triangulation

triangulation
/truy ang'gyeuh lay"sheuhn/, n. Survey., Navig.
1. a technique for establishing the distance between any two points, or the relative position of two or more points, by using such points as vertices of a triangle or series of triangles, such that each triangle has a side of known or measurable length (base or base line) that permits the size of the angles of the triangle and the length of its other two sides to be established by observations taken either upon or from the two ends of the base line.
2. the triangles thus formed and measured.
[1810-20; < ML triangulation- (s. of triangulatio) the making of triangles. See TRIANGULATE, -ION]

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in navigation, surveying, and civil engineering, a technique for precise determination of a ship's or aircraft's position, and the direction of roads, tunnels, or other structures under construction. It is based on the laws of plane trigonometry (trigonometry), which state that, if one side and two angles of a triangle are known, the other two sides and angle can be readily calculated. One side of the selected triangle is measured; this is the baseline. The two adjacent angles are measured by means of a surveying device known as a theodolite, and the entire triangle is established. By constructing a series of such triangles, each adjacent to at least one other triangle, values can be obtained for distances and angles not otherwise measurable. Triangulation was used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and other peoples at a very early date, with crude sighting devices that were improved into the diopter, or dioptra (an early theodolite), and were described in the 1st century AD by Heron of Alexandria.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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• Triangulation — Tri*an gu*la tion, n. [Cf. F. triangulation.] (Surv.) The series or network of triangles into which the face of a country, or any portion of it, is divided in a trigonometrical survey; the operation of measuring the elements necessary to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

• Triangulation [1] — Triangulation (trigonometrische Netzlegung, Dreiecksmessung), Inbegriff aller Arbeiten, die bei umfangreichen Vermessungen, insbes. bei Gradmessungen, Landes und Katastervermessungen, die erforderlichen Unterlagen dadurch liefern, daß die Lage… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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• Triangulation [2] — Triangulation, in der Gärtnerei die Veredelung mit dem Geißfuß …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

• Triangulation — (neulat.), Dreiecksaufnahme, Netzlegung, in der Geodäsie die Aufnahmemethode, bei welcher die zu vermessende Fläche in Dreiecke geteilt wird; triangulieren, eine T. vornehmen; auch eine Art des Pfropfens (s.d.) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

• triangulation — 1818, from M.L. triangulationem (mid 12c., nom. triangulatio), noun of action from L. *triangulare, from triangulum (see TRIANGLE (Cf. triangle)) …   Etymology dictionary

• triangulation — [trī aŋ΄gyə lā′shən] n. [ML triangulatio] 1. Surveying Navigation the process of determining the distance between points on the earth s surface, or the relative positions of points, by dividing up a large area into a series of connected triangles …   English World dictionary

• Triangulation — In trigonometry and geometry, triangulation is the process of determining the location of a point by measuring angles to it from known points at either end of a fixed baseline, rather than measuring distances to the point directly. The point can… …   Wikipedia

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