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Surveyors Toolkit

15 September 2015

AUTHOR:Kevin Birch

With the rapid advancements in technology over the last 50 years, the Surveyor’s toolkit has greatly expanded. Traditional methods of land measurement involved the use of theodolites to determine angles and tapes and chains to measure distances, and these techniques continue to be in use in some circumstances. The 1960’s and 70’s brought the common use of infrared technology to measure long distances accurately, and quickly this technology was incorporated into theodolites resulting in “total station” instruments. Electronic distance measurements (EDM) originally required the use of a high quality prism to enable the reflection off the infrared beam back to the source to allow the distance to be calculated. Modern technology allows these beams to be bounced back of most hard objects without the use of a prism. Reflectorless technology utilizes high energy laser pulse to enable it to reflect off any surface it is aimed at. This is particularly useful in situations where the point to be measured is inaccessible. There are inherent limitations in this technology, which restrict measurements to shorter distances, and requires more diligence to ensure the exact point has been measured. 

These advances in technology increase the efficiencies in surveying and provide better results to our clients.