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Geodesy for the layman (or woman) from NGA

NGA’s document “Geodesy for the layman”

What is geodesy? Who needs it and why?

These are some of the questions asked by many people. Actually, geodesy is nothing new having been around for centuries. Webster defines geodesy as “that branch of applied mathematics which determines by observation and measurement the exact positions of points and the figures and areas of large portions of the earth’s surface, the shape and size of the earth, and the variations of terrestrial gravity.” It is a specialized application of several familiar facets of basic mathematical and physical concepts. In practice, geodesy uses the principles of mathematics, astronomy and physics, and applies them within the capabilities of modern engineering and technology. A thorough study of the science of geodesy is not a simple undertaking. However, it is possible to gain an understanding of the historical development, a general knowledge of the methods and techniques of the science, and the way geodesy is being used to solve some Department of Defense (DoD) problems.

Visit here for the full NGA document “Geodesy for the layman”

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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