Types of Surveying Based on Instruments

Construction surveying can be performed in various terrains with suitable surveying instruments. Therefore, the method of surveying varies with the type of instrument used. The surveying instrument used can be either chain which follows chain surveying or can use theodolite which follows theodolite surveying, and so on.

This article explores the various types of surveying based on the instruments used and their principle followed.

ūüďéTable of Contents

  1. Chain Survey
  2. Compass Survey
  3. Plane table survey
  4. Levelling
  5. Theodolite Survey
  6. Tacheometric Survey
  7. Photogrammetric Survey

1. Chain Survey

A chain survey is a method of surveying that involves linear measurement on the ground. 

The principle behind chain surveying: Triangulation
The instrument used in Chain Surveying: Measuring Chain


2. Compass Surveying

Compass surveying is a method of surveying that is used to measure survey lines and their directions from north, south, west, and east. Hence, these directions are measured in horizontal angles called bearings. Here, other than the measurement of horizontal angles, linear measurements are taken.

The principle behind compass surveying: Traversing
The instrument used in compass surveying: Prismatic Compass for Horizontal bearing measurement and Measuring chain for linear measurements.

3. Plane Table Survey

A plane table survey is a graphical method of survey. In this method, we take the field observations and directly plot in on the paper at the field itself.

Principle of Plane table surveying: Parallelism
Instruments used for Plane table surveying: Alidade, plumb bob, spirit level, trough compass, and drawing sheet.

4. Levelling

Leveling is a method of surveying in which the relative vertical heights of points are determined with respect to a known surface or point.
Horizontal" is a one-word principle of levelling in land surveying. The principle of levelling in land surveying is to establish a horizontal line of sight or reference plane by eliminating the effects of gravity. This is done by using a spirit level or an optical level to measure the difference in elevation between two points and then adjusting the instrument to establish a horizontal line of sight between them.
Instruments used: A dumpy level and a graduated staff

5. Theodolite Survey

A theodolite survey is a method of a survey that is used to locate the position of a point using vertical and horizontal angle measurements. 

Principle: Trigonometry
Instrument : Theodolite

6. Tacheometric Surveying

A tacheometric survey is a rapid and economical surveying by which the horizontal distanced and the differences in elevation are determined indirectly using a theodolite and a graduated rod.

Principle: Principle of Isosceles Triangle
Instrument Used: Tacheometer

7. Photogrammetric Surveying

Photogrammetric surveying is a type of aerial surveying where the geographical data of a land or earth surface is obtained using an airborne device. 

The principle of photogrammetry: Triangulation
The Instruments Used in the photogrammetry survey: Camera, Drone/UAV, GPS RECEIVER, LiDar Scanner, and Total Station. and Photogrammetric Software.

Also Read: 
  1. Reconnaissance Survey and Index Sketch in Chain Surveying
  2. Linear Measurements in Surveying