## Abstract

‘Geodesy’ comes from Greek γη, Earth, and \(\delta \alpha \acute{\iota }\omega \), divide, i.e.‘Earth division’. ‘Geodesic’ will be used in a rather special geometric sense in the following, but it will be related to the old problem of measuring the shortest path on the curved surface of the Earth. From the Euclidean geometry of a plane surface, we know that the shortest path between two points is the straigth line between the points on the surface. However, on the spherical surface of the Earth you cannot find straight paths, so the shortest path between two points is the *straightest possible* path on the surface between the points. Such paths are called *geodesic curves*.

## Keywords

Short Path Tangent Vector Cartesian Coordinate System Spherical Surface Parallel Transport
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

## Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2011