Class 5 - Scale, Reference, and Coordinate Systems

  1. Define map scale
  2. List and describe several ways of expressing scale on a map
  3. Discuss how scale factor influences scale
  4. Transform map scales
  5. List several common reference systems
  6. Describe why coordinate systems are used on maps
  7. Describe the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM)coordinate system
  8. Describe the Universal Polar Stereographic (UPS) coordinate system
  9. Describe the State Plane (SPC) Coordinate System
  10. Describe the Public Land Survey System (PLSS)


  • map
  • map scale
  • representative fraction (RF)
  • verbal statement
  • graphic or bar scale
  • scale factor (SF)
  • geographical coordinate system
  • rectangular or plane coordinates
  • cartesian coordinates
  • origin
  • abscissa
  • ordinate
  • grid reference
  • easting
  • northing
  • false easting
  • north easting
  • Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM)
  • zones
  • Universal Polar Stereographic (UPS)
  • State Plane Coordinate (SPC)
  • US Rectangular Land Survey System or the Public Land Survey System (PLSS)


Chapter 6 - Scale, Reference and Coordinate Systems

Elements of Cartography

Click here to get the PowerPoint supplement - (refresh page is file does not download)


Collaborative mapping with Google Maps.
  1. Create a google account.
  2. Send me your email and I will invite you to collaborate on a map of our class.
  3. Create a point where you live. Change the icon to something you like.
  4. Draw a line, tracing the roads, from your house to school.
  5. Include any other 'points of interest' on you way to school.
  6. Click 'Link to this page'
  7. Click 'Customize and preview embedded map'
  8. Zoom into the extent you want to display.
  9. Select all the code.
  10. Login to your blog
  11. Create a new post
  12. Click the 'Edit HTML' tab
  13. Paste the HTML into the window
  14. Preview your blog
  15. It should look something like below!

View Larger Map

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