200 Proof: Citation not Required

9) Engineer, W. Winckler was published in the Earth Review regarding the Earth’s supposed curvature, stating, “As an engineer of many years standing, I saw that this absurd allowance is only permitted in school books. No engineer would dream of allowing anything of the kind. I have projected many miles of railways and many more of canals and the allowance has not even been thought of, much less allowed for. This allowance for curvature means this – that it is 8” for the first mile of a canal, and increasing at the ratio by the square of the distance in miles; thus a small navigable canal for boats, say 30 miles long, will have, by the above rule an allowance for curvature of 600 feet. Think of that and then please credit engineers as not being quite such fools. Nothing of the sort is allowed. We no more think of allowing 600 feet for a line of 30 miles of railway or canal, than of wasting our time trying to square the circle””

I have no clue what to make of this. I cannot find an Earth Review journal to read the full context. Overall, he is stating that he does not consider the curvature for designing railways or canals. An actual citation would be useful from the author. Otherwise it is saying he just doesn’t worry about the 8 inch per half million inches of road. I was actually to see an engineer say he thought it was important for railways:

We have to deal with it all the time on the railway. I’d imagine roads to be the same.

It’s only really the senior surveyors who get involved in the geodetic transformations though, designers will just design in generic 3d space, and then get coordinates converted to local or global site grids.

Edit.. IIRC the rule of thumb here in the UK is 2mm per 100m, it is actually quite significant.”

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