Constructing accurate diagrams of word problem- Trig

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  • #1
opus
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Homework Statement


A canoe is floating down a creek. The canoe is first spotted 80 feet away. 7 minutes later the canoe is 45 feet away, making a 40° angle between the two sightings.
How far did the canoe travel?

Homework Equations


Law of Sines and Law of Cosines

The Attempt at a Solution



This question is more in terms of constructing a proper diagram. I have two different drawings, and I'm really just looking for guidance as to which drawing is accurate to the given problem, and why the other isn't. They both seem to represent the problem, but they both don't seem to be saying the same thing.
Please see my attached image. Thank you!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
opus
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Attached image
 

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  • #3
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Homework Statement


A canoe is floating down a creek. The canoe is first spotted 80 feet away. 7 minutes later the canoe is 45 feet away, making a 40° angle between the two sightings.
How far did the canoe travel?

Homework Equations


Law of Sines and Law of Cosines

The Attempt at a Solution



This question is more in terms of constructing a proper diagram. I have two different drawings, and I'm really just looking for guidance as to which drawing is accurate to the given problem, and why the other isn't. They both seem to represent the problem, but they both don't seem to be saying the same thing.
Please see my attached image. Thank you!
I think your first drawing is more appropriate. The second drawing seems to imply that the observer is on a high bank looking down at the canoe.
 
  • #4
symbolipoint
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Mention any details about angle of elevation or depression? None? All done in the same plane. Your upper diagram fits.
 
  • #5
opus
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Ok thanks guys. Once I get a drawing going, I can go from there. Making the actual drawing seems to be where the ambiguity is.
 
  • #6
symbolipoint
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Ok thanks guys. Once I get a drawing going, I can go from there. Making the actual drawing seems to be where the ambiguity is.
The description is not really ambiguous. The straightforward interpretation leads to the single triangle shown in the first picture. No mention of angles of elevation nor depression were given. Check again post #3.
 
  • #7
opus
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I guess I just need to do more of them. So the second drawing would relate to angle of depression I see.
 
  • #8
symbolipoint
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I guess I just need to do more of them. So the second drawing would relate to angle of depression I see.
BINGO! Right on target! Do MORE exercises; not fewer. Keep up practicing the many exercises, and from different books, for the same topics as you study and with experience you may become familiar with some types of exercises and they become easier to analyze and solve.
 
  • #9
opus
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Thanks guys.
 

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