The Nature of Geographic Information

3. Scale as Scope


Often "scale" is used as a synonym for "scope" or "extent." For example, the title of an international research project called The Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (1999) uses the term "large scale" to describe a comprehensive study of environmental systems operating across a large region. This usage is common not only among environmental scientists and activists, but also among economists, politicians, and the press. Those of us who specialize in geographic information usually use the word "scale" differently, however.