What Is Scale?

Scale is the ratio of a dimension of a model to the same dimension in an object or figure. It helps shrink real-world objects down to a more manageable size, such as in blueprints used by machine makers and architects.

A number of studies have outlined current practices and reported on limitations in scale development. Ten main limitations were identified:


A graduated sequence of intervals dividing an octave that can be used to construct melodies. In music, scales are often conventionalized within particular cultures and musical traditions.

A standard amount of money paid for a service, typically union-negotiated amounts. She was pleased to be paid on scale this year.

The ratio of the dimensions of an object depicted in a map, plan or model to the corresponding dimensions on the earth. It can also refer to the ratio of one length to another when associated with a bar scale, for example on an architect’s drawing.

In art, the ability of a sculpture or painting to convey scale. In cinema, the technique of establishing scale with the positioning of a character. Also:


The term scale comes from the graduated lines of a balance, as used in measuring and weighing things. It also refers to a ratio that helps in representing real-world figures and objects on blueprints or models with comparatively smaller dimensions.

In statistics the term scale is sometimes used for a set of data values (mean, median, standard deviation and variance) that are independent of change of origin and change of scale. This property is called isotropy. A conformal map projection has isotropy, as does a logarithmic scale.

Scale also means a number, rank or rating system; as in a pay scale or a patient’s scale of therapies. You can also use the word to rate things on a larger scale, such as an earthquake measured on the Richter scale or a building built to scale. To scale something means to climb up or over it; Hilary and Norgay were the first to scale Everest. The word is also used to describe the hard, white spots that form on showers, sinks and tubs in areas where water usage is heavy.


If a shape is scaled up, its dimensions change to fit the new size but the sizes of its angles remain the same. For example, if shape AA is scaled by a factor of 22, each side in the scale drawing will be doubled but the corresponding angles will still be identical to those of AA. Scaled shapes are then referred to as images and the originals are known as preimages.

In statistical analysis, it is important to understand how the size of a data set varies and this is measured by scale variation. The scale of a data set is influenced by both its extent and grain. Changing the grain but keeping the extent the same produces larger average differences in data values while decreasing the amount of variability near the center of the distribution. Increasing both the extent and grain results in a more even distribution of data values. This is often referred to as smoothing.


Scalability is essential for apps to function properly and ensure they have the resources needed during peak usage. This is accomplished through various methods, including vertical and horizontal scaling.

Vertical app scalability involves increasing the number of servers or computing power that an application uses to manage increased traffic. It can also be achieved by adding more memory or processing power to existing servers.

The concept of scale can be applied to a variety of areas and business functions. For example, a growing company can increase its market reach by expanding into new regions or markets. It can also expand its facilities to increase production capacity and meet customer demand.

Businesses can apply the principle of scale by offering more products or services to customers, thereby generating additional revenue and creating a barrier to entry for new competitors. This type of growth is also known as network effects and can result in a strong competitive advantage for established companies.

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