Example - A Tree

How tall is that tree? This time the Internet can't help us.

In order to determine the distance to the tree, a very simple method was used: paces. Paces are just slow deliberate steps that are as close to the same as possible each time. The actual size of a pace will be different for different sized people. For this case, the distance was 44 paces.

Then, to get the angle, use the Circuit Playground and sight in the top of the tree. Press either button to get a reading.

Here is the resulting display on the Circuit Playground. The green light on NeoPixel #9 means the reading is good, the #0, #3, and #4 NeoPixels are lit indicating the angle, and since the #8 NeoPixel is not lit, the value is positive.

Now we can use the worksheet to determine what angle is being indicated. In this case:

1 + 8 + 16 = 25 degrees

Then use a calculator to get the tangent of this angle:

tan (25 deg) = 0.4663

We determined our distance was 44 paces above, so just need to multiply to get the final answer:

44 x 0.4663 = 20.5

Let's just call it 21 paces.

Great. But how tall is that? If you take this approach you will need to determine how big your paces are. You can place a tape measure on the ground and step next to it to get an idea. I came up with about 3 feet for my pace, which gives:

3 feet/pace x 21 paces = 63 feet

The tree is about 63 feet tall.

Last updated on 2016-10-18 at 06.12.33 PM Published on 2016-10-25 at 12.26.06 PM