Surveying

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Surveying or land surveying is the technique, profession, art and science of determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional positions of points and the distances and angles between them.wikipedia
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Total station

electronic distance measurement (EDM)surveying stationTotal station theodolite
They use equipment, such as total stations, robotic total stations, theodolites, GNSS receivers, retroreflectors, 3D scanners, radios, clinometer, handheld tablets, digital levels, subsurface locators, drones, GIS, and surveying software. The main surveying instruments in use around the world are the theodolite, measuring tape, total station, 3D scanners, GPS/GNSS, level and rod.
A total station (TS) or total station theodolite (TST) is an electronic/optical instrument used for surveying and building construction.

Trigonometry

trigonometrictrigonometricaltrigonometrically
Surveyors work with elements of geometry, trigonometry, regression analysis, physics, engineering, metrology, programming languages, and the law.
Throughout history, trigonometry has been applied in areas such as geodesy, surveying, celestial mechanics, and navigation.

Geometry

geometricgeometricalgeometries
Surveyors work with elements of geometry, trigonometry, regression analysis, physics, engineering, metrology, programming languages, and the law.
Early geometry was a collection of empirically discovered principles concerning lengths, angles, areas, and volumes, which were developed to meet some practical need in surveying, construction, astronomy, and various crafts.

Ancient Egypt

EgyptEgyptianAncient Egyptian
In ancient Egypt, a rope stretcher would use simple geometry to re-establish boundaries after the annual floods of the Nile River.
The many achievements of the ancient Egyptians include the quarrying, surveying and construction techniques that supported the building of monumental pyramids, temples, and obelisks; a system of mathematics, a practical and effective system of medicine, irrigation systems and agricultural production techniques, the first known planked boats, Egyptian faience and glass technology, new forms of literature, and the earliest known peace treaty, made with the Hittites.

Rope stretcher

rope stretchersstretching the cord
In ancient Egypt, a rope stretcher would use simple geometry to re-establish boundaries after the annual floods of the Nile River.
In ancient Egypt, a rope stretcher (or harpedonaptai) was a surveyor who measured real property demarcations and foundations using knotted cords, stretched so the rope did not sag.

Gromatici

AgrimensoragrimensoresGromatici Veteres
Roman surveyors were known as Gromatici.
Gromatici (from Latin groma or gruma, a surveyor's pole) or agrimensores was the name for land surveyors amongst the ancient Romans.

Leonard Digges (scientist)

Leonard DiggesDigges, Leonard (c. 1515–c. 1559)
Leonard Digges described a theodolite that measured horizontal angles in his book A geometric practice named Pantometria (1571).
Leonard Digges (c.1515 – c.1559) was a well-known English mathematician and surveyor, credited with the invention of the theodolite, and a great populariser of science through his writings in English on surveying, cartography, and military engineering.

International Federation of Surveyors

FIGFédération internationale des géomètresFIG, Federation Internationale des Geometres
The largest institution is the International Federation of Surveyors (Abbreviated FIG, for Fédération Internationale des Géomètres).
International Federation of Surveyors (abbreviated FIG, after the Fédération Internationale des Géomètres) is the UN-recognized global organization for the profession of surveying and related disciplines.

Plane table

plane-tableplane-table alidadeplane-tabling
Abel Foullon described a plane table in 1551, but it is thought that the instrument was in use earlier as his description is of a developed instrument.
A plane table (plain table prior to 1830) is a device used in surveying and related disciplines to provide a solid and level surface on which to make field drawings, charts and maps.

Inclinometer

clinometertilt sensortilt sensors
They use equipment, such as total stations, robotic total stations, theodolites, GNSS receivers, retroreflectors, 3D scanners, radios, clinometer, handheld tablets, digital levels, subsurface locators, drones, GIS, and surveying software.
The Abney level is a handheld surveying instrument developed in the 1870s that includes a sighting tube and inclinometer, arranged so that the surveyor may align the sighting tube (and its crosshair) with the reflection of the bubble in the spirit level of the inclinometer when the line of sight is at the angle set on the inclinometer.

Geographic information system

GISgeographic information systemsgeographical information system
They use equipment, such as total stations, robotic total stations, theodolites, GNSS receivers, retroreflectors, 3D scanners, radios, clinometer, handheld tablets, digital levels, subsurface locators, drones, GIS, and surveying software.
Survey data can be directly entered into a GIS from digital data collection systems on survey instruments using a technique called coordinate geometry (COGO).

Triangulation (surveying)

triangulationtriangulation networktriangulations
Dutch mathematician Willebrord Snellius (a.k.a. Snel van Royen) introduced the modern systematic use of triangulation.
In surveying, triangulation is the process of determining the location of a point by measuring only angles to it from known points at either end of a fixed baseline, rather than measuring distances to the point directly as in trilateration.

Groma surveying

groma
The Groma instrument originated in Mesopotamia (early 1st millennium BC).

Ordnance Survey

OSOS mapOS maps
In 1784, a team from General William Roy's Ordnance Survey of Great Britain began the Principal Triangulation of Britain.
The agency's name indicates its original military purpose (see ordnance and surveying), which was to map Scotland in the wake of the Jacobite rising of 1745.

William Roy

RoyGeneral RoyGeneral William Roy
In 1784, a team from General William Roy's Ordnance Survey of Great Britain began the Principal Triangulation of Britain.
Major-General William Roy (4 May 1726 – 1 July 1790) was a Scottish military engineer, surveyor, and antiquarian.

Public Land Survey System

PLSSPublic Lands Survey Systemsurvey
In the US, the Land Ordinance of 1785 created the Public Land Survey System.
The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) is the surveying method developed and used in the United States to plat, or divide, real property for sale and settling.

Principal Triangulation of Great Britain

Principal Triangulation of BritainTrigonometrical SurveyPrincipal Triangulation
In 1784, a team from General William Roy's Ordnance Survey of Great Britain began the Principal Triangulation of Britain.
The Principal Triangulation of Britain was the first high-precision trigonometric survey of the whole of Great Britain (including Ireland), carried out between 1791 and 1853 under the auspices of the Board of Ordnance.

Liu Hui

Hui, Liu
The mathematician Liu Hui described ways of measuring distant objects in his work Haidao Suanjing or The Sea Island Mathematical Manual, published in 263 AD.

Lidar

laser altimeterLight Detection and Ranging3D laser scanning
Prominent new technologies include three-dimensional (3D) scanning and use of lidar for topographical surveys.
Lidar (, called LIDAR, LiDAR, and LADAR) is a surveying method that measures distance to a target by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflected light with a sensor.

Position resection

resectionResection (orientation)intersection
He also showed how to resection, or calculate, the position of a point inside a triangle using the angles cast between the vertices at the unknown point.
Resection and its related method, intersection, are used in surveying as well as in general land navigation (including inshore marine navigation using shore-based landmarks).

James Watt

WattWatt, Jamesand Watt
James Watt developed an optical meter for the measuring of distance in 1771; it measured the parallactic angle from which the distance to a point could be deduced.
Strapped for resources, Watt was forced to take up employment—first as a surveyor, then as a civil engineer—for eight years.

Baseline (surveying)

baselineBase Linestandard parallel
This produces an accurate baseline that can be over 20 km long.
In surveying, a baseline is a line between two points on the earth's surface and the direction and distance between them.

Gyrotheodolite

Gyro-theodolite
The gyrotheodolite is a form of theodolite that uses a gyroscope to orient itself in the absence of reference marks.
In surveying, a gyrotheodolite (also: surveying gyro) is an instrument composed of a gyroscope mounted to a theodolite.

Tape measure

measuring tapeTape (surveying)tape
The main surveying instruments in use around the world are the theodolite, measuring tape, total station, 3D scanners, GPS/GNSS, level and rod.
Surveyors use tape measures in lengths of over 100 m.

Tacheometry

tacheometerTachymetersubtense bar
Tacheometry is the science of measuring distances by measuring the angle between two ends of an object with a known size.
Tacheometry (from Greek for "quick measure") is a system of rapid surveying, by which the horizontal and vertical positions of points on the earth's surface relative to one another are determined without using a chain or tape, or a separate levelling instrument.