Conversations about land, whether for agricultural or real estate purposes, typically involve a lot of measurements. One word that gets thrown around a lot is “acres,” which we all know is a unit of area for land.

But have you ever considered just how much one acre of land is? What about 17 acres?

There are multiple ways to think of 17 acres by converting it into more recognizable units, such as square feet. However, if you want to truly understand how big 17 acres is, you need to be able to visualize it.

Furthermore, to visualize 17 acres, you should be able to visualize and comprehend one acre.

## The Origin of Acre as a Unit of Land Measurement

Throughout history, human beings have used multiple measurements of land area. Interestingly, these earlier units were based on how much work farmers do or how much a particular piece of land can produce. Consequently, many of these units would often greatly vary with factors such as climate and soil quality.

One of these units of measurement was acres. People started using acres as a unit of area for agricultural land in the Middle Ages. However, the definition of an acre at this time was somewhat vague.

Initially, one acre was defined as an area of land that a man and an ox could plow in one day. Today, though, there are more formal and precise definitions.

## What is an Acre?

An acre is a standard unit of area in the imperial and US customary systems.

The historical definition of an acre is an area of land that measures 1 furlong in length and 4 poles in breadth. What are furlongs and poles, you ask? They’re simply units of length that were common at that time, as were “rods” and “perches,” which is why people often used the abbreviation “a.r.p” when measuring area (a.r.p = acre, rod, and perch/pole).

But let’s use terms we are more familiar with: An acre is an area of land with sides measuring 660ft by 66ft. The rectangular land shape was a result of long strips of arable land, each with furrows running lengthwise.

That being said, the shape of an acre of land is not exclusively rectangular. Instead, an acre of land can assume virtually any shape.

## What Does an Acre Equate to?

As mentioned previously, an acre of land can take on virtually any shape. However, it’s easier to consider an acre in terms of square units of area. One acre of land is roughly equal to the following:

- 1640th of a square mile
- 4,840 square yards.
- 43,560 square feet
- 4,047 square meters
- 40% of a hectare (1 hectare = 10,000 meters square or a square area of land with 100m sides).

Indeed, one acre comprises quite a lot of land. Using the equivalence given above, you can easily calculate how big is 17 acres.

## How Big is 17 Acres?

Now that you know how big one acre of land is in terms of different units of area, you can easily calculate the equivalent size of 17 acres.

A square area of 17 acres of land roughly measures 866ft by 866 ft. Furthermore, 17 acres of land are approximately equal to the following measurements:

- 0.026 square miles
- 169,400 square yards
- 740,520 square feet
- 68,796.6 square meters
- 6.9 hectares

## How to Visualize 17 Acres

It might be better to picture 17 acres of land with reference to other structures (instead of numbers), including the following:

- An American football field measures 57,600 square feet, and one football field is just a little larger than an acre of land. Hence, 17 acres of land are roughly equal to 12.8 football fields.
- A standard tennis court measures around 2,808 square feet. Therefore, 17 acres of land can fit just about 264 tennis courts.
- NBA basketball courts are typically around 4,700 square feet. This means that 17 acres of land are roughly equal to 156 NBA basketball courts.
- While it differs from store to store, target stores generally have 125,000 square feet. Hence, 17 acres of land could squeeze in 6 target stores.
- City blocks are typically 217,800 square feet in area, equal to 5 acres. Thus, you could build around three city blocks on 17 acres of land, with plenty of space to spare.

## Conclusion

You can visualize 17 acres of land in countless ways, using various reference points. If you want to use your own reference, all you have to do is find out the area of your reference in square feet. Then, divide 740,520 by the reference area (740,520 square feet is 17 acres of land).

Whatever number you get, that’s how many of your reference points you could fit into 17 acres of land.