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.