How Land is Surveyed
In our everyday lives, we use a variety of tools for measuring, such as tape measures, protractors, and rulers which work well for home projects. So how do engineers take measurements for larger projects like a bridge, road, pipeline, or dam? In civil engineering, almost every project begins with a survey to determine the legal boundaries between properties.
What is Surveying?
Surveying has been around since the beginning of recorded history. Surveying is a technique used for determining the distances and angles between three-dimensional or terrestrial points. The points are used to establish legal boundaries, maps, locations, or other requirements by civil or government law like property sales. Surveying is also used for communications, transportation routes, mapping, and is also considered a research tool for other scientific disciplines.
Surveyors work with a variety of measurement methods such as elements of physics, trigonometry, geometry, meteorology, programming languages, regression analysis, engineering, and laws. They combine the data gathered and use it to calculate plans for large projects, and determine what grade the land needs to be at in order for a building to exist there.
- Distance measurement
- Angle measurement
- Determining a position
- Reference networks
- Datum and coordinate systems
- Checking for errors and accuracy
- Theodolite – used to measure angles
- Gyro theodolite – like a theodolite that uses a gyroscope for underground applications to orient itself without reference marks
- Measuring tape
- Total station – like a theodolite that uses an electronic distance measurement device for leveling
- 3D scanners
- Aerial imagery
- Ancillary equipment – tripods, instrument stands, staves, beacons, PPE, digging implements, hammers, markers, portable radios, and vegetation clearing equipment
- Software for total station, 3D scanners, GPS, and data collection
Forensic Engineering Specialists
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