, with numbering 1, 2, 3, and other forms of order.

3. Interval scale

An interval scale presents more information than an ordinal scale because there is a guarantee that the difference between values ​​is the same. The interval data scale is an ordinal scale with equivalent scale values ​​from low to high intervals.

Interval scales can be used when dealing with data that can be ordered, but do not have a starting point. By applying the measurement interval scale, quantitative data will be obtained.

The interval scale has three characteristics among which the values ​​have a meaningful order, there is no real zero or natural zero, and the distance between levels can be measured.

Interval scale is a scale with grouping based on sequence while providing information from several different variables. For example, a person’s addiction to a device is given an interval scale of 1-2-3-4-5 where the value is 1: very dissatisfied; 2: not satisfied; 3: normal; 4: satisfied; 5: very satisfied.

4. Ratio Scale

A ratio scale is a scale that can give the meaning of comparison or multiplication. The ratio scale provides a level by ensuring that there is an equal difference between the scale values ​​and having a true zero point. Therefore, the ratio scale is the most informative scale because it combines nominal, ordinal, and interval scales.

The division between the points on the ratio scale measurement has an equivalent distance between them. Therefore, on the ratio measurement scale, not only the sum and difference can be calculated, but also the ratio. A measurement can be divided by a non-zero measurement and a meaningful number will be produced.