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# Vertical|Definition & Meaning

## Definition

**Vertical** is a **geometric term** that indicates an **upward** or **downward** direction. It is a **relative concept** and is defined with respect to some **reference point** or **level**, so vertical things would have to do with **above** or **below** that point. Generally, **vertical movements** and **distances** are represented as a movement along the y-axis in 2D and the z-axis in 3D.

The term **vertical** is commonly used with vector quantities such as **distance**, altitudes or **angles**. The **vertical** **distance** can be expressed on the basis of where it is being measured or used. Such as **vertical** height, which is the **distance** between two **points**, where one **point** is claimed as a reference, and the other sits right above it at some space, and such a **distance** is measured upwards along a perpendicular **line**.

Similarly, **vertical** depth is the **distance** between two **points**, where one **point** is set as a reference and the other lies right below it with some gap. Such **distance** is measured downwards alongside a perpendicular **line**.

## What Does Vertical Mean?

**Vertical** is a phrase used in geometric terms where a precise up or down location is being conveyed. **Vertical** may also be referred to as:

### Vertical Direction

In the field of astronomy, topography, and other associated **disciplines** and environments, a **direction **or a level excelling by a specified reference **point** is known to be **vertical** if it is subjected in the **direction **of the force of gravity at that **point**. Conversely, the perpendicular **distance** to the **vertical** plane is known as horizontal.

**Historical Meaning**The term**vertical**is a result of a late Latin word, “**verticalis**,” which has a close relationship with the roots of the vertex, which means the ‘highest possible**point**‘ or, more accurately, the “**point**where one starts to turn” as in a swirl.**Geophysical Meaning****The plumb line**In modern**physics**,**household****construction**, and**civil****engineering**, the path that is along the hanging**plum-bob**is usually designated as**vertical**.**The rotating body**When we consider the rotatory behavior of our planet earth, the perceptions of**vertical**are compromised, giving it another meaning of its own. On the external plane of an evenly**circular**, consistent, non-revolving planet, the plumb bob directs as a**vertical**in a**radial direction**.Usually, the

**vertical**walls sticking out toward the clear sky don’t tend to be parallel, as they all intersect at the median**point**. This theory is practically implemented in various**construction**projects as well as in civil engineering.

**Mathematical Meaning****Two-dimensional perspective**When we are in the perspective of an**orthogonal****Cartesian****coordinate****system**, to declare a**line**to be a**vertical**one, the starting**point**or an initial label has to be prepared. Usually, the Y**direction**is labeled as the**vertical,**whereas the X**direction**is its counterpart, i.e., the**horizontal**level. In such cases, determining one**direction**can easily help in defining the other direction. These directions act as a pair in every respect.The

**vertical****lines**do not possess the power to cross each other or intersect at any**point,**as they tend to be parallel in nature. If there is a**point**P on the plane, then there can be only one**vertical****line**within that plane. These facts somehow change in**3D geometry.****Three-dimensional perspective**In three-dimensional geometry, the horizontal and**vertical**planes are an addition to the horizontal and**vertical****lines**, thus making the situation a little more complicated. In**3D space**, the**symmetry**that holds in the**2D**doesn’t exist.

### Vertical Angles

When a pair of **vertical** **line**s cross each other at some certain **point**, a total of four distinct **angles** are formed. These **angles** come in opposite pairs and are named relative to their location on each side.

Usually, when two straight **line**s intersect each other, they form an **“X”** shape, and thus the **angles** formed on the vertices of this shape are known as **vertical** **angles** or **vertically **opposite **angles**.

This equality in the opposite **angles** is known by the **vertical** **angle** theorem, and according to this theorem, the opposite pairs of **vertical** **angles** are equal in measure as both pairs are supplementary to the adjacent **angles**. A **line** is formed when two adjacent **angles** meet each other, thus called supplementary.

## Units of Vertical

Orthometric height is a **vertical** **distance** that can be stated in various units, including feet, meters, etc. Some **vertical** coordinates, such as geopotential **numbers**, are not based on typical length units.

## Tools for Measuring Verticality

### Altimeter

A **device** used to **measure** an object’s **altitude** above a given level is an **altimeter** or an **altitude** **meter**.

**Bathymetry**, the term used to describe the measurement of underwater **depth**, is connected to the term **altimetry**, which is used to measure altitude.

### Bathymetry

The study of the **underwater** depth of the ocean, lake, or river bottoms is known as **bathymetry**. In other terms, bathymetry is the **geography** or **hypsometry** of the ocean.

### Depth Gauge

An **instrument** used to measure **depth** below a surface of **reference** is a depth gauge. They consist of **engineering** tools for measuring the **depth** of holes and indentations from a **reference** surface as well as depth gauges for underwater diving and related applications.

## Vertical Vs. Horizontal

The word **vertical** refers to the **space** measured from top to bottom, whereas **horizontal** refers to the **measurement** from right to left.

### Vertical Scale Vs. Horizontal Scale

When we scale up the **computing** **power** of a device, we are merely referring to the **vertical** and horizontal scales of that **device**. The addition of more computer resources to your system is termed **horizontal** scale uplifting. But if you add more internal resources, such as a **memory** **expansion** or a faster processor, to that existing system, then it is referred to as the **vertical** scale.

In our daily usage, **vertical** scaling has become more common as it is better to buy a **powerful** **computer** than to rely on two of the same devices. But in an organization-based environment, the horizontal scale is far more common as more than one **computer** is working on the same **query** or **service**.

This phenomenon can be really handy in other practical environmental resources. Such as, transporting a bunch of people on a bus is **vertical** scale, whereas all of those people traveling in their individual cars is an example of a **horizontal** **scale**.

### Vertical Integration Vs. Horizontal Integration

Not only are **vertical** and horizontal used in mathematical terms, but they have been proven to be quite handy in the business sector. The term **horizontal** **integration** is commonly used in businesses that are enhancing their growth by **increasing** their production by staying at the same **supply** **chain level** as their previous products.

Whereas when a business enters a new set of domains in its current level of the **supply chain**, it is known as **vertical** **integration**. For example, a jam company introduces peanut butter in horizontal integration, whereas the same jam company grows its own fruit for the jam in **vertical** **integration**.

## Example of Verticality in Real Life Situations

Provide some real-life examples or scenarios where verticality is involved.

### Solution

The walls in our homes, offices, or hotels are **vertical** unless there is a serious issue with them, or they are modeled in reference to the leaning tower of Pisa. A straight wall emerges at a **perpendicular** **angle** from the ground, straight up.

As **opposed** to when you are resting **horizontally** on a sofa, you are **vertical** when you are in an upright position.

Any object that has an upright posture will always have a **vertical** alignment, whereas an object lying down on its back will have a horizontal alignment.

Since the alphabet **“v”** faces down, it is easy to hark back to which **direction **is **vertical**.

*All images/mathematical drawings were created with GeoGebra.*