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Historical society learns about surveying in the early days of the county

June 11, 2009
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Guest Writer

Emery County Progress: Ben Grimes set up a slide presentation in the Courthouse Canyon room about A. D. Ferron. Grimes lives in Elmo. He said that, "He is a newcomer though, because he has only lived in Elmo 36 years." Grimes is a professional land surveyor and works currently for Carbon County as a surveyor. He has worked for several companies in Utah as a surveyor over a period of 40 years. Grimes started the meeting answering questions about surveying problems he has observed in Utah.

Grimes told the group that the early surveyors used latitude and longitude by taking readings from the sun and the stars to their location on the globe. They did not have GPS equipment in those days. When early surveyors started in this country they brought over the English system of using latitude and longitude. As equipment improved the surveyors upgraded. In 1927 the NAD or North American Datum was established. Government surveyors figured out where the United States was on the globe and they called that the NAD and gave it at a certain location. The major problem surveying is that you have a round earth that you are trying to map. But you cannot draw a round map, you have to flatten it out, you have to figure out what they call projections as a way to make the round earth flat, then you can map it. This flattening brings in a lot of other problems.

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