Resigning from the army in 1836, he became a civil engineer and constructor of railways, and was engaged under the war department in survey work.
In these circumstances the constructor has two broad alternatives between which to choose.
Consequently the Gaussian theory only supplies a convenient method of approximating to reality; and no constructor would attempt to realize this unattainable ideal.
Although planned in the shape of a cross, with a square and tower in the middle, the arms of the cross are not straight, the constructor holding the ingenious opinion that, in order to prevent little towns from being taken in at a glance, their streets should be crooked.
In correcting the elements of Delambre's solar tables he had been led to suspect an inequality overlooked by their constructor.