Introduction to Surveying

Construction Surveying Introduction

Surveying is the art of making measurements of objects on, above or beneath the ground to show their relative positions on paper. The relative position required is either horizontal, or vertical, or both. Less precisely the term Surveying is used to the measurement of objects in their horizontal positions. Measurements to deteremine their relative vertical positions is known as levelling.


As stated in the definition, object of surveying is to show relative positions of various objects of an area on paper and produce plan or map of that area. Various uses of surveying are listed below:

(i) Plans prepared to record property lines of private, public and government lands help in avoiding unnecessary controversies.

(ii) Maps prepared for marking boundaries of countries, states, districts etc., avoid disputes.

(iii) Locality plans help in identifying location of houses and offices in the area.

(iv) Road maps help travellers and tourist.

(v) Topographic maps showing natural features like rivers, streams, hills, forests help in planning irrigation projects and flood control measures.

(vi) For planning and estimating project works like roads, bridges, railways, airports, water supply and waste water disposal surveying is required.

(vii) Marine and hydrographic survey helps in planning navigation routes and harbours.

(viii) Military survey is required for strategic planning.

(ix) Mine surveys are required for exploring minearl wealth.

(x) Geological surveys are necessary for determining different strata in the earth crust so that proper location is found for reservoirs.

(xi) Archeological surveys are useful for unearthing relics of antiquity.

(xii) Astronomical survey helps in the study of movements of planets and for calculating local and standard times.