In our last post, we mentioned how far the land surveying profession has come in terms of advanced technology and equipment. In comparison to the days of the Egyptian Pyramids, there are now so many more options available for the land surveyors of today’s era, helping us to acquire the precise information we need in the field. Now while each type of survey has its own list of necessities, there are still a couple of tools that are useful for just about any project.
The first of which would be a total station, which supports an electronic theodolite, an electronic distance measuring device (EDM) and a microprocessor all on the same unit. We use this particular piece of equipment to measure horizontal and vertical angles, as well as slope distances from where it sits, to the points that need to be surveyed. That information is then used to calculate the coordinates of each actual position of those points.
The advantage we have with using a total station is that the time taken to complete the task is cut considerably. Compared to a theodolite and a note book the total station reduced the field time by 50% or more. The accuracy of a data collector to a notebook or pad of paper is greatly improved. The chances of erroneously recording data in a field book are all but eliminated with a data collector. In the past I surveyed an 11 acre parcel including topographic work. I spent 4 days in the field and over a week uploading the data into the computer for post processing. With the total station and data collector, I field surveyed a similar 10-12 parcel with final mapping completed in less than a week.
Then there is the Global Positioning System, or GPS, which is a tool that, like the total station, works as a data collector. However, instead of turning angles, a GPS actually collects individual points on the earth. Now the Survey-grade GPS isn’t the same type of GPS that you use while driving, hunting or hiking. We use multiple units and with many mathematical calculations we can reduce the error induced by the host countries to almost zero. That increases our accuracy by many fold. The time it takes to collect these points in the field has also greatly been reduced as accuracy has increased.
BLAZE Design, Inc. is proud to work with both the GPS equipment, as well as a total station that is run as a robotic instrument. This allows for one person operation and a faster turn-around. Making sure that we have constant access to the latest tools and technology is a priority at our company, so give us a call today and know that you are in the best hands for all of your land surveying needs.