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Large and Small Scale Maps

Large Scale Map Versus Small Scale Map

A map which depicts a small territory is referred to as a large scale map. This is because the area of land being represented by the map has been scaled down less, or in other words, the scale is larger. A large scale map only shows a small area, but it shows it in great detail. A map depicting a large area, such as an entire country, is considered a small scale map. In order to show the entire country, the map must be scaled down until it is much smaller. A small scale map shows more territory, but it is less detailed.


Globes Help Us Understand Our Planet

Globes have a very important role in helping us understand the shape of our home planet. Because globes are the same shape as the Earth, it is possible to create very accurate globes. We do not have to worry about the distortion that occurs when round continents are flattened out so that they fit on flat maps.



Despite their usefulness, globes have many disadvantages as well. The biggest of these disadvantages is due to the fact that globes represent the entire Earth. Because of this, they will always be small scale representations of the Earth. This means that it is difficult to show very much detail on a globe. Only the largest objects can be depicted, such as the largest lakes and rivers. Smaller lakes, streams and hills simply cannot be shown. Another disadvantage of a globe is that their awkward size and shape makes them difficult to carry around. Imagine trying to fit a globe inside of a glove box, or in your back pocket. Globes are an important tool that geographers use, and that students should study. However, flat maps are much more practical for use in everyday situations.