How GPS has Revolutionised Geo-Physical and Topographical Surveying

As you may have already guessed a topographic GPS survey is one used to take account and measure the shape and varying levels of the ground using GPS instruments. This sort of survey is used for a variety of reasons but is commonly used for construction and building matters.

Mechanical Alternatives

Originally mechanical and electrical optical mechanical devices were used to perform these surveys – this would have included levels, compasses and other devices and also have meant the need for complex calculations. This sort of tracking was uneven and also posed the risk of mistakes. Such routines often took numerous people and also days to perform. The introduction of GPS in 1988 by Trimble was simply a revelation and allows for fast accurate precise measurements.

GPS systems allow for a range of benefits and like all technology have become increasingly efficient, advanced and also accurate in recent years – some to within the centimetre. Taking account of the land does require specialist equipment and the results are shown on surveys, where measured elevation points are revealed and presented as contour lines on the plot.

Topographic Surveys Using GPS

Topographic Surveys Using GPS as New Technology

Three Dimensions

The GPS instrument measure in three dimensions, receiving information on three planes – longitude, latitude and elevation. Generally, it takes around 4-5 minutes at each point to receive the information required and this can be done by one person and is all computed by the device. There isn’t even a requirement for a line of sight, something essential in pre-GPS times. Add to this, the fact that measurements can be taken in all environments and conditions and are fast and precise; and you understand why the topographic surveying activities of the past are no more.

Faster, More Accurate, Less Man Power

There is no standardised software and each manufacturer of GPS surveying equipment has slightly different systems. However, they are still much easier to get to grips with than traditional methods and with time are also falling in price.

Topographic surveying using GPS mapping also benefits as the GPS system allows access instantaneously to National Grid co-ordinates. Of course, all information is in the digital format and can be uploaded to a computer or other device in no time at all. This allows it to be used with other software programs or sent quickly elsewhere via email.

Some manufacturers also offer surveys in char and report form and the likes of Trimble even combine their features with Google Maps to allow a 3D image of the surveyed area.

For those in the surveying industry the GPS surveying instruments at hand have made some significant changes. Information can be taken, measured, computed, stored and sent – a real revelation and something hardly considered only a short time ago.

GPS surveying has made all the difference to topographic surveys and has revolutionised the surveying industry.

Guest Post: Sumo Services has offered topographic surveys among other forms of surveys for a wide range of clients and pride themselves in their speed and delivery, as well as end result. 

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