Article Index

1. Theory

The oldest form of distance measuring instrument is the human body. It's a convenient instrument because it's always available - you never forget to bring it along. Some units derived from the body include:

  • Distance from end of middle finger of outstretched arm to nose is a yard.
  • A hand is four inches
  • The middle joint length of the little finger is an inch.
  • The foot is, well, from a foot

Although handy, such measurements aren’t useful when you have long distances to measure.

Another form of measurement using the body is pacing: basically controlled walking, Figure B-1.

Figure B-1
Pacing

Walking at a uniform steady rate means footfalls are generally equally spaced. With pacing, longer distances become easier to measure.

 

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