What is the Geodetic Arch Struve?

The Struve Geodetic Arc is a series of survey triangulation points that extend to the Black Sea after starting from Hammerfest in Norway. Along the way, it passes through ten other countries covering a total distance of 2,820 kilometers. They represent the survey points mapped between 1816 and 1855 during the investigations carried out by the German astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve. The survey points helped to ascertain the precise size and shape of the land. They also represented the first exact measurement along the meridian part and marked the first step in the development of the theme of Earth science and topographic mapping. It is a fantastic illustration of a scientific collaboration between scientists from different countries and cooperation between monarchs for a scientific cause.


Over the course of several centuries, man had always been fascinated by the shape and size of the planet earth, and the calculation of accurate measurements of this became one of the most important problems for philosophers from the 4th century BC onwards. In the 16th Century, a new measurement system known as the Triangulation Approach was developed that improved the ability to determine the size and shape of the world. According to the new approach, it involved creating arches that stretched for hundreds and thousands of kilometers using chains of triangles.

Before the Struve Geodetic Arc was developed, there was an arc of about 2400 kilometers that had been developed in India and that had been completed in 1845 by Lambton and Everest, and it was another shorter arc in Lithuania that had been developed by Carl Tenner. Struve, a German astronomer, worked at Dorpat University, now the University of Tartu in Estonia has decided to map the arc along Meridian’s longitude line and pass through the university’s observation center. The new arc outlined by Struve linked the earlier shorter bows in the south created by Tenner to create a longer Arch that would have been known as the Geodesic Arch Struve.

Positions of survey points

Currently, the properties that include these survey points are listed on the United Nations list of world heritage sites for education, science and culture (UNESCO), and cover 34 of the original station points mapped by Struve. Four points are in Norway, seven in Sweden, six in Finland, two in Russia, three in Estonia, three in Lithuania, two in Latvia, four in Ukraine, five in Belarus and one in Moldova. The signs along the arc take different forms that include small holes made on the surfaces of the rocks and some have been filled with lead, some have been marked with cross incisions, monuments built to commemorate the arch, and the point, others with rocky structures.


The Struve Geodetic Arc is an incredible illustration of an interchange of human values ​​and scientific collaboration that transcends international borders and serves as an exceptional technological result. The Struve Geodetic Arc was the first measurement along part of the meridian that helped to establish the exact size and shape of the earth and a significant milestone in the development of the discipline of earth sciences. It was also an exemplary exchange of human values ​​through scientific collaboration across the boundaries between scientists and monarchs for a scientific cause. T


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