The various ways of measuring space and time are parallel.
- A ruler measures length, that is, the distance between two points (A to B).
- An ruler turned upside-down measures length backwards (B to A).
- A tripmeter measures the travel distance of a vehicle trip.
- An odometer measures the cumulative travel distance.
- A measuring wheel (surveyor’s wheel) measures the travel distance of a wheel being pushed.
- A road map measures travel distance of a standard vehicle. See Geodistance.
- A stopwatch measures time, that is, the duration between two instants (A to B).
- A timer measures the time counting down from a set time, i.e., backwards (B to A).
- A GPS watch or time clock measures the duration of an activity, such as running or working.
- A GPS watch (or smartphone app) measures cumulative travel time (or flight time).
- A measuring wheel (or surveyor’s wheel) with a stopwatch measures the travel time of a wheel being pushed.
- A clock measures travel time synchronized with a standard motion.
Note that #2 shows time can be measured backwards. Space and time can both be counted up or counted down. There’s nothing magical about it.