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A unit of measurement is simply an arbitrary length,  area,  or  volume,  generally  adopted  and agreed upon as a standard unit of measurement. The  basic  standard  for  linear  measurement,  for example,  is  the  meter,  and  the  actual  length  of a meter is, in the last analysis, equal to the length of a bar of metal called the International Meter Bar, one replica of which is kept in the National Bureau  of  Standards,  Washington,  D.C. As  an  EA,  you  will  not  necessarily  be working   with   all   the   units   described   in   this chapter,  and  therefore  need  not  attempt  to memorize them all. Many are included simply to show that units are arbitrary and that there are many  different  kinds  of  units  in  use. UNITS  OF  LINEAR  MEASUREMENT Linear measure is used to express distances and  to  indicate  the  differences  in  their  elevations. The standard units of linear measure are the foot and  the  meter.  In  surveying  operations,  both  of these  standard  units  are  frequently  divided into  tenths,  hundredths,  and  thousandths  for measurements. When   longer   distances   are involved,  the  foot  is  expanded  into  a  statute  or to a nautical mile and the meter into a kilometer. Table  1-1  shows  the  conversion  factors  for  the common  linear  measurements. English Units In  the  English  system,  the  most  commonly used basic unit of linear measurement is the foot, a unit that amounts to slightly more than three- tenths  of  the  international  meter.  In  what  is called  ENGINEER’S  measurement,  the  foot  is subdivided  decimally;  that  is,  into  tenths, hundredths, or thousandths of a foot. In what is called  CARPENTER’S  measurement,  or  English units, the foot is subdivided into twelfths called inches,  and  the  inch  is  further  subdivided  into even-denominator fractional parts, as 1/2 in., 1/4 in.,  1/8  in.,  and  so  on. Fractions  or  multiples  of  the  basic  1-ft  unit are  used  to  form  larger  units  of  linear  measure as  follows: of Spanish  and  Portuguese  origin,  was  formerly used to measure land boundaries in those areas of the United States that were at one time under Spanish  control.  In  those  areas  old  deeds  and other   land   instruments   still   contain   property descriptions  in  varas,  which  vary  from  state  to state  and  country  to  country  from  32  to  43  in. Metric Units In  many  of  the  non-English-speaking  countries of the world, the most commonly used basic unit 1-27 Table 1-1.-Linear Conversion Factors A unit of linear measurement, called a VARA

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