Linear Measurement


What is Linear Measurement?

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Linear measurement is the measurement of the distance between the two-point or object, or it can also be defined as the gap between the leftmost end to the rightmost end. In the desired system of units, linear measurement is done for the objects in the linear dimension.

Linear Measurement

Types of Linear Measurement Devices

Linear measurement is achieved by various instruments, depending on the type of instrument used for measurement. It can be divided into a direct measurement method, an optical measurement method, and an electronic measurement method.

Direct Measurement Method - It is obtained by measuring directly using some of the simple equipment. The direct methods used in the fieldwork using a chain or chape. All the instruments used for the chaining process in the direct method are chains,  tapes, arrows, ranging rods and offset rods, pegs, and the plumb-bob.

Optical Measurement Method - In the optical measurement method, observations are taken through the telescope, and calculations are done for distance as in tachometer or in triangulation. The tachometer is a type of surveying method used to determine the horizontal distance from to and evolution of a point.

Electromagnetic Methods - In electromagnetic methods, the distances are measured with the help of instruments that are based on propagation, reflection, and subsequent reception of either radio or light waves. Some of the instruments used in the electromagnetic method are Geodimeter, Tellurometer, and Decca Navigator, etc. All the methods were found due to the problems faced in convention taping distance measurement.

Basic Tools of Linear Measurements

Some of the basic tools used for linear measurements are given below.

  • Ruler – The standard rulers generally measure 15 and 30 cm with markings in mm, cm on top and inches on the bottom, Some of the 15 cm rulers you would have used in the schools.


  • Measuring Tape – The measuring tape is more commonly used to measure longer objects like walls, pieces of fabric and tiles. A measuring tape has metric markings and U.S. customary markings, and there are different kinds of tapes for different purposes. Like foldable smooth tape is used by tailors and steel tape is used for construction purposes.

Measuring Tape

The markings on the tape and ruler are in the metric and customary system and the next section lists the different units of measurement for length and height. Using measuring instruments like a ruler and a scale, it would be very easy to measure the object in the surroundings like a pencil, shoe, remote, car, spoon, and a toy.

Applications of the Linear Measurement

Measuring is the quantitative analysis and it is the primary step for the measurement of distance. Some of the measurable quantities include such as length, breadth, and height, the knowledge of physical and linear dimensions of objects is used in learning geometry, drawing scalable maps, architecture, and estimating unknown quantities for shapes with the help of formulas.

Various Standards of Linear Measurement

According to the linear dimension measurement, there are three important standards used for the linear measurement are:

  • Imperial Standard Yard - According to this standard 1 yard = 11 feet and 1 foot = 12 inches.

  • International Prototype Meter - According to this standard 1 m = 100 cm and 100 cm = 1000 meter.

  • Wavelength Standard - Accordion to this standard 1m = 1650763.73 light waves of a red-orange line of Krypton-86.

The different methods used for doing linear centimeter measurements are the line standard method of measurement, end standard method of measurement, line and end standard method of measurement.

Fun Facts

  • In the early days, the basis of acceptable measurement was the length of the body.

  • According to the order of King Edward II of England, one inch is equal to 3 grains of barley from end to end.

  • The feet of the Cossutius statue in Rome measured 30.49 cm, which is the measure of 1 foot.

  • The Romans used copper measuring rods in the 16th century for construction and construction purposes.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Linear Measurement in Surveying?

Answer. In an engineering survey, the horizontal linear distance is to be measured to complete the survey, This measurement is done between the two points on the earth's surface. Linear measurement in surveys is achieved by the use of several instruments.

2. What is Chaining?

Answer. The process of taking measurements, with the help of chains or tapes is known as chaining. Chaining operations include various operations like fixing the stations, unfolding the chain, ranging, measuring the distance, and finally folding the chain.