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When is a Square not a Square?
2

When is a Square not a Square?

When is a Square not a Square?

(OP)
I throw this out to the MAI collective for enlightenment.

A spokesperson for the RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) Scotland is quoted on the BBC News Website as saying:

Quote:

In less than 10 years we've seen the cost of a square acre of farmland grow to such an extent that...

Now I was always under the impression that an acre was a measurement of area and cannot, therefore, be squared in this sense.

It is worrying that a professional in the field (pun intended) of land and land measurement should make such a glaring error. Unless the BBC mis-quoted of course.

Aspiring to mediocrity since 1957

RE: When is a Square not a Square?

Perhaps they mean that the acre in question is a square rather than any other shape. Perhaps acres of other shapes have not grown in cost in the same way

winky smile

RE: When is a Square not a Square?

I think you should ask that in forum1229: Squaring The Circle.

I'm looking forward to further puns with female square, church square, square brackets, square feet and square dance. Let's see what follows.

Bye, Olaf.

RE: When is a Square not a Square?

If it's farmland, then I hope there IS a lot of growing going on.

--------------
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RE: When is a Square not a Square?

If memory serves me right there are 640 acres in a square mile. As 640 is not itself a perfect square then a square acre would be a rare find. The actual shape is usually defined as 22 yards by 220 yards.

All of that aside, yeah, he done messed up.

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: When is a Square not a Square?

I've confirmed my memory above and can add that an acre is 43560 square feet. I haven't spent a whole lot of time on this but early indications are that it is not possible to fit 640 square acres into a square mile. So not only wrong in a general sense but also specifically as it turns out.

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: When is a Square not a Square?

Quote (kwb)

it is not possible to fit 640 square acres into a square mile.

kwb, I don't know if you are making a play on words, above, but (5,280 x 5,280) / 640 results in your 43,560 value. What is the "not possible" part? (Just so I understand the joke.)

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
“People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

RE: When is a Square not a Square?

I am sure that everybody at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors is a total square anyway, so it may just be their usual mode of expression...
tongue

“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” (Kofi Annan)
Oppose SOPA, PIPA, ACTA; measures to curb freedom of information under whatever name whatsoever.

RE: When is a Square not a Square?

Well, sqrt(640) is ~25.3, but you can't arrange 25.3x25.3 acres, it's not a integer number.

But you can arrange acres in the form of 80x8 acres, and since their aspect ratio is 1:10 in the definition you gave earlier, it would fit perfectly this way, since 22*80=220*8 and both is 1760 yards = 1 mile. Perfect fit to a square mile, though not with quadratic acres.

And in wikipeadia you find why the aspect ration was this way.

Bye, Olaf.

RE: When is a Square not a Square?

-a

RE: When is a Square not a Square?

>The actual shape is usually defined as 22 yards by 220 yards

I believe that the 'modern' acre has no specific shape, and is simply an area of any area of 43,560 square feet

RE: When is a Square not a Square?

Olaf got my meaning:

Taking the original comment literally (and no, not figuratively). A square acre would need to encompass 43,560 square feet in a shape with equal length sides. The square root or 43,560 sq feet, or equivelent in any standard british measurement, does not appear to be a rational number so I've assumed that a literal square acre does not exist.

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: When is a Square not a Square?

Quote (OlafDoschke)

... it's not a integer number.

As my father used to say, "God uses floating point". Then going on to say something about him being analog and not digital.

Quote (strongm)

... and is simply an area of any area of 43,560 square feet

Square feet?!? Does that mean you can't have a round acre without pixelation around the edges?

Square acres are easier to render.

bigsmile


RE: When is a Square not a Square?

@Sambones - if we're going to start talking about Squaring a Circle, we're definitely in the wrong forum.

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: When is a Square not a Square?

(Note: Tek-Tips technical staff are addressing the issue with the "coding", below. It should come to a resolution later today [8/26/13])

Most American agricultural communities started out divided into 36 sections, each section is 1 (literal) square mile, making towns typically 6 miles wide by 6 miles long (which is why, from an aircraft, most of rural America looks like a patch-work quilt of 1-mile square patches.

The relationship of a square mile to an acre is quite the story:

Acre comes from the Old English, æcer originally meaning "open field". In English it was historically spelled aker.

When the acre came about, it was never thought of in "square" terms. Instead, the acre was approximately the amount of land tillable by a yoke of oxen in one day. This explains an early definition for acre as the area of a rectangle with sides of length one chain by one furlong. (A long narrow strip of land is more efficient to plough than a square plot, since the plough does not have to be turned so often.) The word "furlong" itself derives from the fact that it is one furrow long. The accepted length of a chain and a furlong come from a surveyor's chain (named, "Gunter's Chain") invented by an English mathematician, Edmund Gunter (1581-1626). A furlong was equal to 10 chains...1 chain was equal to 100 links...1 link is equal to .66 of a foot (or 7.92 inches)).

Things become a bit clearer when we "link" (pun intended) a rod to all of this. A rod (also known as a perch) is a surveyor's tool whose length was precisely 1/4 of a surveyor's chain (mentioned above). Here's the payoff: the "one-chain-by-one-furlong" dimension translates into "4 rods by 40 rods" ! Look how nicely those dimensions fit into a square mile: 5,280 feet are divisible very conveniently (and evenly) by both 4 and 40: 132 rods by 1,320 rods...and it takes 640 of those rectangular acres to fit evenly within the four sides of a square mile! Cool, huh?

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
“People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

RE: When is a Square not a Square?

Quote (SamBones)

round acre

Indeed those also exist. I followed the canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield on his last mission on Google+, where he posted a lot of pictures he took from the ISS dome and you see lots of circular fields in farming, besides very many fantastic impressions of weather, sea, nature, mountains, cities and other and man made structures like in Dubai.

Bye, Olaf.

RE: When is a Square not a Square?

==> you see lots of circular fields in farming,
That's actually a result of the watering system. Water is piped underground to the center of the circle where is extends upward and then outward through a pipe whose length matches the radius of that circle. The pipe then rotates around the center watering the entire area. That results in the farmland appearing like a bunch of circles. It's call "Central Pivot Irrigation".

--------------
Good Luck
To get the most from your Tek-Tips experience, please read
FAQ181-2886: How can I maximize my chances of getting an answer?
Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something. - Plato

RE: When is a Square not a Square?

[Drifting a bit off topic due to curiosity]
With a central pivot irrigation system, wouldn't the crops near the center of the circle get much more heavily watered than the crops near the outside of the circle (due to the fact that the watering pipe covers a smaller amount of land per rotation near the center)? Do they somehow take this into account by planting crops that require more water near the center or by modifying the watering pipe so that it sprays more water near the outside of the circle?

I think it's a clever idea, but I'm a little confused on the implementation (and too lazy to look it up, so I'm hoping somebody knows).

RE: When is a Square not a Square?

[Drifting a bit off topic due to curiosity]
KornGeek,

    It's been decades since I've worked with Central Pivot Irrigation so I may be out of touch but . . . "back in the day" we could adjust the sprinklers to the amount of water we wanted to spray. That way the central sprinklers wouldn't over water the field. I would often see the outside sprinklers over water move often than the inner ones. I've also seen some that would allow the pipes to pivot on the ends so they would water a square field. I wonder if those are still being made? They always seemed broken more often than not.

[/Drifting a bit off topic due to curiosity]

James P. Cottingham
I'm number 1,229!
I'm number 1,229!

RE: When is a Square not a Square?

If you are not familiar with a central-pivot irrigation system, you can read more about it at Wikipedia: Central-pivot irrigation. It include photos and explanations of how it all works.

I remember as a teenager, before central-pivot irrigation came along, we'd spend hours "moving line", which was manually moving straight rain-bird irrigation pipes to the next furrows over...backbreaking, arduous work that is nearly extinct with central pivots.

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
“People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

RE: When is a Square not a Square?

So, to the math!

Given that you can't water a square area with a circular irrigation system, how much acreage contains the parched crop?

-----------
With business clients like mine, you'd be better off herding cats.

RE: When is a Square not a Square?

As an estimate, I would say 640 * Pi * (the radius of the watering arm in miles)^2.

RE: When is a Square not a Square?

If you want to see the effects of "Central Pivot", click on this link of satellite map of Rexburg/Idaho Falls, Idaho. According to the satellite view, farmers don't mind losing the "corners" of the acreage in return for the amazing cost reductions that "Central Pivot" represents.

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
“People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

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