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Understanding Land Surveying: A Guide to Surveying Equipment

Posted by Charles Wilson 30th January 2018

The role of land surveyors and the surveying equipment they use is essential to the industry of construction and architecture. Through their practices, land surveyors ensure that the land for structural and building plans of any kind is safe to build on, and they regularly review the land of these buildings to determine whether it remains safe and secure. Despite the importance of this role, few understand the complexity of a land surveyor’s day to day work and the equipment they use. In our latest blog post, we shed light on this industry and detail the most commonly used pieces of surveying equipment.

What Is a Land Surveyor?

The scientific definition of land surveying is the use of geometry, trigonometry, and physics to determine the terrestrial (or three dimensional) positions of points and the distances and angles between them. In a practical sense, however, the role of a land surveyor requires a worker to collect data and information on boundaries, land features, and they also provide information to help form a decision on where a building, road, or other feature should be constructed. Although primarily used in architectural and construction industries, land surveyors can also provide information to help settle disputes concerning land ownership, property sales, and mapping.

What Does a Land Surveyor Do?

Now that we understand the principles of a land surveyor’s work, we can begin to delve into their daily practices and the techniques they use to carry out their duties.

Overall, surveyors determine the position of objects by measuring angles and distances, as well as recording any factors that could impact the accuracy of their findings. Finding and recording potential errors is an important part of a land surveyor’s job, and this is known as errors and accuracy. Surveyors work with the knowledge that there will always be some element of error and accuracy, whether they are small, unavoidable blunders, errors that follow a systematic pattern, or errors made due to simple human error. The recorded errors are then put through an adjustment process and analysed to ensure the most accurate and reliable result and reading is taken.

Errors in the field of surveying have become relatively infrequent, and that is largely down to the refining of standard practices and the quality of the equipment used. Distance and angle measurements are, as mentioned previously, an important part of a land surveyor’s job. This practice consists of surveyors measuring distances by measuring the angle between two ends of an object with a known size to establish the distance measurements, and tools such as a theodolite are used to determine the specific angle between those objects.

Measuring the height of a structure or an area is also an important part of a surveyor’s work. Levelling is the use of air pressure, usually conducted with an altimeter, to determine the height of a specific area or structure.

So far, we have outlined what land surveying is, as well as the typical, daily practices of a land surveyor, but what surveying equipment is used to ensure the most accurate results are recorded?

A Guide to Surveying Equipment

Total Station

If any piece of equipment is synonymous with land surveying, it’s the total station. These tripods are combined with theodolites and electronic distance measurement systems to quickly and efficiently measure the distance and angle between two objects. Modern units of this particular piece of surveying equipment come fitted with an onboard computer to automatically collect data and results.

At Charles Wilson Engineers Ltd, we stock a wide range of surveying equipment, including industry-leading total stations, such as the TS16-1. This unit comes with a remote control and digital monitor to make the process of gaining accurate and reliable data for angle and distance measurement easier than ever before.

GPS System

Global Positioning Systems are an important piece of surveying equipment, as this allows land surveyors to pinpoint specific measurements and calculate the angles and distances between these two points. Industry standard GPS systems, such as the GS08 Plus GPS System, combine easy-to-use technology with the ability to automatically supply you with the positions in local coordinates; such a combination is perfect for surveyors in any industry.

Ferro Scanner

Understanding the subsurface is a crucial part of land surveying in the construction and architectural industry, as this allows surveyors to gain an insight into the type of soil and materials beneath the surface.Ferro scanners, such as the Ferroscanner PS200, allow workers to scan long stretches of up to 30m in length quickly and easily, as well as providing surveyors with multiple Imagescans that can be combined for large-area analysis using the PC application.

Distance Measuring Wheel

Despite being used in school science experiments, distance measuring wheels are an essential piece of surveying equipment when it comes to measuring the distance between two points. The Distance Measuring Wheel from Charles Wilson Engineers Ltd is an upgraded version of a basic piece of equipment. With a clear and easy to read digital display, this measuring wheel provides accurate measurements and has been recommended across a number of industries.

Drain Inspection Camera

Land surveyors must consider every aspect of a site, including features such as drains and manhole covers. Similarly, surveying equipment must also be built to endure all terrains and environments. With that in mind, the Geo 3199F Drain Inspection Camera is equipped with a 20mm colour camera with a wide 135 degree vision angle protected by a sapphire glass lens cover, meaning it can operate in areas where other drain inspection cameras would be unable to.

Contact Charles Wilson Engineers Ltd

At Charles Wilson Engineers Ltd, we can provide equipment for a wide variety of industries, including surveying. If you wish to find out more about all of our pieces of surveying equipment, or any of our other tools and products, contact Charles Wilson Engineers Ltd today on 01582 763 122 or leave us a message via our online form. Alternatively, use our branch locator to find your nearest Charles Wilson Engineers Ltd depot and view our products first hand.