A point is one the three primitive geometric types which also include line and area. A spatial point, although usually undefined, describes a specific point within a given space that consists of neither volume, area, length, nor any other higher dimensional analogue. From a set of points (or coordinates), you can form a line which is a set of points whose numerical coordinates satisfy a numerical equation of a certain form. In this setting, point becomes a defined concept.
Because of their nature as the simplest geometric concept, points are often used in one form or another as the fundamental constituents of geometry, physics, vector analysis, engineering, and many other fields. (Wikipedia, 2008) The application of points as a fundamental constituent is seen in engineering science. Civil engineering deals with the planning, designing, construction, and maintenance of structures and altering geography to suit human needs.
It includes the conception, design, construction, and management of residential and commercial buildings and structures, water supply facilities, and transportation systems for goods and people, as well as control of the environment for the maintenance and improvement of the quality of life. (Columbia Encyclopedia, 2008) By its very nature, civil engineering is bound up with society and human behavior and should hold the safety, health, and welfare of the public paramount.
Thus, civil engineering projects and systems should not only be built economically and conserve energy but should also allow hazard-free construction while providing healthful, safe, and environmentally sound utilization by society. Civil engineers have the responsibility to produce designs that will perform as expected and will not cause unintended harm to the public at large. (Columbia Encyclopedia, 2008) This emphasizes the importance of factually accurate designs, plans, and prototypes.
By applying scientific and mathematical principles to practical ends, these designs and prototypes are created through mathematical models that are primarily based on the use of points and point features. Points are the elements of processes in topographic works such as the identification and location of natural features and improvement, analysis of slope and grade requirements. The mapping of points and point coordinates on a surface increases the accuracy of data to be used in engineering design, construction and improvements.
It is necessary to satisfy required accuracies by to ensure that plans, designs and the construction process will not endanger end-users. For example, to determine if a structure or object is changing shape or moving, three-dimensional positions of specific points on the object are determined and compared with the a set of positions re-measured and calculated after the passage of time. Findings are crucial to addressing problems that may imperil lives and welfare of people.