North American Overlay Mapping

The Scale Bar

An individualised Scale Bar is included for every map, except the 2 Overview Maps. It shows horizontal distances of Miles and Kilometres. To toggle on and off the Scale Bar, click on the small 'Scale' button, located to the right of the upper tool bar. When first operated, it will appear in the top left-hand corner of each map. If you click the 'Scale' button, but can't see the Scale-Bar, scroll the map back to the top left-hand corner using the scroll bars or your mouse wheel.

The Scale-Bar can be dragged to any convenient position on the screen. To do this, turn it on as before, place your cursor over the Scale Bar, click-and-hold the left mouse button, then by moving the mouse, the Scale Bar will follow. Release the left mouse button to 'drop' the Scale Bar in the current position. If you turn the scale bar off, then on again, it will stay in the last position that you dragged it to. The position reverts to its default top left-hand corner one when a new map is loaded.

If you have read the Map Projections page of this Help & Information Guide, you will know that with the Equidistant Cylindrical projection used for the maps, distortion increases away from the Equator, and is extreme in polar regions. It is thus true to say that the scale bar should only be used as a guide, and that its accuracy will decrease towards the top and bottom of each map. This would be especially true for the Overview maps, so they do not have a scale bar. For a more accurate measure of distance, add two pins to the map and use the 'Pin Distance' tool - details here.