Measurement Unit

When should I use meters and when should I use feet?

The primary units used to measure distance are the meter and the U.S. Survey foot. UTM distances are usually expressed in meters. State Plane distances are usually expressed in U.S. Survey Feet, and tenths and hundredths of feet, when using NAD27 datum; and, meters when using NAD83.

What is the difference between a foot and a surveyor’s foot?

The definition of the yard resulted in the imperial foot being 0.3048 meters exactly. However, in the USA, in 1866 the meter was declared to be 39.37 inches. This made the US foot to be approximately 0.3048006096 meter. Not a lot of difference? It was to scientists and engineers, especially as measuring instruments became more and more accurate. It was not until the 1950’s that agreement was reached on that, when the imperial definition was adopted by the USA.

In the meantime, most of the USA had been surveyed using the 1866 definition that became identified as the US Survey Foot. Metrication of the survey undertaken towards the end of the 1900’s used, for conversion purposes, the fact that 39.37 US(survey)feet = 12 meters (exactly).