The main principles of surveying are,

  • To work from whole to the part
  • Locating new points by measurement of minimum two reference points

Working from the whole to the part

The main principle of this method is establishing the survey work from the whole to the part. 

For example, if you are going to take surveys for vast land first, you have to fix systematic control points with high precision around the area—a boundary line formed by connecting the points which are the main skeleton drawing of the survey.

Working from the whole to the part
The survey points are established by triangulation or traverse around the area. Then the triangles are broken into small areas and can be measured by less workmanship. 

The primary purpose of work from the whole to the part survey is to avoid the error. In case the survey works are established by part to whole, then we have to face many mistakes in the surveying.

Locating new points by measurement of minimum two reference points

Two different independent processes have to do to fix a new point. The two different methods can cross-check together.

locating new points


From the above picture, C is new, which has to be fixed & point A, B are the given point. 

  • Now the point C can be fixed by measuring the distance of AC & BC; it is one method of process.
  • A perpendicular line may be drawn from point C to baseline AB. Now we have got two different possibilities to locate point C by the line CD.

The result of surveying is like a syllabus of a course that will guide whether a topic needs to be covered before starting another. The Survey will guide us through the project whether a work has to be completed before starting another.

What is surveying in civil engineering?

Surveying is the branch of civil engineering to discover the comparable position of peculiar features of the earth’s surface by measuring the distance, directions & elevations of the earth. Refer – What is Surveying?

Importance of surveying in civil engineering

Once the plan is set out accurately, then there is no need to spend more time to re-evaluate the land. Refer importance of surveying .

What is the main objective of surveying?

The main objective of surveying is to show all the features of the earth’s surface (larger area) prepared as a plan or map in a horizontal plane.  The scale of the area describes the difference between the plan & map. If the range represents a small area, then it is called a map at the same time if the scale denotes a more substantial space that is called a plan. 


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Bala is a Planning Engineer & he is the author and editor of Civil Planets.

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