Applications of Surveying in Civil Engineering

Applications of Surveying in Civil Engineering

Surveying is a scientific method for determining the position of points, angles, and distances between them. The surveying technique is used for a variety of purposes.

It is required for creating a map, planning a project, and so forth. Surveying is utilized to properly complete all civil engineering activities or projects.

Surveying can be used in three types of civil engineering projects: road, rail and water. Road construction requires surveying because it is vital to determine the location of each segment of the roadway.

Railroads are best built when surveyors determine where the tracks will be placed. The same goes for a water project such as a bridge or dam that must have accurate measurements in order to work properly as well as to be constructed correctly.

Types of civil surveying

Although building is the most prevalent type, engineers must assess a wide range of characteristics, from mountains to oceans to rivers. Engineers employ a variety of civil engineering surveys, including:

Construction surveying: Construction surveying is important for examining the layout of buildings, roads, electricity lines, gas mains, and other structures surrounding potential construction sites. Analyzing this data makes it easier to design building projects.

Deformation surveying: Deformation surveying determines whether a geographical or man-made feature, such as a road, foundation, coastline, or river, is altering shape.

Engineers record the three-dimensional coordinates of specific sites during deformation surveying. After some time has passed, they re-record the coordinates to see if they have changed. A comparison of the two data sets can reveal whether deformation or movement has happened.

Geological surveying: Geological surveying is the mapping of physical landscape characteristics such as rivers, valleys, mountains, and more. Satellite data is vital for geological surveying, and engineers regularly use satellite data or aerial images to assist them in their work.

Hydrographic surveying is similar to geological surveying in that it maps the coastlines. Accurate hydrographic surveying is critical to the Coast Guard’s mission and any marine rescue operations. It also aids in the creation of navigational charts for sailors and assists environmentalists in the management of coastal resources.

Topographic surveying: Topographic surveying examines the shape and physical aspects of a certain region. Engineers measure the height of various geographical coordinates and then create contour lines to represent areas of the same elevation.

They can then utilize their findings to construct topographical maps and appraise topography for future building or infrastructure projects.

Application of Surveying in Civil Engineering

The following points explain surveying applications.

  • To create a topographical map that depicts hills, rivers, forests, and valleys: – Create a survey of the area by erecting poles at intervals of about 3 km. If a sign will be erected on the pole after survey, surveyors will note the coordinates of that sign.
  • Surveying is also used to create an engineering map in which engineering works such as roads, railways, bridges, irrigation canals, dams, and so on are depicted in detail.

Surveying for these features starts with an engineering map that has been created from aerial survey and it can be used to the smallest scale map.

  • Surveying is used to determine the location of subterranean objects such as pipes, cables and other buried utilities.

Utility companies must know where their underground installations are and surveyors using equipment for locating objects underground determine this.

  • Surveying is used to determine boundaries and to make records of property ownership. In order to create an accurate topographic map, the position of each point needs to be determined.

Coordinate surveying is a method used for this. Surveys called “horizontal control surveys” are used for this purpose, by correlating these coordinates with the map-makers’ datum, it is possible to mark positions on a map with consistent units of length.

  • Surveying is used to create cadastral maps, which indicate the borders of land, buildings, and other objects. Because surveys are used in the creation of maps, it is important to know how to apply surveying to the creation of cadastral maps.
  • Surveying is used to create military maps that illustrate roads, railways, and communications routes throughout a country.

These maps are used to assist military personnel in determining the location of enemy units, concentrations of forces, and other things that could be harmful to their army’s plans.

  • Surveying is used to create hydrographic surveys that depict the submerged terrain such as rivers, lakes, and estuaries.

The purpose of this survey is to fix the information in reference to charts by creating contour lines. It also shows heights and depths of water bodies.

  • It is used to create contour maps, which aid in determining reservoir capacity and determining the best potential transit routes, among other things.

Contour lines are created on a map. The information is then used to determine the capacity of reservoirs and the best routes for transit over land.

  • It is used to create geological maps that depict natural resource locations.

The resource information that is depicted on topographic maps can also be used to create geological maps. These maps are useful in determining the best locations for mining, forestry, and other natural resources.

  • Surveying is also utilized in the creation of archaeological maps depicting ancient sites, as well as the design of aesthetical, religious, and residential structures.

These maps are utilized in the planning and design of ancient ruins, as well as in the creation of attractive, religious, and residential structures.

  • Surveying is part of construction that involves the determining the length and depth of foundations- These maps help in knowing how deep to dig so as to not damage subsurface objects.
  • It is used to predict seismic activity by plotting earthquake faults. Faults can be identified on topological maps of a particular area.
  • Surveying is also used to create political maps that highlight the weakest and strongest areas of the boundaries, as well as ways to depict the territory of other countries.

These maps can be used to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the area by indicating how close or distant it is to an urban center. They can also be used to depict other countries in a political fashion.

  • Surveying is used to make meteorological maps that indicate air currents- These maps are often used for planning purposes when it comes to storing food, distributing materials, etc.
  • It aids in the planning and execution of engineering projects such as bridges, buildings, and irrigation canals, among other things. In civil engineering, surveying is used to the greatest extent.
  • It aids in the mapping and transfer of features from the map to the realistic view on the ground.

In conclusion

Surveyors are used to create topographical maps, military maps, and economic charts. To date, surveying has been used for over a thousand years for marking different things such as roads, boundaries, and political borders.

The value of surveying is not limited to the aesthetic or even the technical. Investing in surveying services can allow you to be not just more proficient but also keep you updated with the current state of the art technology and advancements in this field.


The objective of surveying?

To ascertain the relative position of any objects or points on the earth’s surface. To calculate the distance and angle between two objects. To create a map or plan that represents a geographical area on a horizontal plan.

Uses of surveying?

The uses are but not limited to:

  • To determine the location of a property when buying, selling or renting out a property.
  • Verify the boundaries of the property in dispute between two adjacent landowners.
  • To create cadastral maps, which is used to create other types of maps such as topographical maps and others that illustrate boundaries, roads and other features.
  • In civil engineering, surveying is used to develop plans for irrigation canals, roads and buildings among others.
  • To make a map that illustrates meteorological activity such as air currents.
  • To determine the best land use for agriculture and for the purpose of conservation.
  • Planning for future land development or development under way.
  • Finding faults on earth’s surface and predicting earthquake activities in an area.
  • Making maps that depict ancient ruins, religious buildings and residential structures as well as studying these structures to develop new designs for them.

What exactly does a civil engineer do?

Civil engineers plan and develop large transportation projects.

Civil engineers plan, design, develop, manage, run, and maintain public and private infrastructure projects and systems such as highways, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and water supply and sewage treatment systems.

What is civil engineering salary?

In 2020, the median income for civil engineers was $88,570. The highest-paid quarter earned $115,110 that year, while the lowest-paid quarter earned $69,100.

How can I be a civil engineer?

To be a civil engineer, you need to first complete your bachelor’s degree in one of the branches of engineering. To practice as a licensed civil engineer, you’ll need to get a license from your state’s board of licensure.

You’ll also need four years of experience in the field, including two years under the supervision of a licensed professional engineer. After that, you can sit for the Engineering-in-Training exam through NCEES and become an EIT (and later PE).

What can I study after civil engineering?

The best decision is to pursue a career in technology in your industry or a similar subject.

Colleges such as RICS School of Built Environment provide a variety of MBA programs such as MBA in Construction Project Management and MBA in Construction Economics and Quantity Surveying, assisting students in establishing a solid career after civil engineering.

What math is required for civil engineering?

Most civil engineering schools require calculus 1 and calculus 2, with some programs also requiring calculus 3. Calculus 1 is a prerequisite for most civil engineering courses; hence it is typically studied in the first semester, followed by calculus 2.

Do civil engineers draw?

You’ll notice that sketching talents aren’t on the list.

Civil engineers, while not architects, must be knowledgeable in architectural design procedures, such as working with blueprints, maps, drawings, and models, as well as computer programs used in architectural design and construction.

What is survey engineering?

Engineering surveying is a broad phrase used to describe surveyors’ work on civil engineering projects. Engineering surveyors plan, build, develop, maintain, and run a systematic procedure for collecting and evaluating geographical data on the land, oceans, natural resources, and man-made features.

What do you mean by survey?

A survey is a research approach that collects data from a preset group of respondents in order to gather information and insights on a variety of topics of interest. They can serve numerous purposes, and researchers can carry them out in a variety of ways depending on the methodology used and the goal of the study.

What is the basic principle of survey?

  • Always work from the whole to the component; and
  • Locate a new station using at least two measurements (linear or angular) from fixed reference points. The area is first bounded by main stations (also known as control stations) and main survey lines.

What is the method of survey?

The survey method is a data collection strategy that involves asking questions to persons who are assumed to hold the needed information.

A formal questionnaire list is being compiled. In general, an unmasked technique is adopted. Respondents are polled on their demographic interest opinions.

What is the importance of surveying in civil engineering field?

Surveying measures are used in the planning and design of all Civil Engineering projects such as highways, bridges, tunnels, and dams. Furthermore, during project execution, any project of any size is built along the lines and points determined by surveying.

What is survey work?

A surveyor’s work is divided into two parts: surveying and surveying engineering. A surveyor can be hired as an engineer in some situations, but in most it’s a separate occupation.

What is the meaning of land survey?

Land survey is the process of determining the physical characteristics of land, such as elevations, location of boundaries, surface features like ponds and rivers, and use of land.

What are some survey instruments?

There are many types of surveying instruments such as plumb bob, transit (a device that allows you to read depth), clinometer (colloquially called an inclinometer or bubble level), and a compass. These are the most important ones in surveying industry.

What is Descriptive Geometry?

Descriptive geometry can be defined as the branch of mathematics that deals with curves and surfaces. At a very basic level, it is what allows us to draw shapes on a page using a ruler and compass.

This definition may seem exceedingly abstract, so let’s take it one step further by looking at its practical applications.

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