What is surveying? What are the types of surveying in civil engineering field

Surveying

What is surveying?

Surveying is the science of measuring land or field and make a map. or in other term analysis of a land/field with different tools and technique with required accuracy to create map.

Surveying is vast subject with advanced theories and technique to help or making ease of progress or planning of different projects in civil engineering.

Different site condition and location requires a different and advanced method of surveying. With some advantages and limitations, Followings are the classification of surveying.

Types of Surveying

Flow chart of classification or types of surveying
Classification of surveying


Based on work accuracy:

Plane surveying

It is the easiest and fastest method of survey, which is widely used in the field of surveying.
In this method of surveying, the land which is to be survey is considered as plane, in other term the curvature of the earth is neglected and consider it as a flat surface.

Geodetic surveying

A high accuracy of survey work is carried out in this type of surveying in civil engineering field.
Earth curvature is consider while survey work is carried out.
Geodetic surveying is used when large area of land(more than 250 square km.) has to be measured.
Different tools are used for different types of work in geodetic surveying.

Based on use of resulting maps

Control surveying

Using different surveying tools and methods, a survey is done to provide reference framework of horizontal and vertical points.
This survey is done when a reference points on earth are needed.

Topographic surveying

Topographic surveying is natural and man-made details of land.it is also called as contour survey.
Contour survey include the details of natural stream, mountains, concrete or man-made structure, vegetables, etc., in land.
Contour or topographic surveying is necessary before construction or planning or land development in area or land.
This type of  survey work is very important for any country.
This type of survey can be done with surveying tools and methods with skilled manpower. 

Cadastral surveying

Cadastral surveying is also called as land or boundary surveying.
This type of surveying is done when plotting the boundaries of your properties.
Cadastral surveying is very useful survey in the field of surveying.

Hydrographic surveying

Hydrographic surveying is used to get information of under water bodies.
Hydrographic surveying is useful in getting information of sediments under water, sea bed level, tidal information of ocean, weather forecasting, finding natural resources underwater, water depth information, etc.
This type of surveying also use to support the Navy or defense system of the nation.
"Sonar" is used in this survey method.
Single-beam sonar and multi-beam sonar method is used in hydrographic survey.

Route surveying 

Route surveying or route alignment surveying is a survey which conduct for planning and construction of road and railway lines.
There are three types of route surveying 

Reconnaissance surveying

in this type survey aneroid barometer, prismatic compass, pedometer and binocular telescope, etc.
This type of survey is done primarily in route surveying.

Preliminary surveying

this type of surveying is done after the reconnaissance survey and route is decided for railway or road line with the help of techometer, dumpy level, prismatic compass, plane table, etc.

Location surveying 

location survey carried out with paper location and field location with the help of theodolite and other tools. 

Mine surveying

Mine surveying is done before mining operation on and under ground surface of the land using modern technologies and tools with skilled manpower.
Various technologies are used in this type of surveying like, laser scanning, UAVs & drones, mobile mapping, LiDAR & aerial mapping, remote sensing, etc.
This type of surveying is required accurate results for making the mine projects smooth and efficient.

Based on equipment used

Chain surveying

Only linear measurement of the points are done on chain surveying. Small(field should be flat without any obstacle) and limited distance can be measured on this type of surveying.
Chains, arrow, ranging rod, pegs, offset rod, cross staff, measuring tap and plumb bob are used in chain surveying.
There are different chains are available to complete chain surveys are Engineer's chain, Metric chain, surveyors chain, Steel band, Revenue chain.
Error can be possible in chain survey like, personal error. compensating error, cumulating error, etc.

Theodolite surveying

Theodolite surveying is a method to measure horizontal and vertical angle using device called theodolite.
Theodolite surveying is mostly used in building and road construction in civil engineering field.
Surveying instrument called "Theodolite" consist of following parts:
  1. Telescope
  2. Horizontal plate 
  3. Vertical circle
  4. Index frame
  5. The standard
  6. The upper plate
  7. The lower plate
  8. Plate level
  9. The leveling head
  10. The shifting head
  11. Magnetic compass
  12. Tripod
  13. Plumb bob  
There are some types of theodolite like, repeating theodolite, directional theodolite, electrical digital theodolite, total station, etc.,

Plane table surveying


It is fast and easy surveying type. Plane survey method is used when small size of the land need to be survey with good weather conditions.
Plane table, alidade, plumb bob and plumb fork, compass, spirit level, chain, ranging rods, tripod, drawing paper or sheet, paper clips or screw, etc.
The plane table arrangements can be done in following simple steps,
leveling of plane table, centering of plane table, orientation of plane table
Following methods are used to complete the plane table surveying.
  • Radiation
  • Intersection
  • Traversing
  • Resection 

Tacheometric surveying

This surveying instrument is used to measure horizontal and vertical distance of two points
Tacheometric surveying can be used as alternative of chain surveying as it only measure small distance of horizontal points with so many limitation.
There are different method of tacheometric surveying, 

Stadia method of tacheometry
  • Fixed hair method
  • Movable hair method
Tangential method of tacheometric surveying

Errors in tacheometric surveying can be instrumental errors manipulation and sighting error, natural causes error, etc., 

Photogrammetric surveying 

Photogrammetric camera is a major instrument used in photogrammetric surveying.
A required Photographs are taken of the survey field (from the ground or air) in this type of survey.
Benefits of this type of survey is easy to use, cost and time efficient, to reach inaccessible area, it covers large area, etc.

Based on position of instruments 

Aerial surveying 

Aerial surveying is done for gathering information or images with the use of aerial devices.
Aerial surveying is a powerful technique which is used in various civil engineering field.
This type of surveying method is used where the proposed survey land is big or it is unable to reach the field.
Aerial photography is widely used in the world now days, for different kind of applications like in civil engineering field, businesses, climate, also in the marriage or different kind of functions for the personal use.


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