Height


Height

Height is the measurement of vertical distance, but has two meanings in common use. It can either indicate how "tall" something is, or how "high up" it is. For example one could say "That is a tall building", or "That airplane is high up in the sky". These can both be referred to as the height of the object, as in "The height of the building is 50m" or "The height of the airplane is 10 000m". When used to describe how high something like an airplane or mountain peak is from sea level, height is more often called altitude. Height is measured along the vertical (y) axis between a specified point and another point.

In mathematics

Dimensional models assert height as the third dimension, more accurately referred to as depth, the other two being length and width, which form a two-dimensional plane of reference. In this model, the dimension of height is measured along a line traveling from the point in question and intersecting the plane of reference at a 90 degree angle.

In geology

Although height is relative to a plane of reference, most measurements of height in the physical world are based upon a zero surface, known as sea-level. Both altitude and elevation, two synonyms for height, are usually defined as the position of a point above the sea-level. One can extend the sea-level surface under the continents: naively, one can imagine a lot of narrow canals through the continents. In practice, the sea-level under a continent has to be computed from gravity measurements, and slightly different computational methods exist, see Geodesy, heights.

In geodesy

Instead of using the sea-level, geodesists often prefer to define height from the surface of a reference ellipsoid, see Geodetic system, vertical datum.

Defining the height of geographic landmarks becomes a question of reference. For example, the highest mountain by elevation in reference to sea-level belongs to Mount Everest, located on the border of Nepal and Tibet; however the highest mountain by measurement of apex to base belongs to Mauna Kea in Hawaii, United States.

In aviation

In aviation terminology, the terms height, altitude, and elevation are not synonyms. Usually, the altitude of an aircraft is measured from sea-level, while its height is measured from ground level. Elevation is also measured from sea-level, but is most often regarded as a property of the ground. Thus, elevation plus height can equal altitude. But the term altitude has several meanings in aviation, see Altitude in aviation.

In human culture

Human height is one of the areas of study within anthropometry. As pointed out in an article [http://www.newyorker.com/printable/?fact/040405fa_fact] in "The New Yorker", the average height of human populations appears to be a convenient metric for all the factors that make up a group's well-being. [ [http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/chi-heights-0528_covermay28,0,3717353.story Chicago Tribune] ] While height variations within a population are largely genetic, height variations between populations are mostly environmental.

The United Nations uses height (among other statistics) to monitor nutritional standards in developing nations. In human populations, average height can distill down complex data about the group's birth, upbringing, social class, diet, and health care system. However, the height of a human is not always directly connected or related to such things as nutrition, social class, etc.

References

ee also

* CGS units
* Chinese units
* Imperial units
* International System of Units
* U.S. customary units


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  • height — [ haıt ] noun *** 1. ) count or uncount how high something is, or how tall someone is: He was about the same height as his wife. in height: a graceful tower, rising to 400 feet in height someone s full height (=their height when they stand up… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • height — W2S2 [haıt] n ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(how tall)¦ 2¦(distance above the ground)¦ 3¦(high place)¦ 4 new/great/dizzy etc heights 5 the height of something 6 be at the height of your success/fame/powers etc 7 be the height of fashion/stupidity/luxury etc ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Height — (h[imac]t), n. [Written also {hight}.] [OE. heighte, heght, heighthe, AS. he[ a]h[eth]u, h[=e]h[eth]u fr. heah high; akin to D. hoogte, Sw. h[ o]jd, Dan. h[ o]ide, Icel. h[ae][eth], Goth. hauhi[thorn]a. See {High}.] 1. The condition of being… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • height — [hīt] n. [< earlier highth < ME heighthe < OE hiehthu (akin to Goth hauhitha) < heah: see HIGH & TH1] 1. the topmost point of anything 2. the highest limit; greatest degree; extreme; climax; culmination [the height of absurdity] 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • height — height, altitude, elevation mean the distance a thing rises above the level on which it stands, or the vertical distance between a given level taken as a base and a thing that is above it. Height may be used with reference to whatever can be so… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Height — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Dorothy Height (1912–2010), US amerikanische Politikerin, Bürgerrechtlerin und Sozialarbeiterin Siehe auch: Heightmap, siehe Höhenfelder, zweidimensionale skalare Felder, die ein Höhenrelief beschreiben… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • height — ► NOUN 1) the measurement of someone or something from head to foot or from base to top. 2) the distance of something above ground or sea level. 3) the quality of being tall or high. 4) a high place or area. 5) the most intense part or period:… …   English terms dictionary

  • height´en|er — height|en «HY tuhn», transitive verb. 1. to make higher; elevate: »The builder heightened the doorway to accommodate the tall owner. 2. Figurative. to make stronger or greater; increase: »The clowns and the band heightened the children s pleasure …   Useful english dictionary

  • height|en — «HY tuhn», transitive verb. 1. to make higher; elevate: »The builder heightened the doorway to accommodate the tall owner. 2. Figurative. to make stronger or greater; increase: »The clowns and the band heightened the children s pleasure. Wax… …   Useful english dictionary

  • height — O.E. hiehþu, Anglian hehþo highest part or point, summit; the heavens, heaven, from root of heah high (see HIGH (Cf. high)) + itha, Germanic abstract noun suffix. Cf. O.N. hæð, M.Du. hoochte, O.H.G. hohida, Goth. hauhiþa height. Meaning d …   Etymology dictionary


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