Engineering Survey

Engineering Survey

Engineering surveys gather data for use by planners and engineers. The products resulting from engineering surveys are generally topographic maps and/or a digital terrain model (DTM). Both conventional (on the ground) and photogrammetric methods are used to gather data for engineering surveys.

Engineering Survey

Engineering surveying involves:

  • Investigating land, using measurement tools and geographic knowledge, to work out the best position to build bridges, tunnels and roads etc.
  • Producing up-to-date plans which form the basis for the design of a project
  • Setting out a site, so the structure is built in the correct location to the specified parameters
  • Monitoring the construction process to make sure that the structure remains in the right position and recording the final built position
  • Providing control points by which the future movement of structures such as bridges and dams can be monitored

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How engineering surveys are conducted?

Engineering surveys are usually based on horizontal and vertical control, which consists of a series of fixed points located throughout a site whose positions must be determined on some coordinate system.

Horizontal control: defines points on a two dimensional horizontal plane which covers the site
Vertical control: is the third dimension added to the chosen horizontal datum.

The measurements for the control survey are taken using different types of equipment depending on the size of the site.

  • In small sites typically theodolites, and tapes are used to observe horizontal control in the form of a traverse with levelling providing the vertical control
  • In larger sites, total stations and digital levels are used.

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