• Bryant N. Sturgess
  • Frank T. Carey


Trilateration is a method of control extension, control breakdown, and control densification that employs electronic distance-measuring instruments (EDMIs) to measure the lengths of triangle sides rather than horizontal angles, as in triangulation. The triangle angles are then calculated based upon measured distances by the familiar law of cosines. Trilateration consists of a system of joined and/or overlapping triangles usually forming quadrilaterals or polygons, with supplemental horizontal angle observations to provide azimuth control or check angles. Zenith angles are required where elevations have not been established or differential leveling is not contemplated, in order to reduce slope distances to a common reference datum.


Zenith Angle Angle Observation Group Error Eccentric Position Sight Line 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bryant N. Sturgess
  • Frank T. Carey

There are no affiliations available

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