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Hey guys!

My work area as you see below image, contains rural buildings, concreted and none concreted streets, hills, etc, there is needed surveying for rebuilding and renewing the area, so how you suggest survey methods and procedures as well points taking order( in square order, EX: points after every 2 meters) or points at every structures angle and land up and down locations?

any suggestion for better result and good contour line showing?

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  • Jesaya and trout have given you good advice. For any open spaces, I think 1-2 m for the distance between ground shots would be adequate (since there will be so much data at each building corner as well.)

  • Hi Guys,

    I totally agree with Jesaya comment and I think that is actually the best way forward.

    In addition, regarding order, You will have to decide how you want to action it.

    1. Decide where you will position your camera to take several shots ensuring you do over lap them as well so that you can then produce one big topography layout of everything side by side.

    2. Decide if you will take the shots along the x-axis first and when you are done, you then start from the y-axis covering all the parts you have done on your x-axis to get the over lapping properly.

    3. Write down the order in your note and the shot numbers as displayed in your camera...Good quality camera with great zoom capability.

    4. After compiling all the pictures, then you will then start your survey from one corner (X direction or Y direction) as seen on your compiled picture.

    5. Each survey must have a code to identify what you have surveyed...not just numbers but such as Building 001, 002, 003 in any manner you decide...I hope you do have a reflectorless Kit.

    6. from all you data, you can then create a topo of all...try this link...

    Create a TopoMap by using Excel and AutoCAD! (English)

    Export X,Y,Z co-ordinates from AutoCAD to Excel [English]

    How to import X,Y co-ordinates from Excel to AutoCAD! (English)

    7. In your Survey, decide if you will take shot at centre of roof, edge of roof, roof line on X,Y axis and keep to that order.

    8. Create an excel list of all your data and start the long journey of moving these from the excel to Autocad

    From here, the rest will be history

    Hope this helps....Good luck

    • I agree with Jesaya, Shoot the buildings where you can but make sure you pick up all of the grade slope changes to accurately define the terrain.  It looks like you have a lot of good high vantage points from the pics.  Actually, some of your pics look like ideal station setup points.  Measure the buildings where you can't get all 4 corners as suggested.  I would suggest spending a few hours sketching the buildings on a sheet first so that you can mark the corners shot for each building as you go along to make sure you are shooting what you can.  You don't want to go back and resetup over a station to pickup missed shots.  Good luck! it looks like a fun challenge!



  • Will you have to measure all the houses?

    This will be complicated with a total station.

    • Hi Mohammad Salem

      This is how i will do the Survey.

      1. Take systematic pictures of the area from high points like the one you uploaded from different angles to use as site sketch and print them out.

      2. Create codes in the total station covering all the features in the site area.

      3. Start at one end of the site area moving systematically e.g with streets and capture all the features you can measure and tick them off on your site sketch.

      4. It is advisable that that you set up at a high point to increase the number of points you can measure from one station.

      5. Use your measuring tape. If you can only see three corners of a house you can measure the fourth with a measuring tape from two of the corners you picked up with your Total station instead of doing a new set up its faster and economical.

      6. Run lines. If the houses in a street have one boundary wall pick up the corners of the wall and use it as a reference line to measure the inside structures with measuring tape.

      7. Pick up enough points to define the topography of the area and the services ( water, sewer and electricity).

      8. It will be much quicker if you have two staff man.

      9. Brace your self for long days.

      • Dear Mohammad,

        I agree with Kevin. The first question is a detailed analisys of the design requests.

        You say "renewing", but ... of what? Part of existing buildings has to be destroyed and rebuild, or only a conservative restoration? Are You interested also/only in the streets maintenance/modification? There are a underground plant (water, drain, energy, gas ...) and the new project must consider it? And so more ....

        Imho, before You has to put a lot of questions to the project team,.... after, the answers will suggest You what is the best equipment to use.

        Very fascinating site ... Bye!

        Carlo Alberto

      • Hi  Jesaya Hakanyome 

        Thanks so much, greet idea, if you share your suggestion on how to take points order at this kind of area, Ex: measure after how many longs(meters) or in which kind of order, Ex: in areas where the houses not existing and have very up and down.


  • The first question I will ask is what will this survey be used for?
    • Hi  Kevin D. Allen 

      There is no more equipment than a total station (leica TS 11 and a handy GPS), and as I said the propose of this survey is to rebuilt the area( Ex. concrete the unpaved streets, make green area where is no buildings, or in common this survey is to get them full information about topographic as well all elements by their exact locations) 

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