Geodesic in Java - Enhancing the Presence of Geodesy on the Internet

abstract | author | presentation | paper

Medak, Damir; Pribicevic, Bosko; Medved, Ivan

Geodesic is the shortest connection between two points on a surface. It is one of few popular concepts having geodesy in its name. A survey of a number of textbooks revealed that the geodesic is usually shown as a 2D-curve in a particular cartographic projection, leading to wrong conclusions about its real shape. It is surprising that the geodesic has never been visualized on the World Wide Web before. Therefore, after a short programming course, our students prepared two interactive Java applets, one of them as a 3D-interactive model, in order to show the real nature of the geodesic. We also tested a number of current and former graduate students of surveying in their knowledge about geodesic, before and after pointing them to the applets. The results show that bringing such simple geodetic problems to the Internet has several positive effects: (1) raising the level of understanding among former, current and future students, which are easily approached through the Internet, (2) enhancing the presence of geodesy on the Internet as an attractive discipline, (3) motivating the students of geodesy to adopt to the "paradigm shift" - changing the FORmula TRANslation to the platform-independent object-oriented programming for the Internet.

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