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To calculate distances using map scales, measure the map distance and multiply by the scale's ratio.

Map scales are essential tools in geography that help us understand real-world distances on a map. A map scale is typically represented as a ratio, such as 1:50,000, which means that 1 unit on the map equals 50,000 units in reality. To calculate distances, you first need to measure the distance between two points on the map using a ruler. For example, if the distance between two points on the map is 5 cm, and the map scale is 1:50,000, you would multiply 5 cm by 50,000.

Here's a step-by-step guide:

1. **Measure the Map Distance**: Use a ruler to measure the distance between two points on the map. Let's say the distance is 5 cm.

2. **Understand the Scale**: Check the map's scale, which might be something like 1:50,000. This means 1 cm on the map represents 50,000 cm in real life.

3. **Convert the Measurement**: Multiply the map distance by the scale factor. In this case, 5 cm (map distance) x 50,000 (scale) = 250,000 cm.

4. **Convert to Useful Units**: Since 250,000 cm is not very practical, convert it to more useful units like kilometres. There are 100,000 cm in a kilometre, so 250,000 cm ÷ 100,000 = 2.5 km.

Therefore, the real-world distance between the two points is 2.5 km. This method can be applied to any map scale, whether it's in centimetres, inches, or another unit, as long as you consistently use the same units throughout your calculations. Remember, practice makes perfect, so try measuring different distances on various maps to get the hang of it!

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