65 33' 30"
110 05' 00"
111 25' 30"
72 54' 30"
A
B
C
D
Balancing Angles
Surveyors usually measure interior angles of a
polygon, know the bearing or azimuth of one of
its sides and need to calculate the azimuths or
bearings of all the sides of the traverse. This is a
very common problem that all students must be
capable of solving. As such, consider
the following example of data and try to solve for
the azimuths of all the sides:
Equal Corrections
Issue
Distribute closure
Station Measured Angle Correction Adjusted Angle
A 65 33' 30" 00" 65 33' 30"
B 110 05' 00" 30" 110 05' 30"
C 111 25' 30" 30" 111 26' 00"
D 72 54' 30" 30" 72 55' 00"
SUM 359 58' 30" 1' 30" 360 00' 00"
Example Traverse: Balanced Angles
65 33' 30"
110 05' 30"
111 26' 00"
72 55' 00"
A
B
C
D
Directions of Lines
Use adjusted angles to compute line direction
Azimuths or bearings?
BEARING
Vary from 0 to 90 degrees
From North and South
Clockwise or counter clockwise
Two letters + numerical value
AZIMUTH
Vary from 0 to 360 degrees
From North or south
Clockwise or counter clockwise
Numerical value
Bearing
Azimuth
Azimuths are called forward or back azimuths to
represent, for example, the azimuths of AB
and BA (see figure). The back azimuth differs from the
forward azimuth by 360 on a grid
map.
Computing Directions
110 05' 30"
A
B
C
Compute Directions Clockwise Around Traverse
110 05' 30"
A
B
C
Assume or find azimuth of AB
30 15' 30"
Compute azimuth of BA (azimuth of AB 180)
210 15' 30"
Subtract angle at B
210 15' 30"  110 05' 30" = 100 10' 00"
Directions of Traverse Lines
Station Line Angle Azimuth Bearing
AB 30 15' 30" N 30 15' 30" E
B 110 05' 30"
BC 100 10' 00" S 79 50' 00" E
C 111 26' 00"
CD 168 44' 00" S 11 16' 00" E
D 72 55' 00"
DA 275 49' 00" N 84 11' 00" W
A 65 33' 30"
AB 30 15' 30" N 30 15' 30" E
EXERCISES
1. If the azimuth of a line is in the second quadrant, then:
a. Bearing = S (180  azimuth) E
b. Bearing = S (azimuth + 180) E
c. Bearing = S (azimuth  180) W
d. Bearing = S (180 + azimuth) W
2. The azimuth of AB is 231
o
19, and the angle at B is
134
o
42 to the left. Find the bearings
of BA and CB.
3. The azimuth of BC is 98
o
24, and the angle at C is
92
o
35 to the left. Find the azimuths of
CB, CD and DC.
Directions of Traverse Lines
A
B
C
D
Departures and Latitudes
Departures (deps)
Latitudes (lats)
Computing Departures & Latitudes
Compute by: Dep = L sin o Lat = L cos o
Where: o = azimuth L = length of line
East (+X)
F
G
Dep. FG = L sino
Lat. FG = L coso o
L
North (+Y)
Example Traverse
A
B
C
D
Example Traverse
Departure = Length x sin (azimuth)
e.g. Dep. AB = 30.141 m x sin(30 15' 30")
Latitude = Length x cos (azimuth)
e.g. Lat. AB = 30.141 m x cos (30 15' 30")
Line Distance Azimuth Departure Latitude
AB 30.141 m 30 15' 30" 15.1880 m 26.0347 m
BC 38.576 m 100 10' 00" 37.9703 m 6.8091 m
CD 25.605 m 168 44' 00" 5.0026 m 25.1116 m
DA 58.437 m 275 49' 00" 58.1361 m 5.9223 m
Sum 152.759 m 0.0248 m 0.0363 m
Closure in Deps and Lats
For mathematically closed traverse
Geometrically closed traverse
Closure: difference between known/computed position
Linear error of closure (LEC)
Relative error of closure (REC)
Linear Error of Closure
A
A'
Edep =
0.0248 m
Elat =
0.0363 m
m 0.044 (0.0363) (0.0248) LEC e.g.
lat) ( dep) ( LEC
2 2
2 2
= + =
E + E =
0.044 m
3470
1
3471.8
1
m 152.759
m 0.044
perimeter
LEC
REC = = = =
Traverse Adjustment
Goal
Some methods
Arbitrary method
Compass (Bowditch) rule
Least squares adjustment
Compass Rule Adjustment
Application
Works for traverses with limited number of lines
length traverse
length line
closure lat
correction lat
=
length traverse
length line
closure dep
correction dep
=
Compass Rule
Proportion is rearranged for computational efficiency
length line
length traverse
closure lat
correction lat =
length line
length traverse
closure dep
correction dep =
Compass Rule Balance Departures
l ength 0.00016235  l ength
m 152.759
m) (0.0248 
corr dep.
length
perimeter
closure departure
correction Departure
= =
=
Line Distance Departure
Departure
Correction
Corrected
Departure
AB 30.141 m 15.1880 m 0.0049 m 15.183 m
BC 38.576 m 37.9703 m 0.0063 m 37.964 m
CD 25.605 m 5.0026 m 0.0042 m 4.998 m
DA 58.437 m 58.1361 m 0.0095 m 58.145 m
Sum 152.759 m 0.0248 m 0.0248 m 0.000 m
Corrected departure = Departure + Departure correction
e.g. Corrected departure AB = 15.1880 + (0.0049) = 15.183 m
Compass Rule Balance Latitudes
l ength 0.00023763  l ength
m 152.759
(0.0363) 
corr l at.
length
perimeter
closure latitude
correction Latitude
= =
=
Corrected latitude = Latitude + Latitude correction
e.g. Corrected latitude AB = 26.0347 + (0.0071) = 26.028 m
Line Distance Latitude
Latitude
Correction
Corrected
Latitude
AB 30.141 m 26.0347 m 0.0071 m 26.028 m
BC 38.576 m 6.8091 m 0.0092 m 6.818 m
CD 25.605 m 25.1116 m 0.0061 m 25.118 m
DA 58.437 m 5.9223 m 0.0139 m 5.908 m
Sum 152.759 m 0.0363 m 0.0363 m 0.000 m
Calculate Coordinates
Station Line Departure Latitude X Coordinate Y Coordinate
A 10000.000 m 5000.000 m
AB 15.183 m 26.027 m
B 10015.183 m 5026.027 m
BC 37.964 m 6.818 m
C 10053.147 m 5019.209 m
CD 4.998 m 25.118 m
D 10058.146 m 4994.092 m
DA 58.146 m 5.908 m
A 10000.000 m 5000.000 m
m 5026.027 26.027 5000 AB Latitude Y Y
10015.183m 15.183 10000 AB Departure X X
A B
A B
= + = + =
= + = + =
m 5019.209 6.818 5026.027 BC Latitude Y Y
10053.147m 37.964 10015.183 BC Departure X X
C C
B C
= = + =
= + = + =
Adjusted Azimuths and Lengths
F
G
Dep. FG
Lat. FG
East (+X)
North (+Y)
L
L = length of line FG
2 2
lat dep L + =

.

\

=
lat
dep
tan
1
o
o = azimuth of line FG
Calculating Azimuths and Lengths
East (+X)
J
K
Lat. JK
Dep. JK
L = length of line JK
L
North (+Y) 2 2
lat dep L + =

.

\

=
lat
dep
tan
1
o
o = azimuth of line JK
Compute Adjusted Azimuths/Lengths
Station Line Distance Azimuth X Coordinate Y Coordinate
A 10000.000 m 5000.000 m
AB 30.132 m 30 15' 25"
B 10015.183 m 5026.027 m
BC 38.571 m 100 10' 55"
C 10053.147 m 5019.209 m
CD 25.610 m 168 44' 40"
D 10058.146 m 4994.092 m
DA 58.445 m 275 48' 10"
A 10000.000 m 5000.000 m
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