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Offline PickYerPoison

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Hello. I'm planning (or thinking about planning, at least) an experiment based on latitudes. The plan is to have two sailing trips done at "opposite" latitudes and measure the distance traveled. One will be done north of the equator and one south. However, to ensure authenticity, I have some questions I wanted to run by the forum first.

First, the latitude circles used. My thinking is that it shouldn't actually matter what they are, as long as they are supposed to be similar in distance on a round earth model. I will be trying to make them as close as possible, but it's all dependent on what's workable. In the event of a conflict, I plan to err on the side of having a northern circle that's closer to the equator than the southern circle. My thinking on this is that on a round earth, this would result in the southern circle taking less distance, but on a flat earth it will result in the northern circle taking less distance.

Second, measurements. I'll have the distance traveled by each ship recorded using both GPS and other methods (recording propeller rotations, etc). Both measurements will be recorded, since I want to compare them. I'm not entirely sure how distance would be recorded without GPS, but I'm sure any experienced sailor will be familiar with some methods for it, and I'll talk it over with them before okaying things.

Third, navigation. I am okay with the boats using GPS if they are more comfortable with that, but I will be requesting that a compass also be used and the bearing to north recorded at regular intervals. I'm not sure what GPS might be able to do to skew this experiment, but there's probably something, and I'm confident this will provide a good "safety check" to confirm if the route has them double back or any other funny business.

Fourth, crew. I have very little sailing experience and definitely don't have the money or time to make these voyages myself, so I'll have to hire people to do them for me. I'll do my best not to hire from potentially compromised sources, but I know that's not a guarantee tampering won't occur. Is this enough of a concern to invalidate any potential findings? (of either viewpoint)

There may also be additional things I haven't considered. Can you guys think of any, and if possible, how to compensate or negate them?
Remember that "The truth is out there" as long as you are willing to look!

Re: Questions in preparation for a latitudional traversal experiment
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2019, 03:40:59 PM »
GPS does not record distance, it provides an accurate location.  What are you trying to prove that is not known?

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Offline PickYerPoison

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Re: Questions in preparation for a latitudional traversal experiment
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2019, 04:01:12 PM »
GPS does not record distance, it provides an accurate location.  What are you trying to prove that is not known?

You can measure your distance from point A to point B if you know those locations though? The question is partially "do these accurately match".
Remember that "The truth is out there" as long as you are willing to look!