The scale of a map indicates the ratio between the size graphical representation of the objects drawn on the map to the size of their equivalent on the actual landscape. On a map with a 1:1'000 scale, a 100x50 meter soccer field is represented by a 10x5 cm rectangle.
In Namibia , topographic maps are produces at scales 1:50'000 and 1:250'000.
One centimetre on a 1:50'000 map corresponds to 500 metre on the ground.
Inversely, 1 km on the ground is represented by 2 cm on the map.
On a 1:250'000 map, 1 cm corresponds to 2.5 km, and 1 km is represented by 4mm.
Scale is traditionally represented by a numerical value ("1:50'000") and by a graphical scale bar, more convenient to assess and measure distance, for those having problems with calculations!
Just as a 1/8 of a cake is smaller than 1/5 of the same cake, a 1:250'000 scale is a said to be a smaller scale than 1:50'000.