Scale (ratio)

proportional ratio of a linear dimension of a model to the same feature of the original

The scale of a map shows the ratio between the distances on the map and the corresponding distances in reality. For example, a map of scale 1:50,000 shows a distance of 50,000 cm (or 500 m) as 1 cm on a map. A 1:25 scale model of a building with a height of 30 m has a model height of 1.20 m.

Map of Brazil with two scales

When a drawing or model or photograph of an object is larger or smaller than the original, the scale represents how much the object has been "grown" or "shrunk".

Chromosomes of nonbiting midge larvae, prepared and stained

Scale bars


Scale bars for microscopic or unusual objects are necessary. They help readers to understand the diagram.