Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Help

Physical & Digital Collections

Cartographic resources: Scales & Projections

Describes the collection of Cambridge University Library's Map Department, give tips on finding maps, etc., and points to other resources, including the Map Department web pages

Scales

The scale of the map determines how much detail a map can show.

  • A Large Scale map (e.g. 1:2,500) can show the shapes of buildings.
  • A Small Scale map (e.g. 1:100,000) can only show the location of larger isolated buildings or generalised built up areas.

There is an excellent explanation of map scale on the University of Reading's Maps LibGuide

See also:

Map Scale Illustrated

Ordnance Survey 5 foot map Cambridge 1888

Ordnance Survey 1:500 scale map of Cambridge, 1888

Ordnance Survey 25 inch map Cambridge 1888

Ordnance Survey 1:2,500 (25 inches to the mile) scale map of Cambridge, 1888

Ordnance Survey six inch map Cambridge 1889

Ordnance Survey 1:10,560 (6 inches to the mile) scale map of Cambridge, 1889

Ordnance Survey one inch map Cambridge 1946

Ordnance Survey 1:63,369 (1 inch to the mile) scale map of Cambridge, 1846

Picture credit: National Library of Scotland. Click on picture to see full sheet on NLS web site

Projections

The earth is spherical (more or less) but a piece of paper is flat. A map projection is needed to show the spherical surface of the earth on a flat map. There are many different projections 

There is an excellent explanation of map scale on the University of Reading's Maps LibGuide

See also:

Also available online as a E-legal deposit book or as a pdf on the USGS websire

© Cambridge University Libraries | Accessibility | Privacy policy | Log into LibApps | Report a problem