Fact Sheet 015–02
The proportion chosen for a particular map is its scale. Selecting the appropriate scale depends on the size of the sheet of paper and the accurate placement of features. Ground area, rivers, lakes, roads, distances between features, and so on must be shown proportionately smaller than they really are.
First posted February 2002
Supersedes FS 038–00 and FS 056–98—No online version available
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U.S. Geological Survey, 2002, Map scales: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 015–02, 2 p., available only online at http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2002/0015/.