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Is there a better, smarter way of structuring a metric vs imperial conversion table than the one below?

I.e. for a spreadsheet for calculating storage / shipping costs for products whose suppliers use different unit systems.

Thanks in advance!


Metric                Imperial

1 mm                  0.03937 in
1 cm        10 mm     0.3937 in
1 m         100 cm    1.0936 yd

Imperial              Metric

1 in                  2.54 cm
1 ft        12 in     0.3048 m
1 yd        3 ft      0.9144 m


Metric                Imperial

1 cm3                 0.0610 in3
1 dm3     1,000 cm3   0.0353 ft3
1 m3      1,000 dm3   1.3080 yd3
1 l       1 dm3       1.76 pt

Imperial              Metric

1 in3                 16.387 cm3
1 ft3     1,728 in3   0.0283 m3
1 fl oz               28.413 ml
1 pt      20 fl oz    0.5683 l

USA measure                               Metric

1 fl oz               1.0408 uk fl oz     29.574 ml
1 pint (16 fl oz)     0.8327 uk pt        0.4731 l
1 gallon              0.8327 uk gal       3.7854 l


Metric                Imperial

1 mg                  0.0154 grain
1 g      1,000 mg     0.0353 oz
1 kg     1,000 g      2.2046 lb

Imperial              Metric

1 oz     437.5 grain  28.35 g
1 lb     16 oz        0.4536 kg
1 stone  14 lb        6.3503 kg
1 cwt    112 lb       50.802 kg


Length:  1 m = N in / N ft / N yd
Volume:  1 m3 = N in3 / N ft3 / N yd3
Weight:  1 kg = N oz / N lb
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I don't think there will be an objective standard for "best possible." In what ways is this table deficient for you? (Also, I removed the metric-spaces tag since that's actually something totally unrelated to the metric system.) – Nate Eldredge Jun 24 '12 at 0:26
Hello Nate! It's not deficient per se - I just got a feeling it can be radically simplified, but I don't know really. – Mark Boulder Jun 24 '12 at 9:55

Of course, you could always add more conversions.

It is probably easier if you put the numbers in one column and the unit in another-it will simplify searching.

A table is one thing, a way of using it is another. Do you expect people to use this or some software to automatically look up entries in various units and convert to some standard (presumably metric)? I would make the right column the units you use for billing, which would only be one of each type. For example: kg, no grams. I wouldn't limit the left column to imperial, but would add 1000 g=1 kg. How do you distinguish between the US version and the Imperial version of measures, as they have the same name-you acknowledge this, but again how does the user know?

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Hey hey! The plan is that this spreadsheet will look up these entries and convert all the units to whatever system the user prefers. – Mark Boulder Jun 24 '12 at 9:56
Not too sure how to distinguish between the US version adn the Imperial version. So, so far we got: 1. Reduce to 2 columns. 2. Remove units that are not likely to get used (cwt, stone etc). – Mark Boulder Jun 24 '12 at 10:03
Could it be done as simple as this? See edit above! – Mark Boulder Jun 24 '12 at 11:24
It could, but you need to address the software that does the lookup. If I declare something as 12 oz, is that a weight or a volume? If weight, is it avoirdupois or troy? Your software needs to figure it out. The data file is only one part of the system-you need the whole system to work. – Ross Millikan Jun 24 '12 at 15:20
True indeed! I'll figure it out though. Thanks man! – Mark Boulder Jun 24 '12 at 18:40

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