On our first trip I just assumed I'd be holding the stick but instead I was operating the transit. Did I mention this was my first time operating a transit? We got some preliminary measurements, but I realized this piece of paper and graphing was just silly. While I'm sure you can buy an expensive surveying program to do this, we don't need this very often, and how hard could it be to write?
First was my browser-based input app. I used this on my iPad to enter the numbers and verify them.
That was pretty cool, but it was still necessary to interpolate the points to generate a topographical map. I figured out a suitable algorithm involving way more trigonometry that I've used since high school, but generated 3 times the number of data points in interpolation:
And then plotted the points out on the graph:
Very cool! There was also a second diversion where I server-based solution where you could upload the measured data points and get back an Excel spreadsheet. Who knew that in an hour you could be exporting fully formatted xls Excel spreadsheets with all of the columns sizes and formats not just comma separated values! That used Apache POI, a Java library for manipulating Microsoft Office documents. Cool stuff!