geodetic triangle[¦jē·ə¦ded·ik ′trī‚aŋ·gəl]
a triangle whose sides are geodetic lines on the surface of an ellipsoid.
The geodetic triangle is important in geodetics, where the shape of the earth is taken to be an ellipsoid (specifically, a geoid). Because of the oblate character of the earth, the triangles on the earth’s surface obtained by measuring triangulation are not, strictly speaking, geodetic. They are converted back to geodetic triangles by the introduction of mathematically computed small corrections to the measured angles.