Absolute vs. Relative Measurements

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The Measurement Tool has the option of displaying coordinates in absolute or relative coordinates. When the program is in absolute mode, the actual position of the cursor is displayed. If the cave is referenced to UTM or some other geographic reference system, the values displayed will be based on that system. For example, if the entrance to the cave has been set to a fixed location using UTM coordinates, the values displayed will be UTM coordinates.


Absolute vs. Relative. The problem with "Absolute" values is the numbers can be very large and awkward. For example, if you are using UTM, you can have cave coordinates of millions of feet or meters. Setting the measuring tools to "Relative" eliminates the large numbers, because all values displayed are relative to the entrance of the cave. If you are not using fixed stations, relative and absolute settings give the same values.