Top 4 Surveying Instruments That Are Used in Civil Engineering


Surveying refers to the process of analyzing as well as recording the features of a land area span to help design a plan or map for construction. It the basic thing that the engineers consider before they plan the construction. And the concept is not new. From decades ago, the process is used though it is changed and evaluated with time.

Modern instruments that are used for surveying provide faster and more precise surveying than conventional ones. In the conventional surveying, chain as well as tape are used for making the linear measurements. And compass and ordinary theodolites are used for making angular measurements.

Types of surveying

Leveling work is carried out by using a Dumpy level and with a leveling staff. One can hardly able to complete the whole process with precision within the time when they choose conventional surveying.

Modern surveying instruments are slowly replacing old ones like compass as well as Dumpy level. With the latest instruments, survey works become precise, faster and less strenuous.

The types of surveying instruments include:

i) Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM) Instruments

ii) Total Station

iii) Global Positioning System (GPS)

iv) Automatic Level

1. Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM) Instruments

By using electronic instruments direct measurement of distances as well as their directions can be obtained. It basically rely on reflection, propagation, and reception of the light waves or radio waves. They can be classified into three types:

a. Infrared wave instruments

b. Light wave instruments

c. Microwave instruments

2. Total Station

The instrument is lightweight, and fully integrated. And it combines the capability of an EDM as well as the angular measuring instrument like wild theodolite.

It can perform the following functions:

a. Distance measurement

b. Angular measurement

c. Data processing

d. Digital display of point details

e.Storing data

3. Global Positioning System (GPS)

Developed by U.S. Defense department, GPS is called Navigational System with Time and Ranging Global Positioning System (NAVSTAR GPS) or simply GPS. One will need a GPS receiver for locating the position of any point on ground.

4. Automatic Level

It is a special leveling instrument that is used in surveying. It contains an optical compensator that maintains line of sight or line of collimation even though instrument is slightly tilted.

Each of the instrument comes with some advantages. However, before you choose one, you need to make sure of the fact whether it would be worthy for your project or not. Choose the instrument that will offer you unmatchable result.