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Land Surveying is a timeless art and science and it is therefore, evergreen! You may also know that a lot of older publications have gone away, unfortunately.   If you have written or published land surveying articles in the past, we would be honored for you to share them here with us.  If it is an older article, you can even republish it here with updates and reflections.  

Tip:   If you published an article in the past on one of the older sites which no longer exist, you can use the Wayback Machine to find it.  Then just copy/paste the old article inside a new post here.  Just be sure to tell us where it was previously posted.

Want to embed a PDF Document?

 If you have a PDF document or article related to land surveying that you would like to embed inside an article post, simply copy/paste the following code block into the HTML view of the post editor and replace the BOLD part of the code with the URL of the PDF you'd like to embed.   

Code to use:

<iframe src="https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=https://landsurveyorsunited.github.io/cssfiles/manuals/Surveying-Photos-Submitted-Land-Surveyors-United.pdf&embedded=true" frameborder="0" height="500px" width="100%"></iframe>

TIP:  You can also upload your PDF using the file upload button and then copy/paste the URL of the document you uploaded with the BOLD part of the code above to get a flippable PDF like so:

Uploading PDF land surveying documents to Surveying Articles

Differences between Forums, Blogs and Article posts

Forum Posts are great for asking questions which have a definate answer.  Forum posts are best for a quick exchange of information between Land Surveyors United members.   Please note that All Community Hubs have their own dedicated Forums so if your post is related to a specific hub, it is best to ask your question or share your tip inside the hub in which it belongs for targeted answers.  For example, if your question relates to Leica equipment, ask your question inside the Leica Hub forum for best results as all members inside that hub uses the equipment in question.  Likewise if your question pertains to a Location, you should consider making your post inside the appropriate hub.

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Blog Postsdiffer from Forum posts because you can embed and upload different kinds of information.  Blog posts are best for presenting information and updates for feedback and sharing.  When posting a Blog Post, you can also publish a short excerpt at the bottom which is what most members will see before reading the blog post.  Blog posts are also great for posting new surveying projects and digests of links to multiple surveying topics or your own website.   Things that can be embedded into Blog Posts are videos, images, slideshows, powerpoints, spreadsheets, PDFs, documents and more.

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Articles are similar to Blog Posts in all ways except one.  Articles allow for you to post an Author Block at the bottom with links to your contact info, website information, credentials, etc. Similar to Blog Posts, things that can be embedded into Blog Posts are videos, images, slideshows, powerpoints, spreadsheets, PDFs, documents and more.  Similar to both types above, Hub Owners can add article sections and features to any hub they control on the community.

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A Brief History of Land Surveying Equipment

Greetings everyone!   I see that this is the best place to post some of my experiences with Land Surveying Equipment over the years and what I have learned about the history of Land Surveying Equipment.  Please let me know if there is a better place to put this.  I look forward to your feedback.

Land surveying instruments have a long history. Since the concept of boundaries came into existence, then the pyramids of Egypt, when buildings reached massive proportions, land surveying instruments played a critical role in the location and construction of virtually every plot of land was divided, and every building erected ever since.

American history still acknowledges the great surveyors in our history. George Washington, the leader of the Colonial Army and first president started his career as a land surveyor, starting when he was only 16 years old and lasting several years. The accepted demarcation between the southern and northern states is the border surveyed from 1763 to 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon still known today as the Mason-Dixon line.

Mason Dixon Line Land Surveying

Over the years, a number of various instruments have been invented for measuring distance, direction, vertical and horizontal positions, time and astronomical location. Many have been overtaken by technology which has replaced several different instruments with all-in-one total solutions.

There are still some "old school" surveyors still in business, however to be truly competitive – and often to be in compliance with federal, state and local laws, regulations and ordinances – some form of high-tech laser-based, GPS-enabled, calibrated chronometer, and sometimes astronomically-capable device is not only necessary, but required.

Map tables are rarely used anymore, and the alidade has all but disappeared. The last application for this venerable optical device was the US Forest Service which used a specific type of alidade – a transit used in conjunction with a map table – for locating fires. Today, aerial location is generally much faster and more accurate in locating fires.

Modern land surveying equipment

Todays most modern technology includes a combination of optics - to roughly orient the device, dual selectable lasers, prodigious amounts of memory to record tens of thousands of measurements, and dozens of jobs simultaneously, response times of calculations in less than a half second and accuracy rapidly approaching the parts per billion range. Affordable units can measure accurately to less than 2 parts per million.

There is a distinction between land survey instruments and contractor survey instruments. For the most part, routine home construction simply does not require the degree of accuracy an instrument measuring distances approaching 3 miles. Yet, construction transits and total solution systems have hardly been lagging the long-range high-tech units. Multiple synchronized lasers capable of 3-dimensional full 360 degree measurements can - and do - perform and record a number of operations simultaneously, literally at the push of a button.

sophisticated land surveying equipment

The most sophisticated land survey equipment is owned and used by the US Geodetic Survey - the department of NOAA that does the actual on-site mapping - and the National Geodetic Survey who manage the databases teams. They use very advanced real-time networks in conjunction with continuously operating reference stations in a high-accuracy reference networking environment to constantly check terrestrial benchmarks and make the requisite adjustments to account for movement of the earth from tectonic plate shift, earthquakes, and similar terrestrial events.

The technology of surveying is constantly changing. The days when chains to measure distance; stadia to determine elevation and distance; plumb bobs to ensure the device is vertical in relationship to the center of the Earth; clinometers to measure grade or slope and similar above or below the horizontal plane; levels to ensure perfect horizontal alignment; and, even some of the more advanced optical theodolites and transits have succumbed to the laser, satellite radio and computer revolution.

 

While high-tech solutions are ideal, they can be very expensive. If the application is fairly basic, and astronomically accurate measurements are neither required or necessary, the instruments used throughout the last century are just fine to use. There is a good argument to be made that learning the old methods sets the concepts firmly in the mind of the surveyor. With an appreciation of the old methods, a sense of the history and technology creates a sense of pride and accomplishment for a job well done.

Votes: 1
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Land Surveyor

Donald
Gadsden Land Surveying
Gadsden, Alabama
(256) 952-4711

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  • GeoEducator

    Awesome post!

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Surveying Articles is a place for members to Share Land Surveying related articles, presentations and knowledge with the Land Surveyors United Community. Post or embed articles for future generations of land surveyors.