Surveying is a complex and time-consuming task, which requires a high level of skill, as well as a lot of complicated equipment. Not too long ago, surveyors had to make do with tools that we would consider rustic by today’s standards, such as simple tape measures.
Luckily for surveyors everywhere, in recent years very handy digital tools have been developed to help them complete their work more efficiently. These tools may help things get done quicker, but in many aspects, it has made the job of a surveyor much more demanding, as it can be difficult to learn how to use these complex pieces of equipment.
Below is a brief description of just some of the tools used by modern surveyors every day. While this is just a general explanation, it is hoped that this will give you some idea about what it is like to be a modern surveyor.
A total station is the one-stop-shop for almost all surveying needs. While the exact features of total stations vary, they are designed to include the features of many different pieces of equipment into a single device. Total stations can collect and store a myriad of data, which can then be conveniently downloaded to a desktop or laptop computer for further compilation and analysis.
A total station is simply a theodolite (Transit) that uses an electronic distance meter (EDM) to measure the distance from the instrument to a certain point. To have control from a distance you can use a Robotic Total Station which I can be a little costly, otherwise, A Manual Total Station is more widely used.
The newest innovation in manufacturing is the introduction of the GPS total station. It has done a great deal to simplify Surveying. GPS technology has made the whole process of surveying very easy due to its efficient features. GPS, or “Global Positioning System” units use satellites to determine positions. They can be extremely accurate. Accuracy is best in wide-open areas. One disadvantage of GPS units is that they are completely dependent on the satellites that serve them.
They are also more expensive than the non-GPS variety. Advantages are the need for a far smaller Survey Crew as well as the fact that they do much of the calculations for you. Surveying is still basically done for the same reasons it has always been done but in the last 30-40 years, the way we do it has changed drastically. While some of the costs for equipment have risen significantly, many of the efficiencies have made the overall cost go down.
Electronic and Laser Levels / Auto Levels
You may have seen lines of string stretched across a construction site, or a handheld leveling tool being used by a worker. Auto Levels serve the same purpose as the mentioned tools, but with more advanced functionality.
These devices work by shooting either a visible or invisible, laser beam to the reference point, so that elevation or depth can be measured accurately. There is a wide range of these devices available, with each having its own distinct pros and cons. They are commonly used for tasks such as ditch digging, grading or leveling of land as well as masonry work.
Electronic Distance Measures
Electronic Distance Measures (EDM’s) do exactly what you would expect them to – measure distance. Just like laser levels, this is done with the aid of a high powered laser. The EDM device sends the laser to a pre-placed prism at the target location. This prism sends the laser beam straight back to the EDM device. By calculating how long the laser beam took to return, the device is able to very accurately measure the distance between the device and the prism. These devices are extremely useful for any project which requires a very exact measuring of distances.
A Global Positioning System, commonly known as GPS, is a great tool for surveyors. It can measure distance and elevation, as well as mark specific places with a high degree of accuracy. Unlike the devices that use lasers for measuring elevation and distance, GPS devices do not require a direct line of sight between two points. This is perfect for use over long distances, or if terrain makes gaining line of sight impossible.
As you can see, surveying has come a long way and the tools available today far outstrip those of the past. Whether you need a surveyor or are considering becoming one, it is a good idea to become familiar with the tools of the trade.
There are 3 major manufacturers for surveying and mapping Instruments, i.e. Total Stations. They are Topcon, Leica, and Trimble. Each of these companies produces a wide variety of instruments. Topcon Total Station is known to be the best and most reliable in these.
Skipper Technologies is an organization that is authorized to sell Topcon Surveying Instruments in India. If you are looking to buy Surveying Instruments in India then contact Skipper Technologies for all your Surveying needs.