E. Taping

1. Theory

A tape is a thin ribbon of metal with uniform markings used to measure distances. It replaced a chain which consisted of links and rings, a portion of which is shown in Figure E-1.

Figure E-1
Chain Portion

A chain was a flexible measuring device, however the links and rings would eventually wear requiring length adjustment at the handles. It was also heavier and links were subject to bending if not carefully handled. A tape doesn't have physical connections and is relatively light. It has uniform thickness along its length which makes major instrumental errors systematic easier to compensate procedurally or mathematically.