Object and Scope of Surveying

Surveying is the technology of making scientific measurements on the earth surface in order to have desirable end product such as earth and various kinds of maps.

Surveying measurements are essential to layout any construction work such as roads, railways, canals, underground structures (tunnels, pipelines, cable lines) overhead system (Electric transmission, light communication lines), mining work (minerals, oil, coal, graphite, etc) all construction projects such as buildings, bridges, dams, resources, etc.

Surveying measurements are also required to determine the amount of deformation and displacement of existing structures; surveying is essential in town planning, green plantation development projects, irrigation projects, forestation projects, etc.

surveyor works with theodolite


Surveyor working with theodolite transit equipment at construction site 

Types of Surveying 

Primary Classification

1. Plane Surveying 

The extent of the area covered on the earth surface is small. Therefore the curvature of the earth is neglected. The surface is considered as plane and the triangles formed on this surface as plane triangles.

2. Geodetic surveying
The spherical shape of the earth taken in to account while making measurement on earth surface. Triangles formed on the earth surface are considered as spherical triangles. Geodetic surveying covers large areas on the earth’s surface and the measurements are precise.

Secondary classification:

Survey can be classified on different bases.

1. Based on instrument:

  • Chain Survey
  • Compass survey
  • Plane Table survey
  • Theodolite survey
  • Tacheometric Survey
  • Photographic survey

2. Based on methods:

  • Triangulation Survey
  • Traverse Survey

3. Based on Objects:

  • Geological survey
  • Mine survey
  • Archeological Survey
  • Military survey

4. Based on nature of field

  • Land Survey
  • Marine survey
  • Astronomical survey

Again Land Survey is classified into following Classes:

1. Topographical Survey

To determine natural features of a country such as valleys, rivers and artificial features such as road, railways, etc.

2. Cadastral Survey:

To determine boundaries of field, estate

3. City survey:

To locate premises, streets, water supply and drainage systems

4. Engineering survey:

To collect detailed data for the design for of projects involving roads, railways, etc Engineering surveys are sub divided into:

  • Reconnaissance Survey
  • Preliminary Survey
  • Location Survey

Basics Of Surveying