Surveying Engineering

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Surveying, abbreviated SURV, is the process of determining and recording the three-dimensional positions of angles, distances and points.  The next step is to analyze the information to create a detailed map or legal document to be used for parcel maps and construction.

 

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Surveying Engineering Nomenclature & Symbols

  • \( AG \)  -  above ground
  • \( AG \)  -  above grade
  • \( AH \)  -  ahead
  • \( AEC \)  -  areas of environmental concern
  • \( ASPH \)  -  asphalt
  • \( ACS \)  -  auxiliary coordinate system
  • \( AZ \)  -  azimuth
  • \( BS \)  -  backsight
  • \( BT \)  -  back tangent
  • \( BL \)  -  base line
  • \( BEG \)  -  begin
  • \( BC \)  -  beginning of curve
  • \( BVC \)  -  beginning of vertical curve
  • \( BM \)  -  benchmark
  • \( BOC \)  -  bottom of concrete
  • \( BOL \)  -  bottom of line
  • \( BOP \)  -  bottom of pipe
  • \( B_d \)  -  braking distance
  • \( BRG \)  -  bridge
  • \( BRL \)  -  building restriction line
  • \( BSL \)  -  building setback line
  • \( CRB \)  -  capped rebar
  • \( CB \)  -  catch basin
  • \( CL \)  -  centerline
  • \( \Delta \)  -  central angle
  • \( c \)  -  chord
  • \( l \)  -  circle chord arch length
  • \( c \)  -  circle chord length
  • \( d_3 \)  -  clearance length
  • \( CONC \)  -  concrete
  • \( CMB \)  -  concrete median barrier
  • \( Con \;Mon \;F \)  -  concrete momument found
  • \( CONSTR \)  -  construction
  • \( CA \)  -  control of access
  • \( COGO \)  -  coordinate geometry
  • \( CMP \)  -  corrugated metal pipe
  • \( XS \)  -  cross section
  • \( CG \;\) C&G  -  curb and gutter
  • \( CVC \)  -  curve on vertical curve
  • \( DSD \)  -  decision sight distance
  • \( DC \)  -  deflection circular curve
  • \( D \)  -  degree of curve
  • \( DTM \)  -  digital terrain modeling
  • \( DDE \)  -  drainage ditch excavation
  • \( EW \)  -  earthwork
  • \( ELB \)  -  east boundary line
  • \( EOP \)  -  edge of pavement
  • \( EL \)  -  elevation
  • \( EMB \)  -  embankment
  • \( EC \)  -  end of curve
  • \( EVC \)  -  end of vertical curve
  • \( EST \)  -  estimated
  • \( EXC \)  -  excavation
  • \( EXIST \)  -  existing
  • \( EIP \)  -  existing iron pipe
  • \( E \)  -  external distance
  • \( g_2 \)  -  finished grade
  • \( FS \)  -  foresight
  • \( FS \)  -  forward shot
  • \( FT \)  -  forward tangent
  • \( FD \) or \( FND \)  -  found
  • \( FD \) or \( FND \)  -  found corner
  • \( GPPM \)  -  general property parcel map
  • \( GIS \)  -  GIS mapping
  • \( g_1 \)  -  grade of back tangent
  • \( g_2 \)  -  grade of forward tangent
  • \( g_2 \)  -  grade final
  • \( g_1 \)  -  grade initial
  • \( GP \)  -  grade point
  • \( HT \)  -  height
  • \( HP \)  -  high point
  • \( g_1 \)  -  Initial grade
  • \( IPPM \)  -  individual property parcel map
  • \( d_1 \)  -  initial maneuver distance
  • \( HI \)  -  instrument height
  • \( IS \)  -  intermediate shot
  • \( I \)  -  intersecting angle
  • \( ISD \)  -  intersection sight distance
  • \( IP \)  -  iron pipe
  • \( IPF \)  -  iron pipe/pin found
  • \( IPS \)  -  iron pipe/pin set
  • \( IRF \)  -  iron rod found
  • \( IRS \)  -  iron rod set
  • \( JCT \)  -  junction
  • \( JB \)  -  junction box
  • \( K \)  -  K value
  • \( LM \)  -  landmark
  • \( L \) or \( LC \)  -  length of curve
  • \( LT \)  -  left
  • \( L \)  -  length of vertical curve
  • \( LS \)  -  License/Land Surveyoe #
  • \( L.O.D. \)  -  limit of disturbance
  • \( LIS \)  -  LIS mapping
  • \( LC \)  -  long cord
  • \( LT \)  -  long tangent
  • \( LP \)  -  low point
  • \( MAG \)  -  magnetic concrete nail
  • \( MH \)  -  manhole
  • \( MAT \)  -  material
  • \( MSL \)  -  mean sea level
  • \( MD \)  -  middle
  • \( M \)  -  middle ordinate
  • \( MBS \)  -  minimum building setback
  • \( NPP \)  -  nail in power pole
  • \( NTCFP \)  -  nail on top of corner fence post
  • \( NTFP \)  -  nail on top of fence post
  • \( NMS \)  -  no monument found
  • \( NBL \)  -  north boundary line
  • \( NTS \)  -  not to scale
  • \( PSD \)  -  passing sight distance
  • \( PVMT \)  -  pavement
  • \( PUE \)  -  pavement utility easement
  • \( POB \)  -  point of beginning
  • \( POC \)  -  point of circular curve
  • \( PCC \)  -  point of compound curvature
  • \( PC \)  -  point of curve
  • \( POE \)  -  point of ending
  • \( PI \)  -  point of intersection
  • \( PRC \)  -  point of reverse curve
  • \( PT \)  -  point of tangent
  • \( PTC \)  -  point of tangent curve
  • \( PVC \)  -  point of vertical curve
  • \( PVI \)  -  point of vertical intersection
  • \( PVT \)  -  point of vertical tangent
  • \( POL \)  -  point of line
  • \( PSDE \)  -  private storm drain easement
  • \( PL \)  -  property line
  • \( PDE \)  -  public drainage easement
  • \( R \)  -  radius of a circular curve
  • \( RP \)  -  radius point
  • \( R/C \)  -  rebar and cap
  • \( REINF \)  -  reinforced
  • \( RCBC \)  -  reinforced concrete box culvert
  • \( RCP \)  -  reinforced concrete pipe
  • \( REM \)  -  remove
  • \( REPL \)  -  replace
  • \( RT \)  -  right
  • \( ROW \)  -  right of way
  • \( SCM \)  -  set concrete monument
  • \( SMN \)  -  set MAG nail
  • \( ST \)  - short tangent
  • \( S \)  -  sight distance
  • \( m \)  -  slope
  • \( SS \)  -  slope stakes
  • \( SBL \)  -  south boundary line
  • \( STD \)  -  standard
  • \( SPCS \)  -  State Plane Coordinate System
  • \( STA \)  -  station
  • \( SR \)  -  steel rod
  • \( SRS \)  -  steel rebar set
  • \( SSD \)  -  stopping sight distance
  • \( STR \)  -  structure
  • \( SYM \)  -  symbol
  • \( T \)  -  tangent distance
  • \( E \)  -  tangent offset
  • \( TEMP \)  -  temporary
  • \( TOC \)  -  top of concrete
  • \( TOP \)  -  top of pipe
  • \( TOS \)  -  top of steel
  • \( TP \)  -  turning point
  • \( TYP \)  -  typical
  • \( E \)  -  vertical distance from VPI to curve
  • \( VPC \)  -  vertical point of curve
  • \( VPI \)  -  vertical point of intersection
  • \( VPT \)  -  vertical point of tangent
  • \( WBL \)  -  west boundary line
  • \( WLB \)  -  wetland limit boundary
  • \( WCR \)  -  wheelchair ramp
  • \( WCC \)  -  wheelchair ramp curb cut
  • \( WC \)  -  witness corner

 

Surveying Engineering Glossary

A

  • Accepted survey  -  A survey accepted by the official having cadastral survey approval authority.
  • Adjoiner  -  To owner of land which touches the land of another.
  • Adjoining  -  To be in contact with, touching or contiguous.
  • Altitude  - The height of a vertical angle from the horizon.
  • Angle  -  Two rays sharing a common point.
  • Angle point  -  A point in a survey where the alinement of boundary deflects from a straight line.
  • Arc definition  -  The degree of the curve (D) is the angle formed by two radii drawn from the center of the circle to the ends of the arc.
  • Asbuilt survey  -  A survey that is done after the completion of a construction project.
  • Azimith  -  The direction of a line related to north.

B

  • Backsight  -  A sight on a previously established survey point.
  • Back tangent  -  The tangent back to the curve.
  • Baseline  -  The east-west line that divides townships.
  • Bearing  -  An angle in degrees measured clockwise from north.
  • Beginning of curve, See (BVC, PVC, PC)  -  The point at which a straight line begins to curve, the point tangency to the curve.
  • Beginning of vertical curve, See (BC, PVC, PC)  -  The point at which a straight line begins to curve, the point tangency to the curve.
  • Benchmark  -  A relatively fixed point whose coordinates and elevation datum are used for leveling and construction.
  • Blaze  -  A mark made upon a tree trunk.
  • Boundary line  -  A line of demarcation between adjoining parcels of land.
  • Boundary monument  -  An object placed on or near a boundary line to preserve and identify the location of the boundary line.
  • Boundary survey  -  A mathematically closed diagram of the complete outside boundary of a site.
  • Bounds  -  A general description of buildings, property, roads, and etc. used in legal documents.
  • Branch  -  Small stream.
  • Broken boundary  -  A series of line segments representing a boundary which is not a straight line.
  • Brook  -  Small stream.
  • Bug  -  A magnetic locator to search for an iron pipe.

C 

  • Cadastral survey  -  A survey that is carried out to describe boundaries and land ownership.
  • Call  -  Any feature, landmark, or measurement called out in a survey.
  • Capped rebar  -  A rebar 18" long, 1/2" diameter, with a cap having the company name and license number stamped into it.
  • Celestial meridian  -  The largest circle of the celestial sphere passing through the celestial poles and an observer's zenith.
  • Central angle  -  The angle formed by two radii drawn from the center of the circle (0) to PC and PT.
  • Chaining  -  The measuring a distance using a chain or tape.
  • Chord  -  A line segment on the interior of a circle.
  • Clay  -  Particles ranging in size from 0.002 mm and smaller.
  • Closing corner  -  A corner established where a survey line intersects a previous fixed boundary at a point between corners.
  • Collapse slump  -  The fresh concrete collapses completely.
  • Compass  - A magnetic compass has a magnetic needle that points north.
  • Closed joint  -  A joint that is invisible or barely visible between two adjacent slabs or stones.
  • Compass bearing  -  Uses magnetic north as a reference point.
  • Concrete monument found  -  A permanent marker set by a land surveyor to reference controll points or property corners.
  • Construction survey  -  Surveying measurements made before or while the site is under construction.
  • Contour interval  - The difference in elevation between adjacent contours as shown on a map.
  • Contour line  -  An imaginary line on the ground having all points on the same elevation.
  • Contour map  -  A map that illustrates relief by means of contour lines. 
  • Contours  - Lines joining points of equal elevation as shown on a topographic map.
  • Control points  - Fixed points of known coordinates.
  • Coordinate system  -  A grid where the axes are apart 90 degrees.
  • Coordinates  -  Two lines, latitude and longitude that intersect creating a point.
  • Corner  -  The location of intersecting boundary lines.
  • Cotton spindle  -  A 6" to 8" spindle used where you would typically use an iron pipe or rebar as a momument.
  • Creek  -  Small stream.
  • Culvert  -  A pipe or tunnel that carrys a stream under a road or highway.

D

  • Data collector  -  A handheld electronic field notebook.
  • Datum  -  An abstract coordinate system used to reference a known location.
  • Declination  -  The difference between geographic north (true) and magnetic north.
  • Deed  -  A document that transfers title to real property.
  • Deep well  -  A well that draws water from beneath an impermeable stratum.
  • Deflection angle  -  The angle between a tangent and the ends of the chords from the PC.
  • Deflection circular curve  -  The deflection angle for a full circular angle measures from tangent at PC or PT.
  • Degree of curve -  The flatness or shapeness of the curve.

E

  • Easement  -  The legal right to use another persons personal property.
  • Easement survey  -  Prepared between parties to allow the use of part of an allotment.
  • EDM  -  Electromagnetic Distance Measurement device.
  • Egress  -  The right to go on the land of another.
  • Elevation survey  -  Used to determine the elevation of a structure and it's relationship to the floorplan.
  • End of curve, See (EVC, PVT, PT)  -  The point at which a curved line ends and the point tangency to the curve begins.
  • End of vertical curve, See (EC, PVT, PT)  -  The point at which a curved line ends and the point tangency to the curve begins.
  • Erosion  -  The natural wearing away of the earth's surface by rainfall and surface runoff.            
  • External distance  -  The distance from the PI to the midpoint of the curve.

F

  • Field notes  -  A permanent record of field procedures and data collected in those procedures.
  • First station  -  Point of beginning (POB)
  • Found corner  -  An existing corner on a public land survey found by a field survey.
  • Furlong  -  A distance of 220 yards or 40 poles.

G

  • Geodesy  -  The science and mathmatical calculations of the shape and size of the earth.
  • Geodetic survey  -  A percise survey that takes in long distances showing shape of the world.
  • GIS Mapping, See (LIS)  -  Geographic Information System is used to locate items like utilities.
  • Gore  -  A thin triangular piece of land.
  • Gradient  -  The rate of rise and fall.
  • Grid  -  A group of parallel lines that run perpendicular to another group of parallel perpendicular lines.
  • Grid azimuth  -  Measured from grid north.
  • Grid bearing  -  The northwards direction along the grid lines of a map used as a reference point.
  • Grid distance  -  The distance between two points using mapping coordinates.
  • Grid north  -  The direction of the north-south grid lines on a state plane coordinate system.
  • Grid position  -  The grid coordinates of a point.
  • Ground distance  -  The horizontal distance with curvature between two ground points.
  • Gunter's Chain  - A distance of 66 feet or 4 poles.

H

  • Half section  -  Containing more or less 360 acres.
  • Head  -  The source of a stream.
  • Headwaters  -  The smallest streams that combine to make a larger stream.
  • High water  -  The maximum height reached by rising water.
  • Horizontal  -  Parallel to a flat or level surface of the earth.
  • Horizontal distance  -  The distance horizontally between two points.
  • Horizontal line  -  A line extending left or right but not up or down.
  • Horizontal position  -  A point with horizontal coordinates only.
  • Hydrography  -  Features including lakes, rivers, streams, swamps, and other water features.

I

  • Ingress  -  The right to enter a tract of land.
  • Intersecting angle  -  The deflection angle at the PI.
  • Intersection sight distance  -  The distance a motorist should be able to see other traffic in the intersection in order to enter safetly.
  • Iron pipe  -  A pipe 18" long, 3/4" outside diameter, with a plastic cap set inside having the company name and license number stamped into it.

J

K

L

  • Landmark  -  A marker made on a permanent feature of the land like rocks, trees, etc.
  • Land Survey  -  The act of surveying to establish the correct property description or establish land boundaries.
  • Length of curve (horizontal)  -  The distance from PC to PT.
  • Levee  -  Artificial embankment confining a channel, stream, or body of water.
  • Leveling  -  Using a graduated rod to establish difference in heights of the terrain.
  • Licensed/Land Surveyor #  -
  • LiDAR (Aerial survey)  -  A survey using remote sensors of light reflected by lasers to measure distances.
  • LIS Mapping, See (GIS)  -  Land Information System is used to locate items like utilities.
  • Long chord  -  The cord from PC to PT.

M

  • Magnetic bearing  -  The direction toward the magnetic north pole as a reference point.
  • Magnetic concrete nail  -  Stamped on top of nail.  Makes them easier to be found by metal detectors.
  • Magnetic north  -  The direction in which a magnetic needle of a compass points.
  • Map  -  A representation of the earth's surface.
  • Map scale  -  A relationship between the distance on the map compared to the distance on the earth's surface.
  • Meander  -  Meander of something.  A line follows the twists and turns of a stream.
  • Mean sea level  -  The average height of the surface of the sea.
  • Merestone  -  A stone that marks a boundary.
  • Meridian  -  Imaginary north-south lines converging at the north and south poles.
  • Metes  -  A boundary defined by the measurement between terminal points of each straight run used in legal documents.
  • Metes and bounds  -  The boundary lines of land with angles and points used in legal documents.
  • Middle ordinate  -  The distance from the midpoint of the curve to the midpoint of the long chord.
  • Minimum building setback  -  The minimum requirement for a building limits.
  • Monument  -  A permanent marker set by a land surveyor to reference controll points or property corners.
  • Mouth  -  A place where a stream enters another larger stream.

N

O

  • Offset  -  Right angles to the survey line measured horizontal to locate a point off the line.

P

  • Parcel  -  An area of land defined by measurement.
  • Passing sight distance  -  The distance a motorist should be able to observe the trafic in order to pass safetly.
  • Percolation & Soils Testing  -  A field test measuring the rate water moves through soil and helps evaluate the ability of the soil to absorb.
  • Photogrammrtry surveying (Aerial survey)  -  A survey that takes photographs from elevated ground stations.
  • Plane coordinates  -  Coordinates that represent the location of points on a plane.
  • Plane survey  -  A survey in which the effect of the curvature of the earth is not relevant.
  • Plat  -  A drawing that represents the survey area such as section corners, bearings and distances, parcel numbers, mineral rights, etc.
  • Point of beginning  -  In a survey it describe the point at which a meets and bounds description begins.
  • Point of circular curve  -  The point at which a straight line begins to curve, the point tangency to the curve.
  • Point of compound curvature  -  A point where curves of different radii meet.
  • Point of curve, See (BC, BVC, PVC)  -  The point at which a straight line begins to curve, the point tangency to the curve.
  • Point of ending  -  In a survey it description to describe the point at which a meets and bounds description ends.
  • Point of intersection, See (VPI, PVI)  -  The intersection of two tangent points or where two non-parallel lines intersect.
  • Point of reverse curve  -  The point in an S-type compound curve where two curves of different polarity meet.
  • Point of tangent, See (EC, EVC, PVT)  -  The point at which a curved line ends and the point tangency to the curve begins.
  • Point of tangent curve  -  The point at which a curve ends and a straight line begins.
  • Point of vertical curve, See (BC, BVC, PC)  -  The point at which a straight line begins to curve, the point tangency to the curve.
  • Point of vertical intersection, See (VPI, PI)  -  The intersection of two tangent points or where two non-parallel lines intersect.
  • Point of vertical tangent, See (EC, EVC, PT)  -  The point at which a curved line ends and the point tangency to the curve begins.
  • Point on line  -  When the endpoint can not be seen from the transit.
  • Prime meridian  -  The initial or zero meridian of imaginary north-south lines converging at the north and south poles.
  • Prime vertical  -  The largest circle at right angles to the celestial meridian of imaginary east-west lines.
  • Property line  -  Defines the line where properties begin and end.
  • Public drainage easement  -  Allows public utilities to acces a persons property to make any improvements to drainage as necessary.
  • Pythagorean theorem  -  The hypotenuse is the sum of the squares of the other two sides in a right triangle.

Q

  • Quarter corner  -  A corner halfway between the corners of a section.
  • Quarter section  -  Containing more or less 160 acres.

R

  • Radius of a circular curve  -  The circle of which the curve is an arc.
  • Radius point  -  All points are the same distance from the center.
  • Rebar and cap  -  A rebar 18" long, 1/2" diameter, with a cap having the company name and license number stamped into it.
  • Right of way  -  The legal right to cross the property of another person.
  • River  -  large stream.
  • Rodman  -  A person that holds the rod with an EDM.

S

  • Section  -  Containing more or less 640 acres, a division of a township.
  • Section corner  -  A corner at the extreme section boundary.
  • Silt  -  Particles ranging in size from 0.002 mm to 0.05 mm.
  • Site plan  -  A prepared plan used to get approval to construct some type of structure on a piece of property.
  • Slurry  -  The measurement of the height loss from a compacted cone of fresh concrete.
  • Spring  -  A pool or other sourceof water that feeds a stream.
  • State Plane Coordinate System  -  A coordinate systen having perpendicular lines going north to south and east to west.  It is only used in the US.
  • Stopping sight distance  -  The distance traveled by a vehical from the time it is observer to the time it comes to a stop.
  • Subdivision survey  -  This survey that is used to divide a parcel into smaller parcles.
  • Survey  -  The field note record of measurements and observations of the work performed.
  • Swamp  -  Wetlands that features permanent large areas of land with shallow bodies of water that include a large amount of trees.

T

  • Tangent  -  A line that touches a curve at just one point such that it is perpendicular to a radius line of the curve.
  • Tangent distance  -  The distance along the tangents from PI to PC or PT.
  • Thermal expansion coefficient  -  The percentage change in the length of the material per degree of temperature change, heated solid or liquid.
  • Tie line  -  A survey line that connects a point to other surveyed lines.
  • Tie point  -  The point where the survey connection is made.
  • Topographical map  -  A detailed map that represents graphically the earth's features.
  • Topographical survey  -  A survey to determine land structure along with the variation in land heights.
  • Township  -  A quadrangle having sides approximatelly 6 miles in length with parallels and medians.
  • Township corner  -  A corner at the extreme township boundary that also falls on a section corner.
  • Township lines  - Boundary lines that run north and south and stop at range lines.
  • Traverse  -  A sequence of randomly located distance and angles between measured survey lines and points in order to locate something or set property corners.
  • Triangulation  -  A survey using numerous triangles are inter-connected and overlapping to measure angles.
  • True bearing  -  The direction toward the geographic north pole as a reference point. 
  • True north  -  A direction parallel to the earth's axis pointing to the north pole.
  • Turn angle  -  Using an instrument to measure or set an angle.
  • Turning points  -  Temporary points of a known elevation.

U

  • Upland  -  Ground elevated above the lowlands along rivers.

V

  • Vertical point of curve  -  The point at which a straight line begins to curve, the point tangency to the curve.
  • Vertical point of intersection, See (PVI, PI)  -  The intersection of two tangent points or where two non-parallel lines intersect.

W

  • Water course  -  A visible channel for water such as a channel, ditch, streambed, or etc.
  • Witness corner  -  When a property corner can not be set at a corner, a witness corner is set, usually on the line at a measured distance.
  • Witness tree  -  A tree close to a section corner used as a reference to the section corner normally on public lands.  

X

Y

Z

 

 

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Title
Simple Circular Curve

Tags: Equations for Surveying