Scale (spatial)

Jump to: navigation, search

Spatial scale provides a "shorthand" form for discussing relative lengths, areas, distances and sizes of geographic features or conditions. A microclimate, for instance, is one which might occur in a mountain valley or near a lakeshore, whereas a megatrend is one which involves the whole planet.

It is important to realize that these divisions are more or less arbitrary, and where, on this table, mega- is assigned global scope, it may only apply continentally or even regionally in other contexts. The interpretations of meso- and macro- must then be adjusted accordingly.

Scale Length Area 'Locale
Micro 1 m - 1 km 1 m2 - 1 km2 local
Meso 1 km - 100 km 1 km2 - 100 km2 regional
Macro 100 km - 10 000 km 100 km2 - 10 000 km2 continental
Mega > 10 000 km >10 000 km2 global