Types of Surveying

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Surveying is the art of determining the relative positions on, beneath, or above the surface of the ground or earth by the direct or indirect way of measurements of distance, direction, and elevation.

Surveying can be classified into two types i.e. Primary and Secondary.


  A. Primary Types of  Surveying  


1. Plane surveying:

Plane surveying is done by state agencies as well as private agencies.

As we know the earth is spherical but its diameter is big to consider plane in minor dimensions.

It is that type of surveying in which the mean surface of the ground is taken as a plane and the spherical shape is ignored.

All triangles produced by survey lines are taken as plane triangles.

The level line is taken as straight and plumb lines are taken as a parallel.

Plane surveying is done in an area of fewer than 250 km2.


2. Geodetic surveying:

The geodetic survey is taken by the survey department of the nation. Surveying in which the curved shape of the earth is taken into a field.

The objective of the geodetic survey is to calculate the precise position on the surface of the ground.

The line joining two points is taken as a curved line and angles are assumed as spherical angles.

It is carried out if the area is more than 250 km2.


  B. Secondary Types of Surveying  

Surveys may be classified based on the nature of the field and the instruments used.

  1) Types of surveying based on Nature of Survey  


a) Topographical Surveys

This survey is carried out to determine the position of natural features such as rivers, streams, hills, etc, and artificial features such as roads and canals.

The purpose of such surveys is to prepare maps which are called topo-sheets.


b) Hydrographic Survey

The hydrographic survey is taken out to determine Mean Sea Level (M.S.L), water spread area, depth of water bodies, the velocity of flow, etc.


c) Astronomical Survey

The Astronomical Survey is carried out to determine the absolute location of stars, planets, etc.


d) Engineering Survey

This survey is undertaken whenever sufficient data is to be collected for planning and designing engineering works such as roads, bridges, and reservoirs.


e) Archeological Survey

This survey is taken out to gather information about sites that are important from archaeological considerations and for unearthing relics of the ancient past.


f) Photographic Survey

In this survey, information is gathered by taking photographs from points using a camera.


g) Aerial Survey

In this survey, data about large tracks of land is gathered by taking photographs from an aero-plane.


h) Reconnaissance Survey

In this survey, data is gathered by making physical observations and some measurements are taken by using survey instruments.


  2)Types of surveying based on Type of Instruments  

a) Chain Surveying:

Chain surveying is the simplest and oldest type of surveying.

The principle used in the chain survey is triangulation.

The area to be surveyed is parted into several triangles.

Angles of triangles should not be less than 30 degrees and must not be greater than 120 degrees.

Equilateral triangles are assumed to be ideal triangles. No angular measurements are calculated in this surveying. Lines such as tie lines and check lines increase the accuracy of the work.

This method is suitable on level ground with fewer undulations.


b) Compass Surveying:

Compass survey is based on the principle of traversing.

This method does not require creating triangles.

It uses a prismatic compass for measuring the magnetic bearing of the line and the distance is measured by the chain.

A series of connecting lines is prepared using the compass and measuring distances using a chain.

Using offset from main survey lines, Interior details are located.

This surveying is suitable for large area surveying crowded with more details.


c) Plane Table Surveying:

The principle of a plane table survey is based on parallelism.

The relative points are directly plotted on the paper. The rays are drawn from station to object on earth. The table is placed at each of the relative stations parallel to the relative position of the last station.

They are good for filling internal detailing and are used when more accuracy is not needed.


d) Theodolite Surveying:

The theodolite is an instrument that is commonly used for accurate measurement of the horizontal and vertical angles. Theodolite can be used to measure:

a. Horizontal angles

b. Vertical angles

c. Deflection angle

d. Magnetic bearing

e. The horizontal distance between two points

f. Vertical height between two points

g. Difference in elevation

Theodolite in Surveying

 Nowadays theodolite is less in use and replaced by the use of Total Station which can perform the same task with greater accuracy and can give accurate results.


e) Tacheometric Surveying

A tachometer is a part of surveying in which both horizontal and vertical distances are calculated by taking an angular measurement with an instrument known as a tachometer.

Tacheometer is a transit theodolite fixed with a stadia diaphragm and an analytic lens. There is no use of chaining in this survey. The principle of the Tacheometer is dependent on the properties of the isosceles triangle, where the ratio of the distance of the base from the apex and the length of the base always remains constant.


  3. Types of Surveying Based on the purpose of surveying  


a. Mine survey

This surveying is used for exploring mineral wealth.


b. Geological survey

The geological survey is used for determining different strata in the earth crust to study the earthquake, earth structure, etc.


c. Archaeological survey

This survey is carried out to prepare maps of ancient culture. It is also essential to research history.


d. Military survey

The military survey is carried out by the military personnel to prepare maps and surveying of structures like bunkers, underground storage units like storage of bombs, etc.


  C. Uses of Surveying  

1. For planning and estimating engineering projects like water supply and irrigation schemes, mines, railroads, bridges, buildings, etc.

2. For making navigation routes.

3. For preparing military strategic planning and military maps.

4. To determine different strata in the earth’s crust.

5.  For exploring mines and minerals.


Read More: Types of Canal
Read More: Ranging in Surveying
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