Types of Surveying Based on Instruments


We will have quick view on different types of survey based on the instruments:

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

1. Chain Survey

Chain survey is a method of surveying that involves linear measurement in ground. 

Principle behind chain surveying         : Triangulation
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 as bearings. Here, other than the measurement of horizontal angles, linear measurements are taken.

Principle behind compass surveying              :Traversing
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

Levelling is a method of surveying in which the relative vertical heights of points are determined with respect to a known surface or point.

Instruments used: A dumpy level and a graduated staff


5. Theodolite Survey

Theodolite survey is a method of survey that is used to locate the position of a point using vertical and horizontal angle measurement. 

Principle     :Trigonometry
Instrument : Theodolite

6. Tacheometric Surveying

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

Also Read: 
  1. Reconnaissance Survey and Index Sketch in Chain Surveying
  2. What is a Site Plan? What is the Purpose of Site Plan? When is Site Plan Required? What are the Types of Site Plans?
  3. Linear Measurements in Surveying           
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