You are on page 1of 2

A Hand-Made Inclinometer

The height of buildings, trees, towers and other tall structures can be determined by using a simple hand-made inclinometer similar to the one shown in the illustration below.

The four parts of the instrument consist of a sighting tube, a rough protractor, a string and a suitable weight. Together the four parts will allow you to compare the height of a known pole to that of a taller object or structure. The mathematics involved is based on the idea of similar triangles allowing proportional calculations.

A model of the rough protractor allows the angle instrument to be attached to the sighting tube. The weighted string will allow the important same vertical angle measurement to be used to model similar triangles as shown in the diagram below