Basic Surveying

basic surveying toolsThe practices of surveying can be extremely useful to anyone doing home improvement projects. They allow for precise measurements to be made, and for your projects to go closer to the plan that you made before. Basic surveying can be picked up on pretty quickly, and may prove to be a fun hobby for you.

It can also lead to a career in the area, if you find that you have natural talent for it. So read on, and learn the basic steps of surveying. They are the same things that surveying classes learn about in the first weeks of school, and are principles that will stick with a surveyor for the rest of his or her life.

First and foremost, your background knowledge should be sufficient enough to allow you to be a good surveyor. You must have a fairly thorough understanding of trigonometry and its applications. This is a large portion of surveying, so if you do not know these principles then you should take a course in this mathematical area and become familiar with it. If you took the course a long time ago but have forgotten almost all of it (which seems to happen quite often when it comes to classes), you should purchase a textbook and refresh your memory.

Some branches of surveying consider the curve of the earth when making calculations. If you are just working on a home project, this curve is so minute that it will not make a difference in your project. It is generally taken into account when considering large scale projects, such as shopping centers or highways.

If you want to be absolutely precise when you are measuring your project, you will want to take this into account. But keep in mind that it will make your mathematical work much more complicated, and probably will not end up making a difference in the actual construction.

Tools for Basic Surveying

Next you will need to gather the tools used by surveyors. These usually include a large assortment of tools, and each job requires a few different ones. So it is hard to say which ones you will need, but there are several that are almost indispensable. Naturally you will need measuring tools for all varieties of distances.

Measuring tapes, rulers, yardsticks, and the small devices that you roll along the ground should be in your arsenal of tools. Also, you will want other tools that help you by telling you things about the area. This includes the topography of the land, along with how level it is.

Once you get started with the surveying project, the most important thing to do is to have accurate measurements of the things you are dealing with. Measure as many times as necessary to ensure that you know the exact distance between the two points in question.

If you do all of your math with a figure that is slightly off, it could throw your whole project into jeopardy. The math is equally important. Keep a sheet of equations and formulas handy, and do not trust your own memory. Whenever you need to calculate something during your project, just plug your exact measurement data into the exact formula, and your outcomes will be equally exact. Surveying skills are very useful for any home project, and could allow you more opportunities in the future.


U.S. Geological Survey
International Federation of Surveyors
Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors