I'm responsible for the design and construction of UNHCR's refugee camps in Jordan for Syrian refugees. Amongst my jobs I make rapid assessments of sites for suitabililty. I'm an engineer by profession and lack the specialist knowledge of trained surveyors and have come here for advice.
I assess prospective sites by travelling the perimeter by foot or car with a handheld gps and uploading the track to a pc. However not all sites allow me to reach the perimeter. For these I'd like to be able to carry out a traverse from selected points for which I record gps coordinates. To do this I plan to obtain a laser rangefinder able to range out to 1000 metres or 1500 metres. I could then use a handheld compass to take bearings to each point.
As the compass accuracy is no better than three or four degrees an alternatrive is to use just the rangefinder data. My questions for the experience surveyors here:
1. Is it possible to carry out a traverse using just distances and not distances and bearings? Shots to each point from more than one station would be made resulting in good redundancy. I'd need some program to make adjustment for closure.
2. Are there traverse programs that permit different weightings for distances and for bearings? When calculating adjustments I could then assign priority to the more accurate distances and give minimal priority to bearings which are of low accuracy
3. Can anyone recommend suitable laser rangefinders? They need to be handheld as a tripod would not allow me to travel as light and as fast as I need to.
Thanks in advance for your contributions.