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Measurement Theory

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Observations

Errors in Measurement

No Measurement is Exact

Every Measurement Contains Errors

The True Value of a Measurement is

Never Known

The Exact Error Present is Always

Unknown

Mistakes or Blunders

Caused by:

Carelessness

Poor Judgement

Incompetence

Sources of Errors

Natural

Environmental conditions: wind, temperature,

humidity etc.

Tape contracts and expands due to

temperature changes

Difficult to read Philadelphia Rod with heat

waves coming up from the pavement

Sources of Errors

Instrumental

Due to Limitation of Equipment

Warped Philadelphia Rod

Theodolite out of adjustment

Kinked or damaged Tape

Sources of Errors

Personal

Limits of Human Performance Factors

Sight

Strength

Judgement

Communication

Types of Errors

Systematic/Cumulative

Errors that occur each time a measurement is

made

These Errors can be eliminated by making

corrections to your measurements

Tape is too long or to short

Theodolite is out of adjustment

Warped Philadelphia Rod

Precision vs. Accuracy

Precision

The Closeness of one measurement to

another

Precision vs. Accuracy

Accuracy

The degree of perfection obtained in a

measurement.

Precision and Accuracy

Rarely Obtainable

Surveyor is happy with Precise Measurements

Computing Precision

Precision:

Probability

normal distribution or bell curve

Observations

Small errors occur more frequently than larger

ones

Positive and negative errors of the same

magnitude occur with equal frequency

Large errors are probably mistakes

Most Probable Value (MPV)

MPV = M

n

The MPV is the sum of all of the measurements

divided by the total number of measurements

Standard Deviation ()

2 = (M-MPV)

n-1

M-MPV is referred to as the Residual

is computed by taking the square root of the

above equation

Example:

the following measurements are recorded: 31.459

m, 31.458 m, 31.460 m, 31.854 m and 31.457 m.

Compute the most probable value (MPV),

standard error and standard error of the mean for

the data. Explain the significance of each

computed value as it relates to statistical theory.

Solution:

31.459 0 0

Sum = 125.834 0.0000060

Solution (continued):

Say +/- 0.001 m

Say +/- 0.001 m

Explanation:

occur. This value represents the peak value on the normal

distribution curve.

would be expected to lie between the values of 31.458 m

and 31.460 m. These values were computed using the

MPV +/- the standard error.

Explanation (continued):

length has a 68.27% chance of being within the values of

31.458m and 31.460 m. These values were computed using

the MPV +/- Em.

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