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By N. Bowditch

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The scale is correct along any meridian and along the standard parallel. All other parallels are too great in length, with the error increasing with increased distance from the standard parallel. Since the scale is not the same in all directions about every point, the projection is neither a conformal nor equal-area projection. Its non-conformal nature is its principal disadvantage for navigation. Since the scale is correct along the standard parallel and varies uniformly on each side, with comparatively little distortion near the standard parallel, this projection is useful for mapping an area covering a large spread of longitude and a comparatively narrow band of latitude.

Thus, a chart of scale 1:100,000 is large scale when compared with a chart of 1:1,000,000 but small scale when compared with one of 1:25,000. 35 As scale decreases, the amount of detail which can be shown decreases also. Cartographers selectively decrease the detail in a process called generalization when producing small scale charts using large scale charts as sources. The amount of detail shown depends on several factors, among them the coverage of the area at larger scales and the intended use of the chart.

2. A statement that a given distance on the earth equals a given measure on the chart, or vice versa. For example, “30 miles to the inch” means that 1 inch on the chart represents 30 miles of the earth’s surface. Similarly, “2 inches to a mile” indicates that 2 inches on the chart represent 1 mile on the earth. This is some- NAUTICAL CHARTS times called the numerical scale. 3. A line or bar called a graphic scale may be drawn at a convenient place on the chart and subdivided into nautical miles, meters, etc.

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American Practical Navigator by N. Bowditch


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