For centuries upon centuries, mankind has been employing various techniques to survey the land around them. Even as far back as the building of the pyramids in Ancient Egypt, people have been using varied and archaic means of surveying the land. Land surveying has been done in many different ways over the decades and some of the oldest means of measuring included using lengths of chain to measure the distance from one spot to the next. However, the tools of the trade have become much more updated and technologically advanced since the Ancient Egyptians were building their pyramids.
Only recently have the tools for land surveying advanced beyond a simple tape-measure and level. Technology has allowed the surveyor many more options when it comes to surveying, though the more advanced tools are still portable and easy to move from one site to the next. The basic tools needed for land surveying haven't changed much over the years, they have just evolved. A tape measure and level are still necessities, as is the theodolite, which is set up on a tripod, and the triangulation, which works in conjunction with the theodolite. Another, more modern, tool is the total station, which also works in conjunction with the theodolite. The accessibility of GPS has also become very important to the surveying business, allowing surveyors to more accurately survey the land, though in shorter sections.
Having the proper tools are necessary for any job, even more so in the job of land surveying. The basics, such as a tape measure and level, are available almost anywhere, but specialty stores and online sites are necessary when it comes to purchasing the heavier equipment, such as the surveying tripod. The tripod is used to hold other instruments in place by way of a mounting screw, which keeps the instrument safely and securely in place. There are many different styles and makes of tripods. The cheapest tripod that a surveyor can go with is the aluminum tripod. Aluminum has its advantages in that it is very lightweight and easy to move from place to place and most are available for around or under a hundred dollars.
Another option to go with is the fiber-glass tripod, which is also lightweight like the aluminum but a little more durable. These tripods are a little more expensive than the simple aluminum ones, their prices ranging from around $150-$200 dollars. The most expensive and reliable of the surveying tripods is the Dutch Hill tripod, which can cost up to $700. The Dutch Hill tripod is a capable and well designed instrument, combining many of the features from the other styles of tripod, such as the lightness of the aluminum and the moisture and element resistance of the fiber-glass.
Another crucial tool for land surveying is the theodolite. The theodolite is placed on the tripod and is used for measuring horizontal and vertical angles; the theodolite is one of the most important tools that a surveyor needs and can be used to measure even inaccessible ground. Like the tripods, the theodolite comes in many different styles and with different capabilities. The cheapest model of a Digital Theodolite, which has a ten second horizontal and vertical read-out, though the screen is basic and the device itself is small and simple. It is available for around $800 and can be used for a variety of different jobs. On the opposite end of the scale is the top end Digital Theodolite, which goes for around $2000-$4000 dollars. This device is state of the art, with a LCD display screen, reduced energy consumption and easy to use buttons and displays, among other features.
An advent of modern land surveying is the total station, which is used in taking measurements and is a combination of a theodolite and an electronic distance meter. Like with the other surveyors equipment, the total station can be found in many different styles and for many different prices, though this instruments tends to be more expensive than its counterparts. The most inexpensive Total Station models, running for around $2000-$6000. These models have an easy to read screen and they are built to handle long, heavy-duty use. They can be used in a variety of different ways, including mapping and construction use.
The Reflectorless Total Station is the most expensive and more advanced total station available at the moment. It does high accuracy measurements, especially in locations that are difficult to reach and even comes with the advanced Bluetooth technology, which makes communication even easier. These models can cost around $6000-$8000, but they are the perfect tools to get any job, no matter how difficult, done right.
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