If you remember back to those junior high or high school geometry lessons, you might remember using a three-arm protractor and wondering how learning geometry could ever be helpful in your future life. Well, there was a reason why the three-arm protractor and other protractors were devised and this handy tool actually can be used for many important tasks, including the following.
Ok, your first question here might just be, “what on earth if photogrammetry?” Well, this is a branch of science that deals with calculating measurements using photos, and a protractor definitely could be used to measure angles on these photographs.
Photogrammetry can be helpful for many tasks, but let’s think about it terms of military tactics. Picture it – Germany, 1942. Whilst flying over Berlin, an Allied aircraft captures a photo of a munitions factory. This photo can be studied to create a detailed map of the area, allowing it to be of further use to bomber squadrons or ground troops.
Cartography, for the unaware, is the science of creating accurate maps. These can be any type of map, including physical maps as well as political and topographic maps just to name a few. The three-arm protractor can be a helpful tool during the initial mapmaking process as well as other drafting tools and, of course, GPS, satellite images and other modern aids.
3. Forensic Science
While it may seem a bit morbid, a three-arm protractor might be used as part of crime scene analysis, particularly when it comes to bloodstain evidence and ballistics. The forensics team might use a protractor to determine why blood spatter appears the way it does to recreate how a crime occurred. They also might use it to measure angles of impact, such as the impact of a bullet on a table or another surface.
While a cartographer will use a three-arm protractor to create a nautical map, a navigator will use the three-arm protractor to plot a course on said map. It might seem like with GPS and other handy modern tools that using an actual map isn’t that common any more, but captains aboard military vessels and submarines as well as captains of large ships all have a collection of maps and tools such as their handy protractor.
After all, what happens if the GPS and other instruments stop working? How will you plot your course? Additionally, a sea captain might want to mark something of interest on the map, such as the spot where another craft was spotted and track that crafts movement.
5. Interior Design
Interior design requires more than just a flair for colors and style; these professionals also need to have a basic understanding of geometry in order to create a well-designed space. While designers use CAD programs to design spaces, they also put pen (or pencil) to paper and draw up plans for those spaces. Using a protractor can help them ensure that they are drawing the rooms to scale so that the finished project matches the plans.
While architects also use sophisticated software programs to design homes and buildings and other projects, they may use drafting tools to create sketches and initial designs, as well as marking changes to the plans as they occur. A three-arm protractor may be one of these helpful drafting tools, as well as other types of protractors, rulers, pantographs, ruling pens and more.
These days, most surveyors are more likely to use digital protractors and theodolites and perhaps a surveyor’s compass, but, in the past, the protractor was a helpful tool that most surveyors carried on the job in their field kits. In some cases, a modern surveyor might want to bring along protractors to help make some initial measurements or calculations. As you can see, the protractor is far more useful than you probably thought back in your school days. At Warren Knight, we cannot help you with geometry homework, but we can provide you with quality three-arm protractors as well as many other helpful navigational tools, surveying equipment, optical tooling and leveling equipment. Our selection of three-arm protractors includes a transparent protractor as well as a metal protractor.