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3. Prior to 1959 the foot was defined to be 12/39.37 meters (1 meter = 39.37 inches), exactly. In 1959 the foot was redefined to be 0.3048 meters, exactly. The older standard was retained as the U.S. survey foot. This was done because of established coordinate systems and considerable existing documentation based on the older system. Units, which are based upon the foot, therefore have a U.S. and/or international unit and a U.S. survey unit. The difference between the two systems is very small (0.0002%). For example the U.S. mile is 5280 standard feet (of 0.3048 meters). The U.S. survey mile (also called the statute mile) is also 5280 feet but they are survey feet (12/39.37 meters). The difference between the two is roughly 1/8 of an inch.