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Map scales and paper sizes

Scale on a map determines how much data will be displayed.

It is sometimes difficult to relate the distance on a map to a real distance on the Earth. For instance, a map scale of 1:25,000 tells us that 1 unit of measurement represents 25,000 of the same units on the Earth's surface.

If you find map scales confusing, please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Scale examples

On the SmartMap order form, there is an option: 'scale (optional)'.

These are examples of A3 maps where a scale has not been selected on the order form. While these examples are for A3 size, property sales maps are also available in A4 and A2 sizes, and all others are also available in A1 and A0 sizes.

Large scale and small scale

Maps may be referred to as either large-scale or small-scale maps. A large-scale map shows a small area with a large amount of detail. A small-scale map shows a large area with a small amount of detail.

These examples display a highlighted parcel in a large-scale map through to a small-scale map over a suburban area.

Paper sizes for maps

This information may assist you if you select paper size, e.g. A3 or A4, for your SmartMap based on the limitations of your printer.

As later versions of Adobe Acrobat Reader allow a selected area of a SmartMap PDF to be printed, you can select a paper size larger than A4 or A3 for your map, and then print a selected area of this larger SmartMap to your A4 or A3 printer. This represents value for money because an A2 SmartMap is the equivalent of 4 A4 maps, yet costs less.

These examples show how paper size influences the amount of data that is displayed, even though the scale is constant at 1:1500 for all the maps.

Contact us

For more information or assistance ordering SmartMaps, call 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or your nearest business centre.

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