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'technical' Terms In Descriptions..

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Okay, I didn't see this addressed anywhere, and thought I'd ask.. I've now seen a few descriptions reference "paces". (''120 PACES NORTH'') So, how big is an actual pace? 3 feet?

On another note, say a disk is labeled in the directions as "50 feet west of centerline of the highway". West of the highway the ground drops down 10 feet. So, my question is, is it 50 feet along the ground, or 50 feet straight out (to a point 10 feet above the disk)? While it's a small difference, in a few marks, that knowledge would have been ratehr helpful..

Hmm.. I had another question... but have forgotten. Darn memory..

Cheers!

Me.

A 'pace' is not an actual unit of measurement, but a distance of three feet is generally applied to it. The average pace of a man of average height over level & even terrain is about three feet. With practice, a person can effectively pace a few hundred feet with relative accuracy. (For me, 34-35 paces is about 100 feet, and 70 paces is about 200 feet.)

When distances are called out in a description, the distances are always horizontal distances unless called out otherwise. A grade break or slope in the terrain would not make a difference in the horizontal measurement.

- Kewaneh

Also, when a distance is stated as "west of the centerline", it is always measured perpendicular to the centerline, regardless of whether that is exactly west or not. Take the direction as merely an indication of which side of the road it is on.

edit: P.S. just wait until you have to figure out how long a "rail" is when you have to find a mark "30 rails north of the station", or where those poles were when the mark is "3 poles north of the junction".

Edited by holograph

BEWARE of the 1930 marks! They hired about 50 midgets, so their paces are noticably shorter than ours! Then in the 1950's they hired a bunch of giants who averaged 7' 6" so they had really long paces!

Just kidding of course!!!

John

Hmm... I'm 6'2" and have long legs. I figure that my 'pace' is about 2'. It would be awfully nice if they defined these terms! Must be where I went wrong with the cache I tried today. "44 paces NE." That's in the middle of the ATV trails. Even 132' would not have put me anywhere with a good place to hide a cache. Oh, well.

My pace tends to be a little over 2. 5 ft and it is a stretch to go to 3. I'm 5'10". I'm trying to train myself to hold an accurate 2.5 so that I can count "and 5 and 10 and 15 ..." but I don't have the knack yet. I could probably better learn how much stretch it took to get 3' but then the count wouldn't be as nice.

Then there is the problem of single vs double paces. I interpret it as single steps unless there is evidence to the contrary. But the romans apparently counted double steps so that latin for 1000 paces was shortened to "mile". That would be about 2.64 ft per step.

Edited by Bill93

On one of the first days in the first formal survey course I took in school, the instructor took the class to a large, flat, grassy area on campus. We each had 100 foot tape and had had us lay it out and pin it to the ground. We spent the next hour pacing back and forth along that tape, counting our paces. We'd start with our toe at zero and pace to the end, stopping at the last step before going past 100 feet, and measure where the toe of our forward foot was. We'd write the measurement down in our field book and average out every set of ten.

We were told that a distance of three feet was applied to a pace - a single step - and, consequently, at the beginning, everyone tried to pace evenly at three foot spacing. As the hour wore on people began to tire and walk with a normal gait - that's when the true distances of their paces began to show. Truthfully, most were less than three feet. One girl in the class, at 5'1", had a 2.2' pace. A 6'6" guy paced over 3.3'. I (at just under 6'0") paced between 2.8'-2.9'.

For surveyors, a pace is a single step - about three feet. Remember that surveyors are usually the ones who wrote the descriptions for the marks we seek. When 'paces' are used, as a measurement, approximately three feet should be applied to them. When I'm pacing for work, which I (and most surveyors) do nearly daily, I tend to stretch my stride a hair to get to that even three foot and I usually get very close to where I want to be. Even if I'm a foot or two off, I'm a lot closer than I was a few hundred feet back.

- Kewaneh

Remember that surveyors are usually the ones who wrote the descriptions for the marks we seek.

Not true, the descriptions are/were mostly written by the mark builders who for the most part were just labors following established guidlines or working with an experienced Tech. Actually there were very little true surveyors doing this kind of work. Some may have had formal education in the survey or engineering fields but most were people who learned on-the-job, start as a laborer and work your way up. Those wth the advanced education rose to be supervisiors in reality short times.

Edited by Z15

Remember that surveyors are usually the ones who wrote the descriptions for the marks we seek.

Not true, the descriptions are/were mostly written by the mark builders who for the most part were just labors following established guidlines or working with an experienced Tech. Actually there were very little true surveyors doing this kind of work. Some may have had formal education in the survey or engineering fields but most were people who learned on-the-job, start as a laborer and work your way up. Those wth the advanced education rose to be supervisiors in reality short times.

Yes. I realize that. I should have said that the monuments were set and described by persons with some amount of survey training, or under the supervision of someone with some survey training. Some crews were better trained than others, but all had some degree of survey training, even if it was minimal.

- Kewaneh

edit: P.S. just wait until you have to figure out how long a "rail" is when you have to find a mark "30 rails north of the station", or where those poles were when the mark is "3 poles north of the junction".

Funny enough, I actually KNOW a 'rail' is 39 feet long. I work for a railroad, and we don't use the welded stuff - our turns are too tight for that. Some of our rail is still 20-30 years older than I am.

Thanks everyone for your comments - I was figuring a 'pace' was about three feet, but when I couldn't find the two near me that used the term, I figured I'd ask.

Cheers!

Me.

This comes from the "1942 Quiz Book on Railroads and Railroading", issued, I think by the Association of American Railroads.

24. What is the standard length of rail?

The present standard length of rail is 39 feet. Some railroads use 45-foot rails; some use 60-foot rails at street crossings. A few years ago the standard length was 33 ft., and before that it was 30 ft.

So without being familiar with the history of the railroad you are searching along you can not be totally sure of the length of rail that was used. 39 feet is a good starting point however.

BTW, the reasoning given for the odd length of 39 feet was that it fit inside a 40' gondola, which is how rails were often transported.

This comes from the "1942 Quiz Book on Railroads and Railroading", issued, I think by the Association of American Railroads.

24. What is the standard length of rail?

The present standard length of rail is 39 feet. Some railroads use 45-foot rails; some use 60-foot rails at street crossings. A few years ago the standard length was 33 ft., and before that it was 30 ft.

So without being familiar with the history of the railroad you are searching along you can not be totally sure of the length of rail that was used. 39 feet is a good starting point however.

BTW, the reasoning given for the odd length of 39 feet was that it fit inside a 40' gondola, which is how rails were often transported.

I was going to say I work for a narrow gage railroad and all our rail is 33 feet long. Probably because of the shorter cars. So keep that in mind when trying to figure out the original length of a rail.

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