trilateration

[trahy-lat-uh-rey-shuhn]
noun Surveying.
a method of determining the relative positions of three or more points by treating these points as vertices of a triangle or triangles of which the angles and sides can be measured.

Origin:
trilater(al) + -ation

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To trilateration
Collins
World English Dictionary
trilateration (ˌtraɪlætəˈreɪʃən)
 
n
a method of surveying in which a whole area is divided into triangles, the sides of which are measured, usually by electromagnetic distance measuring for geodetic control or by chain survey for a detailed survey

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  trilateration
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  a method of surveying in which triangle sides are measured, usually by electronic means; cf. triangulation
Etymology:  tri 'triangle' + latus 'side' + -ation
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014 Dictionary.com, LLC
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

trilateration

method of surveying in which the lengths of the sides of a triangle are measured, usually by electronic means, and, from this information, angles are computed. By constructing a series of triangles adjacent to one another, a surveyor can obtain other distances and angles that would not otherwise be measurable. Formerly, trilateration was little used in comparison to triangulation, a method for determining two sides and an angle of a triangle from the length of one side and two angles, because of the difficulty of the computations involved. But the development of electronic distance-measuring devices has made trilateration a common and preferred system. Except that only lines are measured, while all angles are computed, the field procedures for trilateration are like those for triangulation.

Learn more about trilateration with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Mathematically speaking, the system uses trilateration.
To compute position, the system is based on satellite trilateration or
  triangulation.
Position information can be determined via triangulation or trilateration.
The primary control network can be measured as a trilateration network only.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature