Spatial scale

In the physical sciences, spatial scale or simply scale refers to the order of magnitude of extent or size of a land area or geographical distance studied or described.

Examples of scales in geography and metereology
ScaleLengthAreaDescription
Micro1 m – 1 km1 m2 – 1 km2local
Meso1 km - 100 km1 km2 - 10,000 km2regional
Macro100 km - 10,000 km10,000 km2 - 100,000,000 km2continental
Mega> 10,000 km> 100,000,000 km2global

For instance, in physics an object or phenomenon can be called microscopic if too small to be visible. In climatology, a micro-climate is a climate which might occur in a mountain, valley or near a lake shore. In statistics, a megatrend is a political, social, economical, environmental or technological trend which involves the whole planet or is supposed to last a very large amount of time. The concept is also used in geography, astronomy, and meteorology.

These divisions are somewhat arbitrary; 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.

See also

See also

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