Land Surveyor Community Forum

Survey under tree canopy

One of my clients asked me to make a detailed survey in the area shown in the attached picture. They want to understand how the elevation varies at the site, in order to make a precise calculation of the excavation volumes needed for some environmental remediation activities.

Apart from LIDAR, which I am considering but that I would like to avoid, can some of you give me any suggestions on how to make a traditional survey under quite a thick tree canopy? Each time I have tried making GPS surveys under the trees, I always got poor results and carrying out a decent survey was nearly impossible.

Many thanks in advance,


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  • Do you know anyone from geoenergia
  • Its possible and easy, Cloud cover or vegetation cover will ruin GPS observations
  • I have done done something worst than this my area was about 350 hectares, with palms and very thick vegetation, and a stream, including an erosion area about 12 mtrs deep and almost 300mtrs wide.
  • Total station is the best, at each point from the instrument station, create rays of lines as far as you can see but not exceeding 500metres, so from each instrument station you can have about 6 to 8 rays. Its much easy that way.
  • Total station should be the best. And the canopy won't be a disturbance.
    Just ensure there is control point that is close to the site.
  • You can do a total station survey. And be sure to set up many control points with GPS static any where possible on the open ground so that you have lots of place from where you can survey. And if there are no small bushes in between the trees it should be a piece of cake.

    I'll send you a sample work

    • Dear Nitesh,

      thank you for your reply, but I can't see virtually anything from the two pictures you have attached. The files might be damaged. Could you please load them again and be sure that they are fully visible?



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