The story of codifying measurement standards in the United States has often been a case of one foot forward, two feet back. Case in point: For almost 100 years the United States has actually had two different definitions for what constitutes a foot.
But after years of inaction, the federal government will finally put its best foot forward — retiring the longstanding U.S. survey foot in favor of the international foot. “It’s like an anti-standard,” says Michael Dennis, Ph.D., PE, M.ASCE, a geodesist with the National Geodetic Survey. Dennis has been spearheading the drive to retire the old standard
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