The metric system of weights and measures is used by most industrialized countries around the world, although the United States still uses the Imperial system. The metric system uses meters and centimeters to measure length, while the Imperial system uses feet and inches. When it comes to area, the metric units are meters squared, or square meters, and centimeters squared, or square centimeters, which are actually completely different types of units than meters and centimeters. Those non-squared centimeters measure width, length and height, while square meters measure area. While you can't convert centimeters (cm) to meters squared, you can use centimeters as the basis for a square-meter measurement.
Measure the area's dimensions in centimeters. For example, you may have a square area with sides measuring 400 centimeters each.
Convert your dimensions to meters by diving by 100. In this case, work out
The sides of your area measure 4 meters each.
Multiply width by height to get the area in square meters. In this case, the width and height are the same (4 meters) so work out
The area is 16 meters squared, or 16 m2.
Converting From Centimeters Squared
If you have a measurement in centimeters squared, you can convert it to meters squared by dividing it by 10,000. For example, if your measurement is 800 cm2, work out
The equivalent is 0.08 meters squared, or 0.08 m2. However, remember centimeters and centimeters squared are completely different types of measurement units.
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Claire is a writer and editor with 18 years' experience. She writes about science and health for a range of digital publications, including Reader's Digest, HealthCentral, Vice and Zocdoc.