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Origins and Development of Nomography

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129522D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 12 page(s) / 50K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

H. A. EVESHAM: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Early developments that preceded nomography are cited, and the development of the subject is examined in outline. The special problem of nomograms in three variables is considered in a genera/ way. Uses of nomography, both old and recent, are given. The tone is intended to be descriptive, not technical, but references are provided so that the interested reader can investigate the subject further.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1986 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Origins and Development of Nomography

H. A. EVESHAM

(Image Omitted: © 1986 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies. Inc. Permission to copy without fee all or part of this material is granted provided that the copies are not made or distributed for direct commercial advantage, the AFIPS copyright notice and the title of the publication and its date appear, and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies. Inc. To copy otherwise, (or to republish, requires specific permission. Author's Address: 107, High Street, Meppershall, Shefford, Beds. SG17 5LZ, England. © 1986 AFIPS 0164-1239/86/040324-333

Origins and Development of Nomography

H. A. EVESHAM .00/00)

Early developments that preceded nomography are cited, and the development of the subject is examined in outline. The special problem of nomograms in three variables is considered in a genera/ way. Uses of nomography, both old and recent, are given. The tone is intended to be descriptive, not technical, but references are provided so that the interested reader can investigate the subject further.

Categories and Subject Descriptors: 1.3.5 [Computational Geometry and Object Modeling]; K.2 [History of Computing] -- people, software Additional Key Words and Phrases: nomography, geometry

1. Introduction: The Origins of Nomography

Nomography is the branch of knowledge that uses the results of geometry to carry out computation. It appears to have arisen from the need to carry out civil engineering calculations, principally occasioned by the construction of the French railway system during the middle years of the nineteenth century. Subsequently, it developed into a powerful tool for performing calculations in a variety of applications in which carrying out frequent calculations of a similar type with a minimum of delay was necessary. To be skilled in the use of a nomogram requires no special understanding of the nature of the computation but merely an ability to use the particular nomogram. Examples of nomograms can be found in older texts on computations for engineering and science. The most common type consists of three parallel scales constructed in such a way that each represents a variable from a given three-variable relationship. A straight line passing through particular points on any two of the scales will align with the corresponding point on the third scale that satisfies the relationship. As an example, consider the relationship y = x + z and the chart shown in Figure 1. The outer scales are x and z. A straight line joining any two points on them will pass through the point on the center scale that corresponds to their sum; 2 + 4 = 6 is illustrated.

A type almost as common consists of a network of intersecting curves...