Maps with Decimal Distances

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  • 0:01 A Map
  • 0:38 Decimal Distances
  • 1:24 Finding the Missing Distance
  • 3:09 Finding the Total Distance
  • 3:44 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

After watching this video lesson, you will know how to solve problems involving decimal numbers and reading maps. You will be able to find missing distances as well as how to find the total distance.

A Map

Math is all around us. It is used when we go shopping and get a total of all the things we bought. It is used when we drive and need to know how fast to go. It is used in maps to tell us the distance from one point to another, such as the distance from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

In this video lesson, we will look at solving map problems that involve decimal numbers. Decimal numbers are the numbers that have a decimal point. Many times, your distances won't be a whole number but will be a decimal number. It is these problems that we will look at.

Decimal Distances

Take a look at this map. This type of map is something that you might see on a test. It looks like a very simplified version of your typical map. This map only shows the roads that you need to concern yourself with. Your usual map shows you every possible road you can take.

map problem

Also, your usual map just shows you the roads and you have to measure each road to figure out how long it is. But for our problems, our distances are given to us. Each path has a distance attached to it. Since roads end where they end and start where they start, your distances will most likely be in decimal numbers.

map problem

On this map, we see that our distances are in decimal numbers written in miles.

Finding the Missing Distance

For the problems that you will be working with though, you won't always be given all of your distances. You might be asked to find a missing distance. For example, your problem might say the following:

What is the distance between Blythe and Tucson if the total distance from Los Angeles to Tucson is 499.7?

map problem

The map given for this problem has an x for the distance that we need to find.

How do we go about finding the missing distance? Well, we remember that to find the total distance, we need to add up all of our distances. So we can write 224.3 + x = 499.7. We know the total distance already because the problem has already given it to us.

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