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Surveying is an art which helps in determining the relative positions of points on, above or beneath the surface of earth by means of direct or indirect measurements of distance, directions and elevations.
From civil engineering point of view, surveying includes topics like fundamental principles of surveying, types of survey, linear measurements, compass surveying, traverse surveying, leveling, calculation of area and volume, tacheometric, curve and hydrographic surveying, triangulation, field astronomy, photogrammetric surveying, theodolites, total station, precision and accuracy of surveying instruments, types of errors and its calculation, Geographic Information System (GIS), Global Positioning System (GPS) etc.
Surveying utilizes trigonometry principles to find the required elevation, distance or angle. Surveying is the first step of any project so as to locate the position of the structure and mark the layout accordingly. Plane surveying is suitable for short distances but for large distances, effect of earth curvature has to be taken in to account, also known as geodetic surveying.
Linear measurements are done with the help of chains and tapes. Due to usage, temperature changes, these chains or tapes won’t give actual measurements thus proper adjustments has to be done by introducing corrections. Compass surveying helps in locating an object by taking angular measurements with the help of a compass by calculating bearings and linear measurements using chain or tapes.
Traverse surveying helps in establishing control networks by using previous point as the reference point, a traverse can be closed or an open traverse. This type of surveying is useful when points are separated by obstacles and can’t be directly measured. In tacheometry, the relative horizontal and vertical distance between two points on earth’s surface can be found out without using a compass or chain or tapes.
Alignments of road, railway tracks, metro etc. are set by using the survey instruments. Setting out of curves is an important application of surveying and there is no scope of any error, thus precise instruments and a competitive surveyor is needed for these works. Hydrographic surveying finds its application in dock and harbor engineering, irrigation, laying of pipelines etc.
The success of surveying operation depends on the instrument being used thus one needs to check the precision and accuracy of the instrument. Since errors can accumulate on the positive side which may result in the wrong location. One has to check the sensitivity of the instrument before use.
GPS is a revolutionary technology which helps in locating the position of any object and digital surveying instruments use GPS technology to get the required distances.
GIS is a system used to capture, store, analyze, manipulate and manage the geographical data. GIS also helps in performing the operations on the data thus very helpful in getting the required information. This highlights the importance of proper surveying and appropriate transfer of the surveying data to the GIS platform so that we can plan future development plans by locating the hidden utilities, for example: underground cables, water pipelines, sewer lines etc.
Photogrammetric surveying helps in analyzing the large amount of information with the help of photographs or combination of photographs In aerial surveying, photographs are taken at regular intervals with certain overlapping and these are analyzed by the experts so as to get the different features of the area being surveyed. It involves calculation of relief displacement, number of photographs required to survey the area etc.
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