Surveying Explained !


"Surveying is science, art, and technology of determining the relative positions of points above, on or beneath the earth's surface, or of establishing such points."- Charles D. Ghilani



A surveyor is a professional person with the academic qualifications and technical expertise to conduct activities like determining, measuring and representing the land and three-dimensional objects, point-fields and trajectories and using that information for the planning and efficient administration and management of the land, the sea, and any structures thereon.


Importance of Surveying

Measuring and mapping boundaries

Production of maps

Monitoring environmental changes

Planning and construction work

Formulation of plan and policy



The history of surveying dates back to 4000BCE to the time of Babylonians when they were making records of land ownership by using clay tablets. Around 2780 BCE, the construction of the pyramids was carried out in ancient Egypt.

The Romans in 150 BCE established a school of surveying and in 120 BCE produced maps and established the doctrine if the earth was spherical then a proper representation could be obtained by a geometrical projection of that surface.


Principles of surveying

Working from whole to part

To locate a new station by at least two measurements from fixed reference point

Economy of accuracy

Consistency in work

Independent check


Plane surveying

Plane surveying refers to the surveying of a small extent where it is assumed that the mean surface of the earth is a horizontal plane for the area concerned neglecting the curvature shape of the earth and considering the gravity direction parallel throughout the survey region.


Geodetic surveying

The geodetic  surveying refers to surveys of larger areas where the above assumption of the earth as the horizontal plane is invalid and allowance must be made for the curvature of the earth assuming gravity lines not parallel  but concentric toward the center of the earth.