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This forms a reference or control network where each point can be used by a surveyor to determine their own position when beginning a new survey.
Survey points are usually marked on the earth's surface by objects ranging from small nails driven into the ground to large beacons that can be seen from long distances. The surveyors can set up their instruments on this position and measure to nearby objects.
Sometimes a tall, distinctive feature such as a steeple or radio aerial has its position calculated as a reference point that angles can be measured against. It can determine distances, elevations and directions between distant objects. Since the early days of surveying, this was the primary method of determining accurate positions of objects for topographic maps of large areas.
A surveyor first needs to know the horizontal distance between two of the objects, known as the baseline.
Surveying for Engineers
Then the heights, distances and angular position of other objects can be derived, as long as they are visible from one of the original objects. High-accuracy transits or theodolites were used, and angle measurements repeated for increased accuracy. See also Triangulation in three dimensions. Offsetting is an alternate method of determining position of objects, and was often used to measure imprecise features such as riverbanks.
The surveyor would mark and measure two known positions on the ground roughly parallel to the feature, and mark out a baseline between them.
At regular intervals, a distance was measured at right angles from the first line to the feature. The measurements could then be plotted on a plan or map, and the points at the ends of the offset lines could be joined to show the feature. Traversing is a common method of surveying smaller areas.
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The surveyor starts from an old reference mark or known position and places a network of reference marks covering the survey area. They then measure bearings and distances between the reference marks, and to the target features. Most traverses form a loop pattern or link between two prior reference marks so the surveyor can check their measurements. Datum and coordinate systems[ edit ] Main article: Geodetic datum Many surveys do not calculate positions on the surface of the earth, but instead measure the relative positions of objects.
However, often the surveyed items need to be compared to outside data, such as boundary lines or previous survey's objects. The oldest way of describing a position is via latitude and longitude, and often a height above sea level.
As the surveying profession grew it created Cartesian coordinate systems to simplify the mathematics for surveys over small parts of the earth. The simplest coordinate systems assume that the earth is flat and measure from an arbitrary point, known as a 'datum' singular form of data.
The coordinate system allows easy calculation of the distances and direction between objects over small areas. Large areas distort due to the earth's curvature. North is often defined as true north at the datum. For larger regions, it is necessary to model the shape of the earth using an ellipsoid or a geoid.
Many countries have created coordinate-grids customized to lessen error in their area of the earth. Errors and accuracy[ edit ] A basic tenet of surveying is that no measurement is perfect, and that there will always be a small amount of error.
Upsetting the instrument, misaiming a target, or writing down a wrong measurement are all gross errors. A large gross error may reduce the accuracy to an unacceptable level. Therefore, surveyors use redundant measurements and independent checks to detect these errors early in the survey. Systematic: Errors that follow a consistent pattern. Examples include effects of temperature on a chain or EDM measurement, or a poorly adjusted spirit-level causing a tilted instrument or target pole.
Systematic errors that have known effects can be compensated or corrected. Random: Random errors are small unavoidable fluctuations. They are caused by imperfections in measuring equipment, eyesight, and conditions. They can be minimized by redundancy of measurement and avoiding unstable conditions. Random errors tend to cancel each other out, but checks must be made to ensure they are not propagating from one measurement to the next.
Civil Engineering Questions and Answers
Surveyors avoid these errors by calibrating their equipment, using consistent methods, and by good design of their reference network. Repeated measurements can be averaged and any outlier measurements discarded. Independent checks like measuring a point from two or more locations or using two different methods are used.
Errors can be detected by comparing the results of the two measurements. Once the surveyor has calculated the level of the errors in his or her work, it is adjusted.
This is the process of distributing the error between all measurements. Each observation is weighted according to how much of the total error it is likely to have caused and part of that error is allocated to it in a proportional way. The most common methods of adjustment are the Bowditch method, also known as the compass rule, and the principle of least squares method.
The surveyor must be able to distinguish between accuracy and precision. In the United States, surveyors and civil engineers use units of feet wherein a survey foot breaks down into 10ths and ths. Many deed descriptions containing distances are often expressed using these units Calculation and mapping tolerances are much smaller wherein achieving near-perfect closures are desired. Though tolerances will vary from project to project, in the field and day to day usage beyond a th of a foot is often impractical.
Broad groups are: As-built survey: a survey that documents the location of recently constructed elements of a construction project.
As-built surveys are done for record, completion evaluation and payment purposes. An as-built survey is also known as a 'works as executed survey'. As built surveys are often presented in red or redline and laid over existing plans for comparison with design information. Cadastral or boundary surveying : a survey that establishes or re-establishes boundaries of a parcel using a legal description.
It involves the setting or restoration of monuments or markers at the corners or along the lines of the parcel. These take the form of iron rods , pipes , or concrete monuments in the ground, or nails set in concrete or asphalt. It incorporates elements of the boundary survey, mortgage survey, and topographic survey. Control surveying: Control surveys establish reference points to use as starting positions for future surveys.
Most other forms of surveying will contain elements of control surveying. Construction surveying Deformation survey : a survey to determine if a structure or object is changing shape or moving. First the positions of points on an object are found.
A period of time is allowed to pass and the positions are then re-measured and calculated. Then a comparison between the two sets of positions is made. Dimensional control survey : This is a type of survey conducted in or on a non-level surface.
Common in the oil and gas industry to replace old or damaged pipes on a like-for-like basis, the advantage of dimensional control survey is that the instrument used to conduct the survey does not need to be level. This is useful in the off-shore industry, as not all platforms are fixed and are thus subject to movement.
Engineering surveying: topographic, layout, and as-built surveys associated with engineering design.
They often need geodetic computations beyond normal civil engineering practice. Foundation survey: a survey done to collect the positional data on a foundation that has been poured and is cured.
This is done to ensure that the foundation was constructed in the location, and at the elevation, authorized in the plot plan, site plan, or subdivision plan. Hydrographic survey : a survey conducted with the purpose of mapping the shoreline and bed of a body of water.
Used for navigation, engineering, or resource management purposes. Leveling : either finds the elevation of a given point or establish a point at a given elevation. Mining surveying : Mining surveying includes directing the digging of mine shafts and galleries and the calculation of volume of rock. It uses specialised techniques due to the restraints to survey geometry such as vertical shafts and narrow passages.
Mortgage survey: A mortgage survey or physical survey is a simple survey that delineates land boundaries and building locations. It checks for encroachment , building setback restrictions and shows nearby flood zones. In many places a mortgage survey is a precondition for a mortgage loan. Photographic control survey : A survey that creates reference marks visible from the air to allow aerial photographs to be rectified.
Stakeout, layout or setout: an element of many other surveys where the calculated or proposed position of an object is marked on the ground.
This can be temporary or permanent. This is an important component of engineering and cadastral surveying. Structural survey: a detailed inspection to report upon the physical condition and structural stability of a building or structure.
It highlights any work needed to maintain it in good repair.
Subdivision: A boundary survey that splits a property into two or more smaller properties. Topographic survey: a survey that measures the elevation of points on a particular piece of land, and presents them as contour lines on a plot. Plane and geodetic surveying[ edit ] Based on the considerations and true shape of the earth, surveying is broadly classified into two types. Plane surveying assumes the earth is flat. Curvature and spheroidal shape of the earth is neglected.
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Connect with: Use your name: Thank you for posting a review! We value your input.Please enter your name here. Every human activity needs to be duplicated if it is not self-checking. Survey works up to square miles square kilometers are treated as plane and beyond that are treated as geodetic.
When using an optical level, the endpoint may be out of the effective range of the instrument. This topic was dropped from the fifth edition of this book but now reappears in a completely rewritten chapter which reflects modern software applications of a technique that underlies much of satellite positioning and inertial navigation as well as rigorous survey control.
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