If it is a map you're drawing, the scale is the ratio of map distance to real-world distance. If it is a published map, the scale is usually found near the legend. It will often be of the form

1 in = 10 mi

or

1 cm = 160 km

or

1:125000

Here is a picture of different map scale indications.

(Note: The above scales are all different, not equivalent.)

1 in = 10 mi

or

1 cm = 160 km

or

1:125000

Here is a picture of different map scale indications.

(Note: The above scales are all different, not equivalent.)