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Yolanda Howard
Structural engineer
Asked a question last year

Difference between map and plan?

What is the difference between map and plan?

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Dennis Holt
Entry level engineer
Difference between map and plan?


In simple words, the map is a topographical representation of various elements, location, places, regions etc. all the information present on maps can be seen on site. The map is a study of the whole location. It is given information about important points.

The plan is a dimensional representation place, region, structure, building with various detail information. It also includes hidden data and diagrams. It gives detailed information about small areas in symbolic forms.

The difference between MAP & PLAN are as follows ;

MAP : Generally, MAP is said to be a visual representation of an area. It can also be said as a symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions, and themes. Map contains a lot of information. It shows only the important features of the area.

PLAN : PLAN are a set of two-dimensional diagrams or drawings used to describe a place or an object, or to communicate building or fabrication instructions. In plan details are given in form of symbols. Thus, it can show both length and breadth.

Terry Collins
Sustainability consultant
Difference between map and plan?

Difference between map and plan:

  • The plan has a small scale where a map has a larger scale which covers larger areas.
  • A plant is a true scale representation of any building but the map is drone search that extra features in it which we cannot be drawn to scale
  • In the case of a map, many features are represented in the form of symbols.
  • When I consider an example of 1:1 million maps then the rivers and roads may be shown on that map but we cannot be drawn to a scale.
  • Practically 5 metre Road would be 0.005 mm widest whenever we drew it according to a scale.
A plan is the graphical representation, to some scale, of features on, rear or below the surface of the earth as projected on horizontal plane.If the scale of the graphical representation on a horizontal plane is small, the plan is called a map.
A plan is drawn on a large scale.A map is drawn on a small scale.
Scale: 1 cm = 10 m or  < 10 mScale: 1 cm = 100 m or > 100 m
On a pan, generally horizontal dist’s & directions are shown.On a topographic map, vertical dist’s (elevations) are also shown by contour lines.

A plan is drawn for small area.


e.g. – Plan of house, plan of bridge

A map is drawn for large area.


e.g. – Map of Area

Map is a drawing showing the geographical features, facilities, roads, places, water bodies etc.. (natural & built) preferably covering large areas of land & waters.
Plan is a drawing showing the proposed construction / development indicating the dimensions / measurements for further implementation.