mile


1 mile =
SI units
mkm
US customary / Imperial units
ftyd


A mile is a unit of length, usually used to measure distance, in a number of different systems, including Imperial units, United States customary units and Norwegian/Swedish mil. Its size can vary from system to system, but in each is between one and ten kilometers. In contemporary English contexts mile refers to either: There have been several abbreviations for mile (with and without trailing period): mi, ml, m, M. In the United States, the National Institute of Standards and Technology now uses and recommends mi, but in everyday usage (at least in the U. S.) miles per hour is almost always abbreviated as mph or m.p.h. (rather than mi/h).

Historical definitions

A unit of distance called a mile was first used by the Romans and denoted a distance of 1,000 paces (one pace is two steps, 1,000 paces being, in Latin, mille passus) or 5,000 Roman feet, and corresponded to about 1,480 meters, or 1,618 modern yards.[1]

The current definition of a mile as 5,280 feet (as opposed to 5,000) dates to the 13th century, and was confirmed by statute in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I; the change was needed to accommodate the rod which (as opposed to the mile) was a measure ensconced in legal documents (see the discussion about furlongs).

Types of mile

In modern usage, various distances are referred to as miles.

Statute miles

The Statute Mile is the distance typically meant when the word mile is used without other qualifying words (e.g. Nautical Mile, see below).

It originates from a Statute of the English parliament in 1592 during the reign of Elizabeth I. This defined the Statute Mile as 5,280 feet or 1,760 yards; or 63,360 inches. The reason for these rather irregular numbers is that 5,280 feet is made up of eight furlongs (the length generally that a furrow was ploughed before the horses were turned, furlong = furrow-long). In turn a furlong is ten chains (a surveyor's chain, used as such until laser range finders took over); a chain is 22 yards and a yard is three feet, making up 5,280 ft. Twenty-two yards is also the length of a cricket pitch, a game originating in England and played today particularly in countries that were once part of the British Empire.

Before the statute of the English parliament, there was confusion on the length of the "mile". The Irish mile was 2,240 yards (6,720 ft) and the Scottish mile was the length of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, from the Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and was 1,976 yards (5928 ft). In England the Roman mile of 5,000 feet was often used, a length not divisible without fractions into furlongs or yards (5,000 ft = 1,666⅔ yards). For other "miles" see the list below. In the late 1500s, accurate ground mapping was becoming commonly available, such as Christopher Saxton's maps of the English Counties. Therefore, a standard mile became more important than before, hence the Parliamentary Statute. It may also have been related to the potential for taxation, for which a standard measure across the country would be required to prevent regional arguments about length and area.
  • The United States has two definitions of 'mile'
  • The US statute mile is defined as 5,280 survey feet and is therefore 1,609.34722 metres.
  • The US term 'international mile' is 5,280 'international feet' and is 1,609.344 metres.
  • The U.S. survey mile is based on an inch defined by 1 metre = 39.37 inches exactly. It is equal to 5,280 U.S. survey feet, 6,336/3,937 km or approximately 1,609.347 metres. One international mile is equal to 0.999 998 survey miles. The survey mile is used by the United States Public Land Survey System.
The United Kingdom definition is 1,609.344 metres and is contained in The Units of Measurement Regulations 1995.[2]

Nautical miles

Enlarge picture
On the utility of the nautical mile
Each circle shown is a great circle – the analog of a line in spherical trigonometry – and hence the shortest path connecting two points on the globular surface.
Main article: Nautical mile


The nautical mile was originally defined as one minute of arc along a meridian (or in some instances any great circle) of the Earth. Although this distance varies depending on the latitude of the meridian (or great circle) where it is used, on average it is about 6,076 feet (about 1852 m or 1.15 statute miles).

The nautical mile per hour is known as the knot.

Navigators use dividers to step off the distance between two points on the map, then place the open dividers against the minutes-of-latitude scale at the edge of the map, and read off the distance in Nautical Miles. Since it is now known that the Earth is an ellipsoid (spheroid), not a sphere, the distance of Nautical Miles derived from this method varies from the equator to the poles. For instance, using the WGS84 Ellipsoid, the commonly accepted Earth model for many purposes today, one minute of latitude at the WGS84 equator is 6,087 feet and at the poles is 6,067 feet.

In the United States of America, the nautical mile was defined in the nineteenth century as 6,080.2 feet (1,853.249 m), whereas in the United Kingdom the Admiralty Nautical Mile was defined as 6,080 feet (1,853.184 m) and was approximately one minute of latitude in the latitudes of the south of the UK. Other nations had different definitions of the nautical mile, but it is now internationally defined to be exactly 1,852 metres.
  • The nautical mile is almost universally used for navigation in aviation, maritime, and nautical roles because of its relationship with degrees and minutes of latitude and the ability to use the latitude scale of a map for distance measuring.
  • An alternative term - sea mile - is still used for the distance of one minute of latitude.

Other miles

  • The Roman mile (Latin mille passus, plural milia passuum), equalled 1,000 double paces (passus, plural passūs) of five Roman feet (pēs, plural pedēs) each. Its length was 5,000 Roman feet, approximately 1500 m.
  • The Danish mile (Danish mil) was equal to 7,532 metres (or 24,000 Danish feet or 12,000 alen).
  • The Data mile is used in radar-related subjects and is equal to 6,000 feet (1.8288 kilometres).
  • The Dutch mile (the "Hollandic" mile) was nearly the 19th part of a degree (~5.8 kilometres).
  • The Dutch mile (or "Netherlandic" mile) was exactly one kilometre in the Dutch Metric System 1820-1870.
  • The German mile was reckoned to be the 15th part of a degree (and thus about four nautical miles in length or 6.4 kilometres).
  • The Irish mile was equal to 2,240 yards (2,048.256 m).
  • The Italian mile also called the Roman mile (~1.52 kilometres or 0.944 statute miles) was a thousand paces of five Roman feet each (the Roman foot being one fifth of an inch less than the London foot).
  • The term metric mile is used in sports such as athletics (track and field) and speedskating to denote a distance of 1.5 kilometres. In United States high school competition the term is sometimes used for a race of 1.6 kilometres.
  • The Norwegian/Swedish mil (the Swedish mile, currently used in Norway and Sweden) has been defined as ten kilometres from 1 January 1889, when a metric system was introduced in Sweden. The pre-metric mil (in earlier times rast, lit. rest, pause) was about 11.3 kilometres in Norway (see Long Mile below) and 10,688.54 metres in Sweden, representing a suitable distance between rests when walking. In informal and non-precise situations involving longer distances of several kilometres, the mil is, as a rule, used instead of the kilometre. It is also used commonly for measuring vehicle fuel consumption; litres per mil means litres consumed per ten kilometres.[3]
  • The Polish mile was nearly equal to the Dutch mile.
  • The Scottish mile was equal to 1,976.5 yards (1,807.3116 m).
  • The long mile, traditionally used by the Norwegians, Swedes and Hungarians, was about a German mile and a half or around eleven kilometres.
  • The Finnish corresponding unit, virsta, was 1,068.8 m. Ten virsta made one peninkulma (literally "hound's hearing", a distance a dog's bark can be heard in still air), 10.688 km. Today peninkulma refers to ten kilometres in Finnish colloquial usage (compare mil in Norwegian and Swedish usage).
  • The swimmer's mile is 1,500 meters or 30 laps in a 25 meter pool. This (roughly) converts to 1650 yards in a 25 yard pool (33 laps), the standard distance for intercollegiate competition in the United States.
  • A country mile is used colloquially to denote a very long distance.
  • The radar mile is a unit of time, equal to the time required for a radar pulse to travel a distance of two miles (one mile each way). Thus, the radar statute mile is 10.8 μs and the radar nautical mile is 12.4 μs.[4]

See also

References

'Of Divers Measures', in Laurence Echard, 1741, The Gazetteer's or Newsman's Interpreter, London: Ballard et al. (first published 1703)
1. ^ Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, page 762
2. ^ [1]
3. ^ [2]
4. ^ A Dictionary of Units

External links

International System of Units (abbreviated SI from the French Le Système international d'unités) is the modern form of the metric system.
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1 metre =
SI units
1000 mm 0 cm
US customary / Imperial units
0 ft 0 in
The metre or meter[1](symbol: m) is the fundamental unit of length in the International System of Units (SI).
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1 kilometre =
SI units
0 m 0106 mm
US customary / Imperial units
0 ft 0 mi
A kilometre (American spelling: kilometer, symbol km
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U.S. customary units, also known in the United States as English units[1] (but see English unit) or standard units, are units of measurement that are currently used in the USA, in some cases alongside units from SI (the International System of Units
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Imperial units or the Imperial system is a collection of units, first defined in the British Weights and Measures Act of 1824, later refined (until 1959) and reduced.
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1 foot =
SI units
0 m 0 mm
US customary / Imperial units
0 yd 0 in
A foot (plural: feet or foot;[1] symbol or abbreviation: ft or, sometimes,
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1 yard =
SI units
0 m 0 mm
US customary / Imperial units
0 ft 0 in
A yard (abbreviation: yd) is the name of a unit of length in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary
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Miles is the plural of mile.

Miles may also refer to:

In fiction:
  • Miles, one of four cats of Emily Strange
  • Miles Edgeworth, a prosecutor in the Phoenix Wright series
  • Miles "Tails" Prower, fictional fox in the Sonic the Hedgehog

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units of measurement have played a crucial role in human endeavour from early ages up to this day. Disparate systems of measurement used to be very common. Now there is a global standard, the International System (SI) of units, the modern form of the metric system.
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Length is the long dimension of any object. The length of a thing is the distance between its ends, its linear extent as measured from end to end. This may be distinguished from height, which is vertical extent, and width or breadth
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Distance is a numerical description of how far apart objects are at any given moment in time. In physics or everyday discussion, distance may refer to a physical length, a period of time, or an estimation based on other criteria (e.g. "two counties over").
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Imperial units or the Imperial system is a collection of units, first defined in the British Weights and Measures Act of 1824, later refined (until 1959) and reduced.
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U.S. customary units, also known in the United States as English units[1] (but see English unit) or standard units, are units of measurement that are currently used in the USA, in some cases alongside units from SI (the International System of Units
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A mil (Norwegian and Swedish for mile) is a unit of length, usually used to measure geographic distance, fairly common in Norway and Sweden. Today, it measures by definition 10 kilometres, but earlier in history it had different values.
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1 kilometre =
SI units
0 m 0106 mm
US customary / Imperial units
0 ft 0 mi
A kilometre (American spelling: kilometer, symbol km
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1 foot =
SI units
0 m 0 mm
US customary / Imperial units
0 yd 0 in
A foot (plural: feet or foot;[1] symbol or abbreviation: ft or, sometimes,
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1 metre =
SI units
1000 mm 0 cm
US customary / Imperial units
0 ft 0 in
The metre or meter[1](symbol: m) is the fundamental unit of length in the International System of Units (SI).
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1 inch =
SI units
010−3 m 0 mm
US customary / Imperial units
010−3 ft 010−3 yd


An inch (plural: inches; symbol or abbreviation: in or, sometimes,  
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1 nautical mile =
SI units
0 m 0 km
US customary / Imperial units
0 ft 0 mi
A nautical mile or sea mile is a unit of length.
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1 metre =
SI units
1000 mm 0 cm
US customary / Imperial units
0 ft 0 in
The metre or meter[1](symbol: m) is the fundamental unit of length in the International System of Units (SI).
..... Click the link for more information.
1 foot =
SI units
0 m 0 mm
US customary / Imperial units
0 yd 0 in
A foot (plural: feet or foot;[1] symbol or abbreviation: ft or, sometimes,
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Motto
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"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), known between 1901–1988 as the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), is a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce. The institute's mission is to promote U.S.
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Miles per hour is a unit of speed, expressing the number of international miles covered per hour.

Miles per hour is the unit used for speed limits, and speeds, on roads in the United Kingdom, United States and some other nations, where it is commonly abbreviated in everyday
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Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea.
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Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was Queen of England, France (in name only), and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. She is sometimes referred to as The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess
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1 rod =
SI units
0 m 0 cm
US customary / Imperial units
0 ft 0 yd


The rod is a unit of length, equal to 5.5 yards, 11 cubits, 5.0292 metres, 16.
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1 furlong =
SI units
0 m 0 km
US customary / Imperial units
0 ft 0 yd
A furlong is a measure of distance within imperial units and U.S. customary units, and is equal to 660 feet or one-eighth of a mile. In metric units, this is 201.
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A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, perhaps to then be ratified by the highest executive in the government, and finally published. Typically, statutes command, prohibit, or declare policy.
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