This **resolution scale calculator** is used to compute the **physical size** of an object or area and its **representation** in an image or map, in **cartography**, **remote sensing**, and **digital imaging**.

A map where

1 centimeterrepresents1 kilometerin the real world. Theresolution scalein this case would be1:100,000(1 cm : 100,000 cm). This scale informs us about thelevel of detailandaccuracywe can expect from the map.

## Resolution Scale Calculator

Image Distance | Ground Distance | Calculation | Resolution Scale |
---|---|---|---|

1 cm | 1 km | 1 : 100,000 | 1:100,000 |

2 inches | 1 mile | 2 : 63,360 | 1:31,680 |

5 mm | 100 m | 5 : 100,000 | 1:20,000 |

10 cm | 5 km | 10 : 500,000 | 1:50,000 |

1 inch | 1000 feet | 1 : 12,000 | 1:12,000 |

2 cm | 500 m | 2 : 50,000 | 1:25,000 |

1 mm | 10 m | 1 : 10,000 | 1:10,000 |

3 inches | 2 miles | 3 : 126,720 | 1:42,240 |

5 cm | 1 km | 5 : 100,000 | 1:20,000 |

1 foot | 500 yards | 1 : 1,500 | 1:1,500 |

2 mm | 50 m | 2 : 50,000 | 1:25,000 |

4 inches | 4 miles | 4 : 252,480 | 1:63,120 |

10 mm | 1 km | 10 : 100,000 | 1:10,000 |

2 feet | 1000 feet | 2 : 12,000 | 1:6,000 |

1 cm | 100 m | 1 : 10,000 | 1:10,000 |

## Resolution Scale Calculation Formula

The **general formula** for calculating resolution scale is:

`Resolution Scale = Image Distance : Ground Distance`

Where:

Image Distanceis the measurement on the image or mapGround Distanceis the corresponding real-world measurement

**For example….**

- If using
**metric units**:`Scale = x cm on map : y km on ground`

- For
**imperial units**:`Scale = x inches on map : y miles on ground`

If **2 cm** on a map represents **10 km** on the ground, the scale would be:

`2 cm : 10 km = 2 cm : 1,000,000 cm = 1 : 500,000`

## How to Calculate Resolution Scale?

**Measure the distance**on your image or map**Determine the corresponding real-world distance****Convert units**if necessary to ensure**consistency****Express the ratio**in its**simplest form**

Let’s say you have an **aerial photograph** where a **5-inch line** represents a **2-mile stretch** of road.

- Image distance:
**5 inches** - Ground distance:
**2 miles** - Convert
**2 miles**to inches:**2 * 63,360 = 126,720 inches** - Express the ratio:
**5 : 126,720** - Simplify:
**1 : 25,344**

The **resolution scale** is **1:25,344**.

## What is the Resolution of a Scale?

The **resolution of a scale** refers to the **smallest discernible difference** that can be measured or represented at a given scale. It’s a **critical factor** in determining the **accuracy** and **detail level** of maps, images, or measurements.

In cartography, scale resolution indicates the **smallest feature** that can be accurately depicted on a map. For digital images, it relates to the **size of individual pixels** relative to the area they represent.

**Map scale**: On a **1:50,000 scale map**, **1 mm** represents **50 meters** on the ground. Features smaller than **50 meters** might not be accurately depicted.

**Satellite imagery**: If a satellite image has a **resolution of 30 meters/pixel**, objects smaller than **30 meters** may not be distinguishable.

**Digital camera**: A **24-megapixel camera** capturing an area of **1 square meter** would have a resolution of about **4,900 pixels per square centimeter**.

**Related Tools:**