New Terms
Transit – an angle measuring device in which the scope can be rotated about a horizontal axis Theodolite – same as a transit but scales are optically read Repeating Instrument – can be set to zero before sighting backsight Direction Instrument – can’t be set to zero before sighting backsight (more accurate) Vernier – a device that divides the smallest graduation on a scale into proportional parts Plunging – rotating the scope about the horizontal axis until it is upside down. Double centering – observing the backsight with the scope normal and turning an angle to a foresight then plunging the scope and repeating the process.

New terms
Angle to the right – a horizontal angle measured clockwise as observed from above. Deflection angle – a horizontal angle measured to the foresight left or right relative to a line formed by the backsight and instrument points. Astronomical Meridian – a plane in space including the spin axis of the earth and a point on the earth’s surface. True Meridian – a line on the surface of the earth through a point created by intersection of the astronomical meridian and the earth’s surface. (A line of longitude through the point of interest.) Magnetic Meridian – A line on the earth’s surface from a point of interest to the magnetic pole. Grid Meridian – North-south parallel lines, one of which passes through the origin of coordinates for the map area. Convergence of Meridians – all true meridians converge to the north and south poles.


ANGLE TO THE RIGHT N E F C N N D Angle to right N B N A Deflection Angle D B C A 2 .

Open Traverse – A series of connected line segments identified by length and direction which does not close on the point of origin.True N Grid N Magnetic North Grid N Grid N True N Magnetic Declination Mapping Angle Point of Origin New terms Azimuth of a Line – The direction of a vector in a horizontal plane measured clockwise from north. 3 . Closed Traverse – A series of connected line segments identified by length and direction which closes on the point of origin. The angle must be less than 90 degrees and direction must be given to the east or west relative to the meridian. Compounding – Accumulating angles in normal plunged pairs to increase accuracy beyond the minimum scale reading. Bearing of a Line – The angle formed by the intersection of a horizontal vector and the meridian through a point. For example N25ºW or S30ºE. Back Azimuth – The azimuth of a line from the instrument station to the backsight.

N N30°E N20°W W N30°E S50°E E S OPEN TRAVERSE N E F C N N D N N B A 4 .

If it is. This is the value to be used in calculations and is a better measure of the actual angle. If the angle did not double. and mistakes avoided by compounding. then take the second (compounded) angle and divide by 2.Measuring an angle using chord method 0 0. Assume the instrument can read to the nearest 01’ (one minute). 5 . NOTE: Do not take the second angle and divide by 2 and compare to the first to check to see if the angle doubles. the corresponding chord is: Chord = 2[(100. 2. 1. the measurement needs to be repeated or the instrument needs to be serviced. Multiple the first angle read by 2 and see if it equals the second (compounded) angle. This plus and minus range would be reduced if the reading accuracy of the instrument is less than 01’. errors eliminated. If the angle doubled.0 10 ft 70.7 3 ft 41º25’15” 100. This is not always the case. the angle doubled within acceptable limits. or within plus or minus 01’.00)(sin ф/2)] Determining the correct angle right from compounded angles Accuracy can be improved. 3. Some instruments have a reading accuracy of less than one minute.00 ft If the desired angle is ф.

01’ Normal Angle 62º25’30” 62º25’30” 62º25’30” 115º32’00” 115º32’00” 115º32’00” 115º32’00” Plunged Angle 297º34’30” 297º34’50” 297º34’10” 244º28’00” 244º27’00” 244º26’00” 244º30’00” Correct Angle 62º25.01’ First angle 59º23’ 181º52’ 287º39’ 353º33’ Range of compounded angles Corresponding correct angles 118º45’ 3º43’ 215º17’ 347º05’ 118º46’ 3º44’ 215º18’ 347º06’ 118º47’ 59º22’30” 3º45’ 59º23’00” 59º23’30” 181º52’30” 287º39’30” 353º33’30” 181º51’30” 181º52’00” 215º19’ 287º38’30” 287º39’00” 347º07’ 353º32’30” 353º33’00” Examples of Angles in the Vertical plane Assume the instrument is capable of measuring to the nearest 0.Examples of Horizontal Angles Assume the instrument is capable of measuring to the nearest 0.30” 62º25’20” 62º25’40” 115º32’00” 115º32’30” 115º33’00” 115º31’00” 6 .

simply average the normal and plunged readings. This value should be either added or subtracted from each field value to obtain the correct zenith angle. take the difference and divide by 2. Example: Normal reading Plunged reading Correct value = 212º32’24” = 212º32’38” = 212º32’31” Determine the correct zenith angle from normal/plunged readings Errors can be eliminated and mistakes avoided by observing angles measured in the vertical plane both normal and plunged. simply average the normal and plunged readings. 7 . The sum should equal 360º. 2. If it doesn’t. add the normal and plunged readings. In the case of zenith angles. In the case of vertical angles. 1.Determining the correct horizontal angle when angles are double centered but not compounded When angles are measured with instruments capable of measuring to less than 10 seconds.