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# Measurement of distance between places

The linear features shown on the maps can be classified into two broad categories, i.e. straight lines and erratic or zigzag lines.

Measurement of distance between places

The linear features shown on the maps can be classified into two broad categories, i.e. straight lines and erratic or zigzag lines.

## Straight line features

The measurement of straight line features like roads, railway lines and canals is simple. It can be taken directly with a pair of dividers or a scale placed on the map surface.

## Erratic or zig zag lines

However, care should be taken to measure distances , along erratic paths, such as roads, boundaries, coastlines, rivers and streams. The distances along all such features can be measured by placing a thread at the starting point and carrying it along the line up to the end point. The thread is then stretched and measured to determine the distance. It can also be measured by using a simple instrument called Rotameter. The wheel of the ‘rotameter’ is moved along the route or line from start to end and the reading noted down.

## Example

a. Measure the straight line distance between the towns Peel and Castle town.

Step 1. Measure the distance between the towns Peel and Castle town with a scale or thread in cm.(example if it is 2.9 cm)

Step 2. Note the scale of the map in this case 1 cm 5 10km

Step 3. Multiply the measured distance with the scale of the map.(2.9 3 10km 5 29km)

Answer : The distance between the two urban centres is 29 km

b. Measure the irregular line distance between the points A and B.

Step 1. Measure the distance between the two points with the help of a thread.

Step 2. Place the thread on a scale and read the measurement in cm.

(example if it is 3.2cm)

Step 3. Note the scale of the map in this case 1 cm 5 1 km

Step 4. Multiply the measured distance with the scale of the map. (3.2 3 1 km 5 3.2 km)

Answer : The distance between the two points is 3.2 km