Measurement in Daily Life

Modern society simply could not exist without measurement. Twenty-first century civilization is inconceivable without the indispensable measurement tools on which everyday life depends. Time, size, distance, speed, direction, weight, volume, temperature, pressure, force, sound, light, energy—these are among the physical properties for which humans have developed accurate measures, without which we could not live our normal daily lives.

Measurement permeates every aspect of human life. Yet, ironically, we tend to take measurement for granted, and we fail to appreciate just how much we need and depend on our measurement tools. We overlook the importance of measurement because we are surrounded by it and have grown accustomed to it. It is only when our measurement tools malfunction or are unavailable that we begin to appreciate just how important they are.

This interactive map provides a few examples of where measurement has an impact on our lives.

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