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a geodetic instrument for measuring the length of lines on location. Made of steel or invar, it is 15 to 20 mm wide, 0.3 to 0.4 mm thick, and 20 to 50 m long (sometimes up to 100 m). The accuracy of measurement if the tape is laid directly on the ground is from 1:1,000 to 1:3,000; for other measuring methods the accuracy is 1:20,000 or higher.
tape(1) See magnetic tape, videotape and paper tape.
(2) To record or capture. Although most TV stations have phased out videotape in favor of hard disk or solid state media, people still use the term "tape" to mean capture. The phrase "play the tape" means "play the recording." See videotape.