Math 3: The Wonderful World of Scaling (Maps)

Scale models aren't just for planes, trains, and Star Wars action figures... time to talk about maps.

Elementary and Middle School3rd Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:23

Ahem.

00:25

Instead, we'll be thinking about maps, and how they're a kind of scaled image.

00:28

A scaled image is a representation of something… [Barbie dolls either side of a weighing scale]

00:31

…but it's either much smaller…

00:32

…or much larger than that original thing.

00:35

Either way, all of the different parts of the image keep the same relative size to each [Man stood in bedroom with a poster of himself behind him]

00:39

other.

00:40

For example, if you make a scaled image of an elephant's head that's smaller than its

00:43

actual head, its ears will still be really big compared to the rest of its face. [An elephant standing beside a picture of another elephant]

00:47

Though if the elephant's a bit self-conscious, a scaled image isn't gonna help them out.

00:52

Maybe some big earmuffs would do the trick? [Elephant wearing giant ear muffs]

00:54

Scaled images are really important when it comes to making maps.

00:57

Take a look at this map of the United States.

00:59

At a glance, we can see the mountain ranges in the west… [Map of the United State showing the western mountain ranges]

01:02

…as well as the long coastline of the east.

01:05

Without a map, the only way you'd be able to see all that stuff at once is if you were

01:09

in space. [Astronaut floating in space looking down on Earth]

01:10

Though unless you've got hundreds of millions of dollars lying around that you're willing

01:13

to spend on a space vacay, you might wanna stick with the two buck map.

01:17

Okay, let's think about Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes. [Finger points to Lake Michigan on a map]

01:20

If you travelled there and stood on its shores, you'd be able to see that it's huge, with

01:25

big waves, like an ocean, but it'd be hard to tell much else about it. [Man holding surfboard on Lake Michigan shoreline]

01:29

On the other hand, if we were to look at a scaled image of Lake Michigan on a map, we'd

01:33

learn all sorts of stuff.

01:35

Since scaled images are exactly like the originals, just a different size, we'd learn that Lake [Woman points to scaled image of Lake Michigan]

01:39

Michigan is long and narrow, just like it is on the map.

01:43

Plus, since different parts of a scaled image have the same size relative to each other,

01:47

we'd also be able to tell that Lake Michigan is bigger than Lake Erie… [Lake Michigan and Lake Erie circled on the map]

01:51

…but much smaller than Lake Superior.

01:53

Good luck figuring all that out from the middle of Lake Michigan. [Woman stood on a boat in Lake Michigan]

01:56

All you'll learn there is that it's not very fun being wet and cold in the middle of a

02:00

lake, but you probably could have guessed that.

02:02

Similarly, Rhode Island might seem pretty huge if you're walking around it…[Woman walking down the streets of Rhode Island]

02:05

…but if we take a look at a map, we see that it's tiny!

02:09

Well…tiny compared to California.

02:10

A good map shows the real relative sizes of everything on it. [Map of United States with California circled]

02:14

And that's that!

02:15

Now if you'd excuse us, we've got a giant pair of earmuffs to make! [Man wearing giant pair of ear muffs]