# trilateration

## 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

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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

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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
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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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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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.