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  1. [surveying] Locating positions on the earth's surface using the principle that if the measures of one side and the two adjacent angles of a triangle are known, the other dimensions of the triangle can be determined. Surveyors begin with a known length, or baseline, and from each end use a theodolite to measure the angle to a distant point, forming a triangle. Once the lengths of the two sides and the other angle are known, a network of triangles can be extended from the first.

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