How does metrology support you every day?

Every day, metrology touches people’s lives in many different ways. It has an enormous impact on the quality of our life, health and wellbeing. Metrology gives us confidence in measurement results in such important areas as trade, health, safety, environmental monitoring, food safety, protection of consumer rights and law enforcement.

  • People need to have confidence in the accuracy of the weights of products they buy. For example, a kilogram of rice has to be a kilogram of rice and no less or more.
  • Our health depends on a whole range of accurate diagnoses that require precise measurements, such as tests for oxygen levels and cholesterol levels in blood.
  • Accuracy of speed measurements is essential to monitor our speed when we drive to ensure we travel safely.
  • We rely on time measurements not only to be punctual for appointments; but in our everyday use of global positioning systems (GPS) for a range of applications and technologies.

Modern society simply could not exist without measurement. Twenty-first century civilization is inconceivable without the indispensable measurement tools on which everyday life depends. Time, size, distance, speed, direction, weight, volume, temperature, pressure, force, sound, light, energy—these are among the physical properties for which humans have developed accurate measures, without which we could not live our normal daily lives.

Measurement permeates every aspect of human life. Yet, ironically, we tend to take measurement for granted, and we fail to appreciate just how much we need and depend on our measurement tools. We overlook the importance of measurement because we are surrounded by it and have grown accustomed to it. It is only when our measurement tools malfunction or are unavailable that we begin to appreciate just how important they are.

The following videos are from different economies to highlight the role of metrology in everyday life.

Metrology in Daily Life - VSL (Dutch Metrology Institute)

This interactive map from the Measurement Standards Laboratory (MSA), New Zealand, provides a few examples of where measurement has an impact on our lives (reproduced with permission of MSL).