An Introduction And Types Of Engineering Survey (Notes For Engineering Student Part 1)

An Introduction to Engineering Survey

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It is the art of determining the relative positions of distinctive features on the surface or beneath the earth with the help of distance, directions, and elevations. Its main aim is to prepare maps and plans by setting out the points through which areas, volumes and other quantities are determined for execution of civil engineering works.


Primary Division Of Surveying:

1. Based On The Curvature Of Earth
a. Plane Survey:

The survey in which the curvature of the earth is ignored is called plane survey. The survey area is less than or equal to 260 sq. km. The lines are straight and triangles are assumed as straight triangles whereas the surface of the earth is assumed as planes.


b. Geodetic Survey:

The survey in which the curvature of the earth is taken into consideration is called geodetic survey. The survey area is more than 260 sq. km. Lines are either arc or curves and triangles are space triangles. The surface of the earth is assumed as the curve.


Note: Curvature means the rate of change at a point of an angle between a curve and tangent to the curve.


2. Based on the nature of the field:
a. Land Survey:
The survey which is carried out on the land (no water bodies) is called land survey. It is further classified as:

i. Topographical Survey:
It consist of horizontal and vertical location of certain points by linear and angular measurements and is made to determine the natural features such as rivers, streams, lakes, woods, etc. and such artificial features as roadways, railways, canals, towns and villages.

ii. Cadastral Survey:
Cadastral surveys are generally plotted to a large scale. They are made incident to the fixing of property lines, the calculations of land area or the transfer of land property from one owner to other.

iii. Marine/Hydrographic Survey:
The survey which is carried out for the studies of large water bodies is called marine or hydrographic survey.

iv. Astronomical Survey:
The survey which is carried out for determining absolute locations and the directions of any line on the surface of earth by making observations to heavenly bodies is called astronomical survey.

3. Based on the purpose of survey:
a. Engineering Survey:
The survey which is carried out for the determination of quantities or to afford sufficient data for designing engineering works such as roads, reservoirs, sewage disposal, water supply, etc. is called engineering survey.

b. Military or defense Survey:
The survey which is carried out for the preparation of maps of the areas of military importance is called military survey.

c. Mine Survey:
The survey which is carried out to find the characteristics of mineral wealth (such as coal, copper, gold, iron, ores, etc. ) beneath the ground surface is called mine survey.

d. Geological Survey:
The surveys which are carried out to ascertain the composition of earth crust i.e. different status of the rocks of the earth crust are called geological survey.

e. Archeological Survey:
The survey which is carried out to prepare maps of ancient culture i.e. antiquities are called archeological survey

4. Based on instrument used:
i. Chain surveying
ii. Compass Surveying
iii. Plane Table Surveying
iv. Tachometric Surveying
v. Triangulation Surveying
vi. Aerial Surveying
vii. Photogrammetic Surveying

These were the types of survey in engineering. I hope you get some knowledge and find this article useful.

Article contributed by: Mayaprakash Pant,




Hemant Chaudhary is an student 19 years old. He is interested in Hacking, Blogging,coding. He like to Visit new Places and make new Friends. He used to Learn His web works From Friends and Currently is is CEO and Founder of Meropaper and