BOLTSS and scale
This video provides a basic introduction to maps and the acronym BOLTSS for mapping Border, Orientation, Legend, Title, Scale and Source. Later in the episode scale is explained with worked examples.
This video details the requirements of a map in Stage 4 geography including Border, Orientation, Legend, Title, Scale and Source. When students produce their own maps as a part of fieldwork in geography, they need to remember to follow the BOLTSS rules. Secondly in the episode, the skill of scale is detailed with some very simple worked examples for topographic mapping.
Watch 'BOLTSS and scale' (4:06).
[Screen shows a blue sky with clouds. Text on the screen reads, ‘Curriculum Secondary Learners – HSIE. Teaching geographical skills series. BOLTSS and scale. Presented by Melissa Ellis.’]
Hello. This episode, we are revisiting some basic geography mapping rules.
[Presenter is standing in front of a decorative background. In the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, the text reads, ‘Melissa Ellis. HSIE Curriculum Support Project Officer.’]
Every map should include BOLTSS.
[Screen shows a street map of Katoomba – Leura. The text above the map reads, ‘BOLTSS’.]
A border, or a line around it.
[Screen zooms into the bottom-left corner of the map. An arrow points to the border that surrounds the street map. Text on the screen reads, ‘Border’.]
Orientation, a compass showing the direction.
[Screen pans and zooms to the top-right corner of the map. An arrow points to an image of a compass on the street map. Text on the screen reads, ‘Orientation’.]
Legend, showing a key to the symbols used on the map.
[Screen pans and zooms to the top-left corner of the map. An arrow points to a legend on the street map. Text on the screen reads, ‘Legend’.]
Title, or name of the map, scale, showing how small the map is compared to the real world. Source, where the information came from.
[Screen pans and zooms to the bottom middle of the map. An arrow points to the title of the map, which reads, ‘Katoomba – Leura’. Text on the screen reads, ‘Title’. The arrow then points to the scale on the street map. Text on the screen reads, ‘Scale’. The arrow then points to the source of the street map, which reads, ‘Issued by the publicity department. Blue Mountains City Council’. Text on the screen reads, ‘Source’.]
Something many students struggle with is understanding scale when reading maps. Let's run through some basic rules about scale. We are illustrating something large in a smaller way. Therefore, we use scale on maps. How much detail is shown on a map will depend on the scale that has been used to draw it.
The scale of a map is the ratio of map distance to actual distance. We show scale in many ways, writing in words, representative fraction, by drawing a line scale. An example of scaling words is 1 centimetre to 1 kilometre. This means that 1 centimetre on the map represents 1 kilometre in real life on the ground. Examples of scale in words include 1 centimetre to 1 metre, 1 centimetre to 10 metre, 5 centimetres to 1 kilometre.
The scale of a map can also be shown in numbers. A scale in representative fraction might be 1 to 100, 1 to 1,000, 1 to 10,000, 1 to 100,000, 1 to 250,000. If a map has a representative fraction of 1 to 1,000, then one distance on the map is 1,000 times bigger in real life. It often helps to start with representative fraction of 1 to 100,000. This is a common topographic mapping scale.
[Description not needed: The visuals in this part of the video only support what is spoken; the visuals do not provide additional information.]
Picture putting a line through the last two zeros in the 100,000. This leaves 1,000. We have converted the ratio from millimetres to metres.
[Text on screen reads, ‘1 to 100 000’. A red line appears on the screen to cross out the last 2 zeros.]
The scale then represents 1 centimetre to 1,000 metres or 1 centimetre to 1 kilometre. In words, a scale of 1 to 100,000 is 1 centimetre on the map represents 1 kilometre in real life.
Using this basic method, students should be able to convert ratio scales easily. Let's try this again. 1 to 250,000, 1 centimetre to 2,500 metres, or 1 centimetre represents 2.5 kilometres. One more example, 1 to 10,000. 1 centimetre to 100 metres, or 1 centimetre represents 0.1 kilometres. Line scales, also commonly known as linear scales, is a numbered line showing scale on a map.
[The screen shows a street map. There is a line scale on the bottom-right corner of the image. An arrow points to the scale. Text on the screen reads, ‘Linear scale – line scale’.]
Scale is about practice. Take some time to try all the types of scale presented on maps in geography. The more familiar you are with scale, the easier the skill becomes. All the best.
[Text on screen reads, ‘References
Katoomba Leura Tourist Directory, by E. Coleman at Flickr.com/photos/blue_mountains_library_local_studies/9206840596/in/photostream. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0v’.
Text on the screen reads, ‘Acknowledgements. NSW Geography K-10 syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales 2015. See the NESA website for additional copyright information. NSW Department of Education Curriculum Secondary Learners. Southern Cross School of Distance Education.’
Screen shows an Indigenous artwork. The artwork features a landscape with native Australian animals. It is titled, ‘Our Country’ by Garry Purchase. Text at the top of the screen reads, ‘Filming of these videos has taken place on Bundjalung land.’ Video concludes by displaying the NSW Government logo.]
[End of transcript]