 Triangulation Using Trigonometry - Maple Programming Help

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Triangulation Using Trigonometry

Main Concept

Triangulation is the process of pinpointing a certain object or location by taking bearings to it from two remote points.

 Explanation In ancient times, it could be difficult to determine distances, especially for unreachable areas. For example, observers standing on a dock would have difficulty determining the distance to a ship. However with the application of trigonometry they were able to determine how far away the ship was. The two observers stood at a set distance $d={d}_{1}+{d}_{2}$ from each other. They then used their instruments to measure the angles to the boat. Now, the tangent of an angle in a right triangle is the ratio of the length of the opposite side to the length of the adjacent side, in this case: . Therefore we know that , or solving for $L$ and simplifying,

Click on the graph to move the boat. Drag the sliders to move the observers. Compare your reading on the y-axis to the calculated value of L.

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