1. Some Background

A fundamental measurement in surveying is distance. Contemporary technology uses either electromagnetic energy between a transceiver and reflector or computations between spatial locations derived from satellite positioning. But this wasn't always so. For centuries, distances were determined by repeatedly applying some physical object of known length. As technology evolved, so did the sophistication of the measuring device and accuracy attainable.

This topic will identify primary measuring methodologies, briefly discussing their principles, applications, and primary errors. Many are evolutionary, some quick to come and go, and others still co-exist based on cost and accuracy needs.

While mastery of all chapters is not necessary for effective contemporary distance determination, historical context is important when using modern technology to replicate measurements made with earlier instrumentation. Understanding errors typical with an earlier measurement technology could help explain why we can't match those measurements today. 

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