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Bill93

NGS recovery report unit conversions

8 posts in this topic

I reported a bunch of recoveries in the last couple months, and as I look at the results I see someone is editing them to provide dual units.  I submitted one that gave an approximate tie from a field drive crossing the RR tracks.  I put it in yards so no one would think I had taped it to the nearest foot.  See what I got:

120 YDS (109.7 M) NORTHEAST OF A FIELD DRIVE

Aarrgg!

Take heed; do the conversions yourself in your recovery reports so the result doesn't look idiotic.

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I've noticed this annoying false precision — apparently an automated "feature" — for several years now. I've lived and traveled abroad and am pretty comfortable with the metric system. If the U.S. and the handful of other holdouts (democratic powerhouses Liberia and Myanmar) would convert, I would be happy. But in the meantime I can only wonder why NGS didn't render 120 yards more precisely as 109.728 meters.

-Artman-

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Posted (edited)

This has always been the case, the system is programed to make the conversion.  NGS field crews have worked in meters for a very long time, more precise.  Back in the 1970's when we did coop work with NGS all measurements were metric and then converted to feet when published, never yards.  

Edited by Z15
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I can only wonder why NGS didn't render 120 yards more precisely as 109.728 meters

Because 120 yds is not precise..

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17 minutes ago, Z15 said:

Because 120 yds is not precise

That's what I was complaining about.  If they had converted to whole meters it would be fine, only a slight change in precision from +/-a couple yards to +/-a meter.  But to decimeters??

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Posted (edited)

Yds is not an acceptable survey measurement and I was surprised they had it programmed to convert.   Only uses for yds are football and hunters seem to always speak in yards although I often wonder if they really know what it is.   Never seen anything that measures in yards in my 30 yrs as a Survey Tech at MDOT.  We always measured in meters and feet and compared the results.  

Edited by Z15
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I've seen yards many times in BM descriptions.  See QK0329 for instance.  It is almost never used for anything that was measured carefully, but not uncommon for "ballpark" distances to get you in the vicinity of a mark.

The other place yards are used almost exclusively is golf.

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A six foot tall person can fairly reliable count steps that are a yard (+/-) long.  A bit harder to get that extra 3.37 inches and tally meters.  Being slightly height disadvantaged, my pace stick [as I was trained to use a bunch of years ago by the Forest Service] is now one Smoot (+/-) long.  MEL

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