The Difference is the Pan

(An Embellished Story Which Could Be True)

By: Earl F. Burkholder - Global COGO, Inc.

My mother-in-law is a wonderful cook and I married her daughter, in part, because I learned that ham was always served at their family gatherings during the holidays. In recent years my wife has taken more of an interest in preparing meals according to recipes gleaned from her mothers kitchen. Unlike today, recipes in the past were not stored in computer files but were handed down less formally on recipe cards, in a community cookbook, or even verbally from generation to generation. Modifications and experimentation are commonplace.

Last year at Christmas we held the family gathering at our house and preparation of a traditional feast became a big issue. Under her mothers watchful eye, my wife and her sisters orchestrated preparation of a traditional family feast complete with a "sugar cured" Virginia ham. Regretfully, Grandma Elsie is long gone, but her younger sister, Aunt Mary, who is now quite elderly, was able to be with us and provided that anchor to the past we all need from time to time.

Once everyone was seated, including the cousins at a "second" table, and prayful thanks were offered, conversation quickly turned to preparation of the abundant feast, especially the ham "fixed just the way Grandma used to do it." My wife and her mother went on about how today's precooked ham purchased at the supermarket just doesn't compare to a sugar-cured Virginia ham. They described how they prepared it just the way Grandma used to do it - even cutting the shank bone off above the hock before baking it. We were all bragging about how delicious the ham was when Aunt Mary chipped in, "Well, you know why Elsie had to cut the hock bone off don't you? Her pan was too small."

So it is with 3-D and conformal mapping. Using state plane (map projection) coordinates is a perfectly legitimate way to express 2-dimensional relationships on a map, but the 3-D GSDM represents a "bigger pan" and permits use of 3-dimensional spatial measurements without distorting them or forcing them into a 2-dimensional model.

Prototype DOS-based menu-driven software which performs 3-D coordinate geometry and related error propagation computations is called BURKORD®.

Read a better mouse trap description of the GSDM.

Read more about the rigorous definition of the GSDM.

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BURKORD® is a registered trademark of Global COGO, Inc.