More so than any other operating environment, a laser rangefinder works at its peak in an urban setting. The widespread presence of solid structures and reflective surfaces with squared, perpendicular sides makes for reliable, long-range lazing to a device's maximum range. But this setting also contains plenty of aspects that lend themselves to fairly accurate range estimation using eyeball and manual techniques, too.
Unlike rural areas, urban ones contain regularly spaced or standard-sized yardsticks you can use when estimating range. The most fundamental is what I call "the standard block/' which recognizes that many urban areas have city blocks of consistent dimensions. Discover these dimensions and your range estimation becomes a snap. To be truly accurate, you also must know the widths of standard two-lane and four-lane streets.
Another urban yardstick is parking meters, which usually are spaced at very precise intervals, as are sidewalk slabs in downtown areas. When combining the standard block with counting parking meters, you'll be able to estimate distance to an accuracy of +/- 1 yard!
The toughest urban (and mountain) range esti-
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