Surveying: Meaning/Definition, Aim And Origin Of Surveying

Table Of Contents

1. Definition Of Surveying

2. Aim Of Surveying

3. Origin Of Surveying

Basic Principle In Surveying And Geo-Informatics

Definition

Surveying is defined as taking a general view of, by observation and measurement determining the boundaries, size, position, quantity condition, value, etc of land, estate, building, farms, mines etc. Surveying can also be defined as the act of making measurement of the relative position of natures on the earth’s surface and plotting of this measurement to some suitable scales to form a map or plan.

Surveying is also defined as the science and technique of determining the relative positions of points and or objects on, above or below the surface of the earth. In addition to this, Land Surveying involves the research of land records, the research and analyzation of prior surveys, maps and historical evidence in order to accurately determine land boundaries and subdivide larger tracts of land into smaller parcels for potential development.

Aim Of Surveying

Surveying is aimed at the production of a survey map or plan which also known as the end product of surveying. Meaning that at the end of the various observations and measurements carried out in the process of surveying, all the data acquired will be computed and reduced and eventually used to plot or produce a survey map or plan.

Origin Of Surveying

Surveying techniques have existed throughout much of recorded history. In ancient Egypt, when the Nile River overflowed its banks and washed out farm boundaries, boundaries were re-established through the application of simple geometry. The nearly perfect squareness and north-south orientation of the Great Pyramid of Giza, built c. 2700 BC, affirm the Egyptians command of surveying. The Egyptian land register (3000 BC). A recent reassessment of Stonehenge (c.2500 BC) indicates that the monument was set out by prehistoric surveyors using peg and rope geometry.

Under the Romans, land surveyors were established as a profession, and they established the basic measurements under which the Roman Empire was divided, such as a tax register of conquered lands (300 AD). The rise of the Caliphate led extensive surveying throughout the Arab Empire. Arabic surveyors invented a variety of specialized instruments for surveying, including:

1. Instruments for accurate leveling: A wooden board with a plumb line and two hooks, an equilateral triangle with a plumb line and two hooks, and a reed level.

2. A rotating alidade, used for accurate alignment.

3. A surveying astrolabe, used for alignment, measuring angles, triangulation, finding the width of a river, and the distance between two points separated by an impassable obstruction.

Land surveys and land mapping are an integral part of the city you live in, even if you aren’t entirely aware of it. Surveying has been used centuries in a host of important construction, engineering, and mapping projects. Do you know where surveying originated? Shoalhaven surveyors Leslie & Thompson do, and we’re here to share a quick history of the science (an perhaps art) of surveying.

Surveying has been around approximately 6,000 years, according to historical records. It is believed that the monument Stonehenge may have included the use of surveyors, employing peg and rope geometry. Some of the other significant evidences of land surveying were found in ancient Egypt. Land boundaries were important for taxation purposes, and the Egyptians created a basic land ownership registry. Surveyors were utilised prior to the construction of the Great Pyramids, as well as to reassess boundary markers following overflows of the Nile River. In Mesopotamia, the instrument known as the groma was first used. The Greeks took surveying a bit further, developing the diopter, another early tool used for surveying purposes. Their knowledge of geometry also came into play, and they began to standardise procedures for surveying.

The Romans first recognised land surveying as a true profession. They even regarded surveying with some nobility. The god Terminus was considered the protector of boundaries. Each year, annual celebrations were conducted known as “terminalia” to keep the god happy and to celebrate his significance. During the Roman Empire, enormous growth and a steady building schedule made important use of land surveyors.

A significant event occured in the year 1086, when England’s William the Conqueror ordered something known as the Domesday Book. This was a record of landowners and the plots they occupied. This furthered the importance of exact boundaries on personal property.

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