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Coordinate

Geometry
Fundamentals
2012 Edition

Professor Todd W. Horton, PE, PLS

Engineering Science & Technologies Department
Parkland College
Champaign, Illinois
thorton@parkland.edu
Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 2
Page
Angles & Directions 4-8
Triangle Solutions 9
Inverse Computations 10-12
Traverse Computations 13-22
Sideshot Computations 23-25
Perpendicular Offset Computations 26-28
Intersection Computations
Direction Direction 29-32
Distance Distance 33-36
Direction Distance 37-41
Area by Coordinates Computations 42-45
Horizontal Curves 45-51
Horizontal Curves Tangent Offset 52-53
Horizontal Curves Chord Offset 54-55
Vertical Curves 56-60

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 3

Angles & Direction
Angle: the difference in direction of two lines.

1 degree = 1/360 of a circle

1 minute = 1/60 of a degree
1 second = 1/60 of a minute

Perform as many checks on angular data as possible.

Close the horizon when turning angles in the field.

In a closed traverse, compute the sum of the interior angles.

The sum should equal (n-2)*180, where n is the number of interior angles.

Do not express seconds with decimal fractions unless the instrument used reads to
decimal fractions of a second.

Examine field notes for angles with poor closure and for problems with turning
the angles. Apply excess to these angles.

If unable to view field notes or if no apparent error source exists, then apply
excess of equal adjustment to angles with the shortest sides.

Bearings and azimuths:

Bearing: the acute horizontal angle between a reference meridian (north or south) and a line.

Azimuth: the horizontal angle measured from a north meridian clockwise to a line.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 4

Max. value Origin Direction Letters
Bearing 90 North or South CW or CCW Yes
Azimuth 360 North CW No

Convert azimuths to bearings

First, determine the proper quadrant letters:
1. For 0 to 90, use NE (quadrant 1 in most software programs).
2. For 90 to 180, use SE (quadrant 2 in most software programs).
3. For 180 to 270, use SW (quadrant 3 in most software programs).
4. For 270 to 360, use NW (quadrant 4 in most software programs).

Then find the numerical value, using the following relationships:

1. NE quadrant: bearing = azimuth
2. SE quadrant: bearing = 180 - azimuth
3. SW quadrant: bearing = azimuth - 180
4. NW quadrant: bearing = 360 - azimuth

Convert from bearing to azimuths

Convert from bearing to azimuths by using these relationships:
1. NE quadrant: azimuth = bearing
2. SE quadrant: azimuth = 180 bearing
3. SW quadrant: azimuth = 180 + bearing
4. NW quadrant: azimuth = 360 - bearing

Reverse Directions
Back azimuth (reverse direction) = azimuth + / - 180

Back bearing (reverse direction) = same numeric value with opposite directions

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 5

Find these directions:
Azimuth Bearing
Line 0-1
Line 0-2
Line 0-3
Line 4-0

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 6

Compute the interior angles of this closed traverse.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 7

Traverse loop azimuth computations
1. To compute azimuths in the counterclockwise direction, add the interior angle to the
back azimuth of the previous course.

2. To compute azimuths in the clockwise direction, subtract the interior angle from the
back azimuth of the previous course.

computation.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 8

Right Triangle Solutions
a
, cos A b , tan A a
For angle A, sin A
c c b
Given Required Solutions
a
c a, b A, B, c tan A , c a 2 b2
B b
a
A, B, b sin A cos B , b c a c a
a
a, c
c
A C
a a
A, a B, b, c B = 90 - A, b , c
b tan A sin A
b
Right Triangle A, b B, a, c B = 90 - A, a b tan A , c
cos A
A, c B, a, b B = 90 - A, a c sin A , b c cos A

Oblique Triangle Solutions

Given Required Solutions
a sin B a sin C
c B A, B, a b, c, C b , C = 180 - (A+B), c
sin A sin A
a b sin A a sin C
A, a, b B, c, C sin B , C = 180 - (A+B), c
A C a sin A
a b tan 1 A B
tan A B
b 1 2
a, b, C A, B, c 2 ab
Oblique Triangles a sin C
c , A+B = 180 - C
sin A
c
B
s
abc 1
, sin A
s bs c ,
a 2 2 bc
a, b, c A, B, C
A C 1
sin B
s a s c , C = 180 - (A+B)
2 ac
b abc
a, b, c area s , area ss a s bs c
2
bc sin A
A, b, c area area
2
2
a sin B sin C
A, B, C, c area area
2 sin A

sin A sin B sin C

Sine law: Cosine law: a 2 b2 c2 2bc cos A
a b c

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 9

Inverse Computations
Given known coordinates of any two points of a system, the distance and direction
between them can be determined.

1. Determine latitude (N) and departure (E) between the two points.

a. Subtract origin northings and eastings from destination northings and eastings.

b. Be careful to note the sign (+ or -) of each answer.

Northing Easting
Destination Point 2 N2 E2
- Origin Point 1 - N1 - E1
N E

E 2 .

3. Determine reference direction: north or south.

E
4. Determine local angle using tan 1 .
N
5. Determine line direction.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 10

Inverse Example Problem
Inverse from Point J to Point H.

Step 1

Point Northing Easting

Destination H 4692.08 5909.33
- Origin J - 3913.66 - 2207.65
+ 778.42 + 3701.68
N E

Note that both N and E are both positive, thus line JH lies in the northeast quadrant.

Step 2

HD 778.42 2
3701.68 2 3782.64 ft

Step 3

Since line JH lies in the northeast quadrant, the reference direction is North.

Step 4

3701.68
tan 1 7807'28" This is the local angle relative to North.
778.42

Step 5

North 00000
+ local angle +780728
Line direction 780728

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 11

Inverse Practice Problem
Inverse from Point 1 to Point 3. Point Northing Easting
1 5046.79 6323.23
3 5615.27 6304.67

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 12

Traverse Computations
This computation process is dependent on these conditions.

The traverse is a closed loop traverse.

The traverse was measured in a counter-clockwise direction, allowing direct
measurement to the right of interior angles.
The traverse angular closure is within acceptable limits for the accuracy standards
required.
A starting azimuth is known or will be assumed.
A starting coordinate is known or will be assumed.

a. Sum the measured interior angles of the traverse.

b. Compute the theoretical sum of interior angles using the following equation.

angles (n 2)180 where n equals the number of traverse angles (sides).

c. Subtract the theoretical sum of interior angles from the measured sum of interior
angles. This difference is the angular error in the traverse.

2. Adjust the interior traverse angles.

a. Find the total angular correction. The total angular correction equals the
angular error but is opposite in sign.

b. Divide the total angular correction by the number of traverse angles. This
result will be the correction to each individual traverse loop interior angle.

Example:

For a six-sided traverse loop with a -18 error, the correction will be:

To compute azimuths in the counterclockwise direction, add the interior angle to

the back azimuth of the previous course.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 13

To compute azimuths in the clockwise direction, subtract the interior angle from
the back azimuth of the previous course.

4. Compute the latitude (N) and departure (E) for each traverse leg.

Latitude: N HD(cos Az )
Departure: E HD(sin Az )

where

N equals the change in Northing (latitude)

E equals the change in Easting (departure)
HD equals the measured horizontal distance along the traverse leg
Az equals the computed azimuth of the traverse leg

a. Find errors in latitude and departure, Elat and Edep.

The sum of the latitude and departure columns should be fairly close to 0.00 feet.

b. Find the linear error, Elin. This is the positional closure error of the traverse.

Elin ( Elat Edep )

2 2

c. Compute the relative error, Erel, in the traverse and check it against the
appropriate standard.

1
E rel where L equals the total length of the traverse legs
L

Elin

Express the Erel result as a fraction with a numerator of 1.

Round the denominator to the nearest 1000.
This error ratio is the indicator of positional error.

d. If the positional error is acceptable, continue computing the traverse. If the

error is excessive, recheck all your computations. If your computations are error
free, your field work may need to be remeasured.

e. Compute the corrections for latitude and departure.

Balancing Methods:

Least Squares: Based on the theory of probability. Linear and angular

adjustments are made simultaneously. Hand methods are long and complex thus
not often used. Computer applications are commonly used for this procedure.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 14

Crandall Method: Used when larger random error exists in distance.
Directional adjustments from balancing are held fixed and distances are balanced
by a weighted least squares procedure.

Transit Rule: Used when larger errors occur in distance than in direction.
Seldom used today.

Compass Rule: (Bowditch Rule) Used when accuracy of angles and distances
are equal. Most commonly used method today.

For the Compass Rule, corrections are defined as follows.

HD HD
Clat Elat C dep E dep
L L

where

Clat equals the latitude correction for a traverse leg

Cdep equals the departure correction for a traverse leg
HD equals the measured horizontal distance along the traverse leg
L equals the total length of the traverse legs

The sum of all latitude corrections Clat should equal and be opposite in sign to Elat.
The sum of all departure corrections Cdep should equal and be opposite in sign to Edep.

f. For each traverse leg, add the latitude (departure) and the latitude
(departure) correction to produce the balanced latitude (departure).

g. Sum the balanced latitudes and sum balanced departures. Each sum should
equal zero since all errors have been corrected.

a. Starting at a point of known or assumed coordinates, add the latitude and

departure of the next traverse leg to the starting coordinate to find the next
point coordinates.

b. Using the newly computed coordinate as a new starting point, add the next
latitude and departure to find the next point coordinates.

c. Repeat this process until all latitudes and departures have been properly
applied.

d. When all is complete, the ending coordinates should match the starting
coordinates.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 15

American Congress On Surveying And Mapping
Minimum Angle, Distance And Closure Requirements For Survey Measurements
Which Control Land Boundaries For ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys
(Note 1)

Dir. Reading Instrument Number Spread From Angle Linear Distance Minimum
of Reading of Observ- Mean of Closure Closure Measure- Length of
Instrument Estimated ations Per D&R Where ment Measure-
Station Not To N=No. of ments
Exceed Stations
(Note 2) (Note 3) (Note 4) (Note 5) Not To (Note 6) (Note 7) (Notes 8,
Exceed 9, 10)

EDM or (8) 81m,

20" <1'> 10" 5" <0.1'> N.A. 2 D&R 5"<0.1'> 5" 10" N 1:15,000 Doubletape (9) 153m,
with Steel (10) 20m
Tape

Note (1) All requirements of each class must be satisfied in order to qualify for that particular class of
survey. The use of a more precise instrument
does not change the other requirements, such as number of angles turned, etc.

Note (2) Instrument must have a direct reading of at least the amount specified (not an estimated reading),
i.e.: 20" = Micrometer reading theodolite,
<1'> = Scale reading theodolite, 10" = Electronic reading theodolite.

Note (3) Instrument must have the capability of allowing an estimated reading below the direct reading to

Note (4) D & R means the Direct and Reverse positions of the instrument telescope, i.e., Urban Surveys
require that two angles in the direct and two
angles in the reverse position to be measured and meaned.

Note (5) Any angle measured that exceeds the specified amount from the mean must be rejected and the set
of angles re-measured.

Note (6) Ratio of closure after angles are balanced and closure calculated.

Note (7) All distance measurements must be made with a properly calibrated EDM or Steel tape, applying
atmospheric, temperature, sag, tension,
slope, scale factor and sea level corrections as necessary.

Note (8) EDM having an error of 5 mm, independent of distance measured (Manufacturer's specifications).

Note (9) EDM having an error of 10 mm, independent of distance measured (Manufacturer's
specifications).

Excerpted from MINIMUM STANDARD DETAIL REQUIREMENTS for ALTA/ACSM LAND

TITLE SURVEYS as adopted by American Land Title Association
American Congress on Surveying and Mapping and National Society of Professional Surveyors,1999
http://www.acsm.net/alta.html

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 16

Traverse Example Problem
Find the coordinates of points R, S, T and P.
Adjust the angles, balance the traverse, and compute coordinates for this traverse.

Vertex Angle Line Distance Direction Position

Q 75 01 24" 5000.00, 5000.00
QP 1170.73 N 76 32 44 E
P 41 19 20"
PN 458.39
N 251 04 40"
NM 339.25
M 54 06 24"
ML 868.95
L 118 27 52"
LQ 428.09

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 17

angle angle
Q 75 01 24 +0 0 04 75 01 28
P 41 19 20 +0 0 04 41 19 24
N 251 04 40 +0 0 04 251 04 44
M 54 06 24 +0 0 04 54 06 28
L 118 27 52 +0 0 04 118 27 56
Sum 539 59 40 540 00 00
- 540
error -0 0 20
-(- 20) / 5 angles = +4 / angle

Traverse loop azimuth computations:

3. To compute azimuths in the counterclockwise direction, add the interior angle to the
back azimuth of the previous course.

4. To compute azimuths in the clockwise direction, subtract the interior angle from the
back azimuth of the previous course.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 18

Azimuth computations:
76 32 44 azimuth QP This is the starting direction.
+ 180
256 32 44 back azimuth QP
+ 41 19 24 interior angle P
297 52 08 azimuth PN
- 180
117 52 08 back azimuth PN
+ 251 04 44 interior angle N
368 56 52
- 360
8 56 52 azimuth NM
+ 180
188 56 52 back azimuth NM
+ 54 06 28 interior angle M
243 03 20 azimuth ML
- 180
63 03 20 back azimuth ML
+ 118 27 56 interior angle L
181 31 16 azimuth LQ This was the last remaining unknown azimuth.
Use the adjusted closing traverse angle to
- 180
1 31 16 back azimuth LQ
+ 75 01 28 interior angle Q
76 32 44 azimuth QP OK: This checks with the starting value.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 19

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 20
Traverse Practice Problem
Adjust the angles, balance the traverse, and compute coordinates for this traverse.

Vertex Angle Line Distance Direction Position

A 87 53 02 N 2000.00, E 4000.00
AB 186.63 S 42 15 33 E
B 189 29 34
BC 206.92
C 78 48 29
CD 198.15
D 118 22 27
DE 187.93
E 140 41 31
EF 214.57
F 104 45 08
FA 201.51

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 21

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 22
Sideshot Computations
Sideshot positions should be computed relative to balanced traverse coordinates.

foresight line.

4. Compute the foresight point coordinates.

Line Distance Azimuth To find the distance and azimuth between the adjusted
points, you must inverse between them.
QP 1170.67 7632'48"
Notice how these values differ from the corrected values
PN 458.40 29751'57"
in the computation sheet above.
NM 339.24 856'44"
ML 869.00 24303'18"
LQ 428.10 18131'25"

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 23

Sideshot Example Problem
Find the coordinates of point 1 given the field measurements shown here.

Occ BS FS
Horiz Angle Horiz Distance Comment
Pt Pt Pt
P Q 1 244 08 38 291.53 ft IR FND IN O&C SURF

Step 1

Backsight direction:

Northing Easting
Local angle:
Destination Q 5000.00 5000.00
1138.54
- Origin P - 5272.36 - 6138.54 tan 1 7632'47"
272.36
- 272.36 - 1138.54
N E 1800000 + 763247 = 2563247

backsight azimuth
Step 2

Backsight azimuth 2563247 Step 3

Angle RT to FS Pt + 244 08 38
Latitude:
500 41 25
- 360 00 00 N 291.53(cos14041'25") 225.57

Foresight azimuth 140 41 25 Departure:

E 291.53(sin14041'25") 184.69

Step 4

Northing Easting
P 5272.36 6138.54

Lat / Dep +(-225.57) +184.69

FS Pt 1 5046.79 6323.23

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 24

Sideshot Practice Problem
Find the coordinates of point 3 given the field measurements shown here.

Occ BS FS
Horiz Angle Horiz Distance Comment
Pt Pt Pt
P Q 1 244 08 38 291.53 ft IR FND IN O&C SURF
P Q 2 240 42 36 258.67 ft S. FACE WOOD FENCE POST
M N 3 282 45 42 558.20 ft IR/CAP FND 6 DEEP, ILS 2006
M N 4 283 07 40 569.98 ft N. FACE WOOD CORNER POST
L M 5 285 37 47 143.35 ft IR/CAP FND 12 DEEP, ILS 2006
L M 6 282 18 38 165.57 ft W. FACE WOOD FENCE POST

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 25

Perpendicular Offset
Computations
An application of inverse calculations

Given a Point 3 of known coordinates (N3, E3)and a line 1-2 whose endpoint coordinates
(N1, E1 and N2, E2) are known, the perpendicular offset of the point from the line can be
determined. Stationing along the line to the point can also be found.

4. Find the perpendicular offset and direction. offset HD1 3 sin

5. Find the station from Point 1 along the line. station HD1 3 cos

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 26

Perpendicular Offset Example Problem
What is the perpendicular offset and station of point 76 relative to line 80 - 83?

Point 76 Point 80 Point 83

N 3256.82 N 3534.01 N 3144.89
E 2296.66 E 1709.58 E 2523.41

Step 1 Point Northing Easting

Destination 83 3144.89 2523.41
Line 80-83
- Origin 80 - 3534.01 - 1709.58
inverse
- 389.12 + 813.83
N E

Since N is negative and E is positive, line 80-83 lies in the southeast quadrant.
Reference direction is South (azimuth=1800000).

813.83
HD 389.12 2
813.832 902.07 ft tan 1 6426'45"
389.12

South 1800000 Line 80-83,

+ local angle +(-642645) azimuth 1153315,
length 902.07 ft.
Line direction 1153315

Step 2 Point Northing Easting

Destination 76 3256.82 2296.66
Line 80-76
- Origin 80 - 3534.01 - 1709.58
inverse
- 277.19 + 587.08
N E

587.08
HD 277.19 2
587.082 649.23 ft tan 1 6443'32"
277.19

South 1800000 Line 80-76,

+ local angle +(-644332) azimuth 1151628,
length 649.23 ft.
Line direction 1151628

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 27

Step 3
Line 80-83 1153315
- Line 80-76 -1151628
Close inspection of these directions shows that
Point 76 falls to the left of line 80-83. Interior angle 01647

Step 5 station HD1 3 cos 649.23(cos 016'47") 649.22 ft

Solution:
Point 76 falls 3.17 ft LEFT of line 80-83, 649.22 ft along the line from Point 80.

Perpendicular Offset Practice Problem

Find the perpendicular offset and station of Point K relative to line JL.

Point J Point K Point L

N 2537.19 N 2423.58 N 2399.34
E 1774.94 E 2223.41 E 2445.15

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 28

Intersection Computations
3 types of intersections: Solution method: c B
a
1. Direction Direction Sine law
2. Distance Distance Cosine law
A C
3. Direction Distance Sine law
b
sin A sin B sin C
Sine law: Cosine law: a 2 b2 c2 2bc cos A
a b c

Direction Direction Intersection

Find the coordinates of Point C given known coordinates at Points A & B and two lines
of known direction.

2. Compute the interior angles at A, B, and C.

3. Compute the length of line AC (or line BC) using the Sine Law.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 29

Direction Direction Intersection
Example Problem

Find the coordinates of Point C given

known coordinates at Points A & B and
two lines of known direction.

Step 1 Point Northing Easting

Destination B 5724.36 6198.05
Line AB - Origin A - 6490.66 - 6828.53
inverse - 766.30 - 630.48
N E

Since both N and E are negative, line AB lies in the southwest quadrant. Reference
direction is South (azimuth=1800000).
630.48
HD 766.302 630.482 992.33 ft tan 1 3926'46"
766.30

South 1800000 Line AB,

+ local angle +392646 azimuth 2192646,
length 992.33 ft.
Line direction 2192646

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 30

Step 2 Side AC 2705904
Side AB - 2192646
Angle A 513218

Side BC 3585645
Side AC - 2705904
Angle C 875741

Side AB 2192646
+ 1800000
Side BC - 3585645
Angle B 403001

Angle A 513218
Angle C + 875741
Step 3 Angle B + 403001
Check = OK 1800000
992.33 BC

sin 8757'41" sin 5132'18"

BC = 777.51 ft

Departure: E 777.51(sin 35856'45") 14.30 ft

Step 5
Northing Easting
Point B 5724.36 6198.05

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 31

Direction Direction Intersection
Practice Problem

Find the coordinates of Point C given

known coordinates at Points A & B and
two lines of known direction.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 32

Distance Distance Intersection
Find the coordinates of Point C given known coordinates at Points A & B and two lines
of known length.

2. Compute the interior angle A using the Law of Cosines.

3. Compute the azimuth of line AC on the appropriate side (left or right) of line AB.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 33

Distance Distance Intersection
Example Problem
Find the coordinates of Point C given known coordinates at Points A & B and two lines
of known length.

Step 1 Point Northing Easting

Destination B 6338.33 8704.38
Line AB - Origin A - 6334.43 - 7910.57
inverse + 3.90 + 793.81
N E

Since both N and E are positive, line AB lies in the northeast quadrant. Local angle
equals azimuth in the northeast quadrant.
793.81

HD 3.902 793.812 793.82 ft tan 1 8943'07"
3.90

North 00000 Line AB,

+ local angle +894307 azimuth 894307,
length 793.82 ft.
Line direction 894307

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 34

Step 2

a 2 b2 c2
a 2 b2 c2 2bc cos A A cos 1
2bc

A cos 1 6624'24"
2(742.30)793.82

Step 3

Side AB 894307
Angle A - 662424
Side AC 231843

Departure: E 742.30(sin 2318'43") 293.76 ft

Step 5
Northing Easting
Point A 6334.43 7910.57

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 35

Distance Distance Intersection
Practice Problem
Find the coordinates of Point C given known coordinates at Points A & B and two lines
of known length.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 36

Direction Distance Intersection
Find the coordinates of Point C given known coordinates at Points A & B and one line of
known length R and one line of known direction.

3. Using Angle B, distance AC,

and distance AB, find Angle C
using the Sine Law.

4. Using Angles B & C,

compute Angle A and the
azimuth of line AC.

5. Find the latitude and

departure of line AC.

Point C.

Direction Distance Intersection Conditions

Evaluate R and Angle B to determine possible number of solutions.

Angle B acute Angle B right Angle B obtuse

0-2 solutions
R < AB 0 solutions 0 solutions
(see note next page)

1 solution
R = AB 0 solutions 0 solutions
(isosceles)

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 37

Note:

For acute Angle B and R < AB, three conditions may occur.

O solutions:

R is less than the minimum

(perpendicular) distance to line BC.

1 solution:

R equals the minimum (perpendicular)

distance to line BC.

2 solutions:

R is greater than the minimum

(perpendicular) distance to line BC.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 38

Direction Distance Intersection
Example Problem
Find the coordinates of Point C given known coordinates at Points A & B and one line of
known length R and one line of known direction.

Step 1 Point Northing Easting

Destination A 7386.35 4810.28
Line BA - Origin B - 7739.51 - 3809.65
inverse - 353.16 + 1000.63
N E

Since N is negative and E is positive, line BA lies in the southeast quadrant.

Reference direction is South (azimuth=1800000).
1000.63
HD 353.162 1000.632 1061.12 ft tan 1 7033'36"
353.16

South 1800000 Line BA,

+ local angle -703336 azimuth 1092624,
length 1061.12 ft.
Line direction 1092624

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 39

Step 2 Side BC 1923850
- 1800000
Side CB 123850

Side BA 1092624
Side BC - 123850
Angle B 964734

Step 3

1377.86 1061.12
C = 495254
sin 9647'34" sin C

Step 4

Sum of angles 1800000 Side BA 1092624

Angle B - 964734 + 1800000

Angle C - 495254 Angle A + 331932

Angle A 331932 Side AC 3224556

Step 5
Latitude: N 1377.86(cos 32245'56") 1097.01ft

Departure: E 1377.86(sin 32245'56") 833.71ft

Step 6
Northing Easting
Point A 7386.35 4810.28

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 40

Direction Distance Intersection
Practice Problem
Find the coordinates of Point C given known coordinates at Points A & B and one line of
known length R and one line of known direction.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 41

Area by Coordinates
Computations

Given a closed figure defined by points of known coordinates (Nx, Ex), the figure area
can be determined by cross-multiplication of the coordinate pairs.

2. Cross-multiply coordinate pairs to find Northings.

N1 * E2 ( N 2 * E3 ) ( N 3 * E4 ) ...( N x * E1 ) Northings
3. Cross-multiply coordinate pairs to find Eastings.

E1 * N 2 ( E2 * N 3 ) ( E3 * N 4 ) ...( E x * N1 ) Eastings
4. Calculate the area.

Northings Eastings
Area
2

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 42

Area by Coordinates
Example Problem
Find the area of the figure defined by Points 1 6.

Step 1

Point Northing Easting

1 10000.0000 5000.0000

2 10326.7981 5356.3614

3 9938.7277 5298.7122

4 9448.9156 4560.3990

5 9854.7405 4760.8417

6 10070.8565 4583.9559

1 10000.0000 5000.0000

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Northings Eastings 456,325.2 ft 2

Area = 228,162.6 ft2
2 2

228,162.6 ft 2
5.24 acres
43,560 ft 2 / acre

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 43

Area by Coordinates
Practice Problem
Find the area of the figure defined by Points 1 6.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 44

Horizontal Curves
Any 2 known parts will
completely describe a
curve.

5729.577951
= Central Angle D L 100
R D
D L
T = Tangent Distance L 2R
100 360
D = Degree of Curvature

E = External Distance T R tan C 2 R sin
2 2
M = Middle Ordinate
C
C = Chord Length C 2T cos M tan
2 2 4
L = Curve (arc) length
1
PC = Point of Curvature M R1 cos 2 E R 1
cos 2
PI = Point of Intersection

PT = Point of Tangency

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 45

Circular Curve Example Problem
Given: PI Station 107+67.90 = 11 00 00 D = 2 30 00

Radius Deflection for 100 ft arc

R=5729.58 / D 100 ft arc = D / 2
R=5729.58 / 2 30 00 100 ft arc = 2 30 00 / 2
R=2291.83 ft 100 ft arc = 1 15 00

Tangent Distance Deflection for 50 ft arc

T=R (tan /2) 50 ft arc = D / 4
T=2291.83 (tan 11 00 00/2) 50 ft arc = 2 30 00 / 4
T=220.68 ft 50 ft arc = 0 37 30

Length of Curve Deflection for 25 ft arc

L=100 (/D) 25 ft arc = D / 8
L=100 (11 00 00/2 30 00) 25 ft arc = 2 30 00 / 8
L=440.00 ft 25 ft arc = 0 18 45

External Distance Deflection for 1 ft arc

E=T (tan /4) 1 ft arc = D / 200
E=220.68 (tan 11 00 00/4) 1 ft arc = 2 30 00 / 200
E=10.60 ft 1 ft arc = 0 00 45

PC Station Chord Length 100 ft arc

PC = PI Station Tangent Distance 100 arc = 2R (sin deflection angle)
PC = 107+67.90 220.68 100 arc = 2 (2291.83) sin 1 15 00
PC = 105+47.22 100 arc = 99.99 ft

PT Station Chord Length 50 ft arc

PT = PC Station + Curve Length 50 arc = 2R (sin deflection angle)
PC = 105+47.22 + 440.00 50 arc = 2 (2291.83) sin 0 37 30
PC = 109+87.22 50 arc = 50.00 ft

Calculate the deflection for the first station from P.C. or any odd station along the curve.

1. Take the distance from the last point with a known deflection to the station you are
calculating.

2. Multiply this distance by the deflection of a 1 foot arc (D/200); this will give you the
deflection between these two points.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 46

Field Book for Circular Curve
Chord Defl. Total
Sta. Dist. Dist Angle Defl.

105+00
105+47.22 0 0 0 0 P.C.
105+50 2.78 2.78 0 02 05 0 02 05
106+00 50 50.00 0 37 30 0 39 35
106+50 50 50.00 0 37 30 1 17 05
107+00 50 50.00 0 37 30 1 54 35
107+50 50 50.00 0 37 30 2 32 05
108+00 50 50.00 0 37 30 3 09 35
108+50 50 50.00 0 37 30 3 47 05
109+00 50 50.00 0 37 30 4 24 35
109+50 50 50.00 0 37 30 5 02 05
109+87.22 37.22 37.22 0 27 55 5 30 00 P.T.

Calc by KAB 7-20-93 Check by AN 7-21-93

= 11 00 00 D = 2 30 00

Deflection Angles Chord Length

100 ft arc = D / 2 = 2 30 00 / 2 100 arc = 2R (sin deflection angle)
= 1 15 00 = 2 (2291.83) sin 1 15 00
50 ft arc = D / 4 = 2 30 00 / 4 = 99.99 ft
= 0 37 30 50 arc = 2R (sin deflection angle)
1 ft arc = D / 200 = 2 30 00 / 200 = 2 (2291.83) sin 0 37 30
= 0 00 45 = 50.00 ft

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 47

Circular Curve Practice Problem
Given a circular horizontal curve with a central angle of 29 42 00 and a radius of
700 feet, find the tangent length and the arc length.

Solution:
Delta Angle = 2942'00"
Degree of Curvature = 811'06"
Radius = 700.00 ft
Circular Curve Length = 362.85 ft
Tangent Distance = 185.60 ft
Circular Curve Long Chord = 358.81 ft
Middle Ordinate = 23.38 ft
External = 24.19 ft

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 48

Circular Curve Practice Problem
Given a curve to the right with PI at 10+71.78, T = 375.60 ft, R = 1150.00 ft, compute chord
and deflection data for all even 100 ft stations within the curve.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 49

Solutions:
Delta Angle = 3610'30"
Degree of Curvature = 458'56"
Radius = 1,150.00 ft
Circular Curve Length = 726.08 ft
Tangent Distance = 375.60 ft
Circular Curve Long Chord = 714.08 ft
Middle Ordinate = 56.83 ft
External = 59.78 ft

PI Stationing = 10+71.78

Incremental chord solution:

Deflection Deflection
Station Chord
Increment Angle
14+22.26 PT 22.26 033'16" 1805'15"
14+00.00 99.97 229'28" 1731'59"
13+00.00 99.97 229'28" 1502'31"
12+00.00 99.97 229'28" 1233'03"
11+00.00 99.97 229'28" 1003'35"
10+00.00 99.97 229'28" 734'07"
9+00.00 99.97 229'28" 504'39"
8+00.00 99.97 229'28" 235'11"
7+00.00 3.82 005'43" 005'43"
6+96.18 PC

Total chord solution:

Deflection Deflection
Station Chord
Increment Angle
14+22.26 PT 714.08 033'16" 1805'15"
14+00.00 692.89 229'28" 1731'59"
13+00.00 596.91 229'28" 1502'31"
12+00.00 499.80 229'28" 1233'03"
11+00.00 401.75 229'28" 1003'35"
10+00.00 302.94 229'28" 734'07"
9+00.00 203.55 229'28" 504'39"
8+00.00 103.79 229'28" 235'11"
7+00.00 3.82 005'43" 005'43"
6+96.18 PC

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 50

Circular Curve Practice Problem
This curve cannot be staked entirely from the PC. While occupying the PC, you can only
stake up through Station 46+00.00 due to an obstruction that prevents you from seeing
the remainder of the points. What can you do?

= 3823'06"
D = 425'40" Station Chord Defl. Increment Defl. Angle
R = 1,294.00 ft 51+32.74 PT 32.74 043'29" 1911'33"
L = 866.91 ft 51+00.00 99.98 212'50" 1828'04"
T = 450.43 ft 50+00.00 99.98 212'50" 1615'14"
LC = 850.79 ft 49+00.00 99.98 212'50" 1402'24"
M = 71.92 ft 48+00.00 99.98 212'50" 1149'34"
E = 76.15 ft 47+00.00 99.98 212'50" 936'44"
46+00.00 99.98 212'50" 723'54"
PI Stationing = 47+16.26 45+00.00 99.98 212'50" 511'03"
44+00.00 99.98 212'50" 258'13"
43+00.00 34.17 045'23" 045'23"
42+65.83 PC Incremental chord solution

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 51

Horizontal Curve Layout Tangent Offset

Y R R2 X 2

R = curve radius

Tangent Offset Example Problem

Given R = 40 feet, find offsets from the tangent to the curve at 2 foot increments along
the tangent.

Y R R2 X 2

0 0
2 0.05 22 6.59
4 0.20 24 8.00
6 0.45 26 9.60
8 0.81 28 11.43
10 1.27 30 13.54
12 1.84 32 16.00
14 2.53 34 18.93
16 3.34 36 22.56
18 4.28 38 27.51
20 5.36 40 40.00

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 52

Tangent Offset Practice Problem
Given R = 75 feet, find offset Y at 5 foot increments along the tangent. In addition, find
the offset at X = 67.5 feet and at X = 72.5 feet.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 53

Horizontal Curve Layout Chord Offset
Y R2 X 2 R2 C
2
2
X = Distance from chord midpoint to set out point

Chord Offset Example Problem

Given R = 636.62 feet and C = 100.00 feet, find offsets from the chord to the curve at
5 foot increments along the tangent.

Y R2 X 2 R2 C
2
2

0 1.97
5 1.95 30 1.26
10 1.89 35 1.00
15 1.79 40 0.71
20 1.65 45 0.37
25 1.48 50 0.00

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 54

Chord Offset Practice Problem
Given R = 20 feet and C = 28.28 feet ( = 90), find offsets at increments of C/8.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 55

Vertical Curves
Two major methods of computation: Tangent offset & Equation of Parabola.

Information Needed: Grade or slope on each side of curve.

Elevation and station of PVI.
Curve length (Horizontal distance PVC - PVT)

Tangent Offset Method:

Procedure:
1. Compute the elevation of the PVC and PVT.
2. Compute elevation of Chord midpoint.
3. Compute offset to curve at midpoint.
4. Determine total number of stations covered.
5. Determine tangent elevations at stations.
6. Compute curve offset at stations.
7. Combine data and determine vertical curve elevations.

Equation Of Parabola Method:

Equation: r = g2 g1 / L r = change in grade per station
g1 = initial grade
g2 = final grade
L = length of curve in stations
Procedure:
1. Compute PVC and PVT elevations.
2. Calculate total change in grade/station.
3. Insert data to chart and compute final curve elevations.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 56

Tangent Offset Vertical Curve Example Problem

PVC Station & Elevation 50+00 400 = 46+00 Station

550.97 + (400 * 6.0%) = 574.97 elevation

PVT Station & Elevation 50+00 + 400 = 54+00 Station

550.97 + (400 * 2.0%) = 558.97 elevation

4 stations each side 46+00 50+00: Subtract 6.00 / station

50+00 54+00: Add 2.00 / station

Determine Curve Offset:

47+00 & 53+00: (1/4)2 * 8.00 = 0.50
48+00 & 52+00: (1/2)2 * 8.00 = 2.00
49+00 & 51+00: (3/4)2 * 8.00 = 4.50

Compute tangent elevations & vertical curve elevations:

47+00: 574.97 6.00 = 568.97 + 0.50 = 569.47 VC elev.
48+00: 568.97 6.00 = 562.97 + 2.00 = 564.97 VC elev.
49+00: 562.97 6.00 = 556.97 + 4.50 = 561.47 VC elev.
50+00: 556.97 6.00 = 550.97 + 8.00 = 558.97 VC elev.
51+00: 550.97 + 2.00 = 552.97 + 4.50 = 557.47 VC elev.
52+00: 552.97 + 2.00 = 554.97 + 2.00 = 556.97 VC elev.
53+00: 554.97 + 2.00 = 556.97 + 0.50 = 557.47 VC elev.
54+00: 556.97 + 2.00 = 558.97 PVT elev.

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 57

Equation Of Parabola Vertical Curve
Example Problem

PVC Station and Elevation: 50+00 400 = 46+00 PVC Station

550.97 + (400 X 6.0%) = 574.97 elevation

PVT Station and Elevation: 50+00 + 400 = 54+00 PVT Station

550.97 + (400 X 2.0%) = 558.97 elevation

Station X X2 r/2X2 g1X PVC Elev. VC Elev.

PVC 46+00 0 0 0 0 574.97 574.97
47+00 1 1 0.5 -6.0 574.97 569.47
48+00 2 4 2.0 -12.0 574.97 564.97
49+00 3 9 4.5 -18.0 574.97 561.47
PVI 50+00 4 16 8.0 -24.0 574.97 558.97
51+00 5 25 12.5 -30.0 574.97 557.47
52+00 6 36 18.0 -36.0 574.97 556.97
53+00 7 49 24.5 -42.0 574.97 557.47
PVT 54+00 8 64 32.0 -48.0 574.97 558.97

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 58

Station and Elevation of Low/High Point
(Based on the Equation of Parabola Method)

The lowest point on a sag vertical curve or the highest point on a crest vertical curve lies at a
distance X stations (X * 100 ft) from the PVC of the curve.

g1
X
r

Substitute this value of X into the equation below to find the elevation of the high point or low
point.

Low/High Point Example Problem

g1 6.0
X X 6 Distance = X*100 ft = 6 * 100 ft = 600 ft
r 1.0

Coordinate Geometry Fundamentals 59

Vertical Curve Practice Problem
Given the following vertical curve data, compute the elevations of the curve summit and
even full stations (that is, 100 ft stations).

LVC = 500 ft
g1 = +2.5%
g2 = -1.0%