Map Scale Equivalents

Maps scales can be expressed as a ratio or as a distance on the ground to a distance on a map.

For example, Ordnance Survey Landranger maps are 1:50,000. This means that 1cm on the map is 0.5km (or 500m which is 50,000cm) on the ground.

In the UK, we tend to look at distances in miles and maps in inches. The following is a list of scales and their approximate ‘Miles to Inches’ conversions:

Map Scales
Map ScaleMiles to Inches
 1:10,000 1 mile = 6.25 inches
 1:11,400 1 mile = 5.5 inches
 1:14,000 1 mile = 4.5 inches
 1:15,000 1 mile = 4.2 inches
 1:20,000 1 mile = 3 inches 
 1:25,000 1 mile = 2.5 inches
 1:42,000 1 mile = 1.5 inches
 1:63,000 1 mile = 1 inch 
 1:100,000 1.6 miles = 1 inch 
 1:126,700 2 miles = 1 inch
 1:150,000  2.4 miles = 1 inch
 1:200,000 3 miles = 1 inch
 1:253,000 4 miles = 1 inch
 1:300,000 5 miles = 1 inch
 1:350,000 5.5 miles = 1 inch
 1:435,000 7 miles = 1 inch
 1:500,000 8 miles = 1 inch
 1:515,000 8.15 miles = 1 inch
 1:560,000 9 miles = 1 inch
 1:625,000 10 miles = 1 inch
 1:760,000 12 miles = 1 inch
 1:800,000 12.6 miles = 1 inch
 1:900,000 14.2 miles = 1 inch
 1:1,000,000 16 miles = 1 inch
 1:1,250,000 20 miles = 1 inch
 1:1,500,000 24 miles = 1 inch
 1:2,000,000 32 miles = 1 inch
 1:2,500,000 39 miles = 1 inch
 1:3,000,000 47 miles = 1 inch
 1:3,250,000 51 miles = 1 inch
 1:3,500,000 55 miles = 1 inch
 1:3,750,000 59 miles = 1 inch
 1:4,000,000 63 miles = 1 inch
 1:5,000,000 79 miles = 1 inch
 1:5,800,000 92 miles = 1 inch
 1:6,000,000 95 miles = 1 inch
 1:10,000,000 158 miles = 1 inch
 1:15,000,000 237 miles = 1 inch
 1:20,000,000 316 miles = 1 inch
 1:30,000,000 473 miles = 1 inch
 1:40,000,000   631 miles = 1 inch

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