Elementary and Advanced Surveying Equipments and Their Uses

surveying gear

In every Civil Engineering construction, we need to know the exact locations, precise calculations and so more. The knowledge that gives us the hope of getting such information is purely based on the techniques and formulas of surveying. So, surveying is that knowledge that gives us a preliminary idea of the work site as well as precise geographic or construction measurement related information.

Today we are going to discuss some of the preliminary and advanced surveying equipment(with photographs)as well as their uses in the construction field.

Elementary Surveying Instruments

  • Surveyors Chain and Engineers Chain

Surveyors chain is also named as Gunter;s Chain which is 66 ft or 22 yards in length connected by internal links. Gunter's Chain is usually divided into 100 internal links each measuring 7.92 inches in length.

On the other hand, Engineer's chain is 100 ft in length and is divided into 100 units. The units are connected through rings at the both end.

surveyors chain

2. Measuring Tapes

Measuring tapes are of different length and in size. In construction, usually small steel measurement tapes of 9-50 ft are used. For measuring greater lengths, plastic tapes are also used

measuring tape

3. Measuring Rod

Measuring Rods are a commonly used measurement instrument that can be used to measure of physical bodies. They can vary in shape and length based on requirements.

measuring rod

4. Plumb Bob

A plumb bob is an object with a sharp end which measures the vertical position of any object in respect to other.

plumb bob

5. Ranging Poles and Pegs

Usually used in combination with a theodolite or level machine to measure the vertical point of any point with the reference point. It has measurement marks on its body to know the vertical positions of any point on the ground or on any structure.

ranging poles

6. Plane Table

The plane table is actually a table placed on stands to know the position of any object in respect of the table standing point.

plane table use

7. Dioptra

Dioptra is a surveying and astronomical instrument used to measure angles.

dioptra use


The cosmolabe was an ancient astronomical instrument resembling the astrolabe, formerly used for measuring the angles between heavenly bodies. It is also called pantacosm. Jacques Besson also uses this name, or universal instrument, for his invention described in Le cosmolabe (1567), which could be used for astrometry, cartography, navigation, and surveying. (Source: Wikipedia)


9. Tachometer

It is a simple type of theodolite used to measure the distance of any point with reference to its base point.

Advanced Surveying Instruments

  • Theodolite

An instrument with advanced technology to measure the distance of any point with respect to another. It can also measure vertical distance, horizontal distance and angles.


2. Graphometer

A graphometer is a tool which can measure the angles.


fig: Graphometer( Source: Wikipedia)

3. Total Station

The most advanced technological digital equipment to measure the horizontal, vertical distances and angles. It can memorize the data and the data are also transferable to a computer advanced Cameras

total station sale

4. Advanced Cameras

Advanced surveying cameras are used to take photographs of any area which is further can be used while planning.

surveying camera

You May Have the Following Useful Books on Surveying









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