How does a surveyor traipse into the woods and come out with accurate heights, positions, distances and property lines for artifacts in the middle of nowhere? It’s magic, of course, but it is mathematical magic that has been well understood for a good two-thousand years. In last week’s Dispatch I covered the core of that mathematics, which is the simple but incredible marriage between proportions and triangles.
I finished by presenting a fact little understood by the typical person: because of this mathematics you can measure the distance to anything in the world by simply pointing to it. No direct measurement is needed. This week in my continuing series on the magic of surveying I’m going to show how it is done, finishing with an Adirondack example of note. » Continue Reading.