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Surveying has to do with the determination of the relative spatial location of points
on or near the surface of the earth. It is the art of measuring horizontal and vertical
distances between objects, of measuring angles between lines, of determining the
direction of lines, and of establishing points of predetermined angular and linear

Davis, Foote and Mikhail

Surveying is the art of determining the positions of points on or near the earths
surface by means of measurements in the three elements of space; namely,
distance, direction and elevation.

Rayner and Schmidt

However, the science of surveying is now much wider and complex in extent,
modern surveying techniques are now applied to space exploration and in the
mapping of extraterrestrial bodies such as the moon, the other planets, the stars,
and other heavenly bodies in the universe.
So surveying can also be defined as the art and the science of determining angular
and linear measurements to establish the form, extent, and relative position of
points, lines, and areas on or near the surface of the earth or on other
extraterrestrial bodies through applied mathematics and the use of specialized
equipment and techniques.
Concomitant with the actual measurements of surveying are mathematical
calculations. Distances, angles, directions, locations, elevations, areas and volumes
are thus determined from data of the survey. Also, much information of the survey is
portrayed graphically by the construction of maps, profiles, cross sections and
a. Those for the primary purpose of establishing boundaries of land.
b. Those providing information necessary for the construction of public and
private works.
c. Those of large extent and high precision conducted by the government and to
some extent by the states.
It is the type of surveying which takes into account the true shape of the
earth. Surveys employing the principles of geodesy are of high precision and
generally extend over large areas.

It is the type of surveying in which the mean surface of the earth is

considered as plan, or in which its spheroidal shape is neglected. With regard
to horizontal distances and directions, a level line is considered is considered
as mathematically straight, the direction of the plumb line is considered to be
the same at all points within the limits of the survey, and all angles are
considered to be plane angles.
1. Control Survey consist of establishing the horizontal and vertical
positions of arbitrary points.
2. Land, Boundary or Property Survey
- performed to determine the
length and direction of land lines and to establish the position of these lines
on the ground.
3. Topographic Survey
- is made to secure data from which maybe made
a topographic map indicating the configuration of the terrain and the location
of the natural and human-made objects.
4. Hydrographic Surveying
- refers to the surveying bodies of water for
the purposes of navigation, water supply, or subaqueous construction.
5. Mine Surveying
- utilizes the principle for control, land, geologic,
and topographic surveying to control, locate and map underground and
surface works related to mining operations.
6. Construction Surveys - are perform to lay out, locate, and monitor public
and private engineering works.
7. Route Surveying - refers to those control, topographic, and construction
surveys necessary for the location and construction of lines of transportation
or communication, such as highways, railroads, canals, transmission lines and
8. Photogrammetric Surveys
utilize the principles of aerial and
terrestrial photogrammetry, in which measurements made on photograph are
used to determine the positions of photographed survey. Photogrammetric
surveys are applicable in practically all the operations of surveying and in a
great number of other sciences.
The degree of precision of a given measurement depends on the methods and
instruments employed and upon other conditions surrounding the survey. It is
desirable that all measurements be made with high precision, but unfortunately a
given increase in precision is often accompanied by more than a directly
proportionate increase in the time and effort of the surveyor. It therefore becomes
the duty of the surveyor to maintain a degree of precision as high as can be justified
by the purpose of survey.
In order to achieve a precise measurement, the surveyor must have thorough
knowledge of the ff:
a. The sources and types of errors.

b. The effect of errors upon measurements.

c. The instruments and methods to be employed to keep the magnitude of the
errors within allowable limits.
d. The intended use of the survey data.

Field and office work for a complete survey is consists of the following:
1. Planning and design of the survey; adaptation of specifications; adaptation of
map projection and coordinate system and of a proper datum; selection of
equipment and procedures.
2. Care, handling, and adjustment of the instruments.
3. Fixing the horizontal location of object or points by horizontal angle distances.
4. Determining the elevations of objects or points by one of the methods of
5. Recording field measurements.
6. Field computation for the purpose of verifying the data.
7. Office computations in which data are reduced, adjusted, and filed or stored
for current utilization or for the use in the near or distant future.
8. The setting of points in the field to display land property location and to
control construction layout.
9. Performing the final as built survey, in which all structures built as part of the
project are located with respect to the basic control network and / or
established property lines.