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I have a Green Trails map at the scale 1:18,000 and a National Geographic map at the scale 1:35,000 and I can't find UTM corner rulers for either of them.

Shouldn't maps from such popular map makers have more common scales? Is there a trick that allows me to use a more common scale and easily convert?

  • You might want to explain what "UTM corner rulers" are :) Good question though! – OddDeer Feb 11 '16 at 7:23
  • I assumed that anyone that would know the answer would know what a UTM ruler is. You can search Amazon or Google for a myriad of examples. I'm looking for some in these specific scales. – Tyler V. Feb 11 '16 at 7:26
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    The problem is that the rulers might be called differently somewhere else etc. Also say something about the "common scales". What would you consider as common? – OddDeer Feb 11 '16 at 7:37
  • I know that as a rapex. Common scales are naturally 1:25,000, 1:50,000, 1:100,000. – gerrit Feb 11 '16 at 10:56
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    I simply download USGS topos (they're public domain) and print them out. I print out the kilometer scale as part of the map. The kilometer scale can be torn off and used for the same purpose as a plastic corner ruler. I tried using corner rulers, and they seemed impractical to me. For one thing, they were always getting worn down so that the scales became scratched up and hard to read. – Ben Crowell Feb 12 '16 at 4:40
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Map scales are decided by the cartographer based on what they think is the the best scale for the map they're producing. This is naturally a judgment call sort of like the projection of the map. If you feel like the cartographer's choice is unbearable then I'd suggest you find a different map that covers the same territory. I believe you can find complete topo maps for all or virtually all of the lower 48 United States offered by the Bureau of Land Management offices. These maps are more general purpose maps so their scales and projections are going to be fairly standard. Also this is a big source of maps so the scales and projections they support will be broadly supported by tooling.

After a little bit of web searching I wasn't able to locate a 1:18,000 UTM corner rule. I did find a company that offers a broad variety of UTM corner rules including one at 1:35,000. This is a kilometer scale, but you should be able to easily convert that to miles if needed.

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You can make your own easy enough. Just print onto a clear transparency (used primarily in overhead projectors). Tape that onto some clear plastic (can purchase at Home Depot and maybe art store).

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