[Talk-GB] Measuring building height

Tony Shield tony.shield999 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 19 16:23:08 UTC 2019


Been figuring out how to do this for a while - my solution-

rule - I used 30cm (aka 1 foot), calculator, known length of arm - in my 
case .6m, OSM map to measure distance from target.

With hand holding rule vertically measure the target height against the 
rule for rule height, this is the key measurement, note the measurement 
point. From the map measure the distance from the measuring point to the 

With this information and using proportions (which is what a tangent is) -

target height = (rule height in metres * distance from measuring point 
to target) / length of arm in metres.

Using this technique I have this morning measured known height of of a 
local landmark, and the unknown height of a building. The known height 
of 50m measured 8cm at a range of 375m. The unknown height of the 
building with 5 floors was calculated to be 20.7 metres which would on 
the face of it be realistic (from 3cm and 414m). (Botany Bay mill in 


On 19/03/2019 09:30, Brian Prangle wrote:
> There are also theodolite apps for smartphones
> On Tue, 19 Mar 2019, 00:17 Rob Nickerson, <rob.j.nickerson at gmail.com 
> <mailto:rob.j.nickerson at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     For building heights why not try using a laser measure? Those with
>     a Pythagoras Measurement mode should automate the calculations for
>     you.
>     Price has fallen a lot over the years. Seems like even a basic £30
>     device is sufficient.
>     Best regards,
>     Rob
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