History of Surveying
Surveying has been an important factor in human civilization since ancient history. The surveyors of ancient Egypt, also called “rope stretchers,” measured distances by using ropes at appropriate intervals. They also made measurements with chains with standard length links, pulled firmly to minimize slack. Compasses that provided the deflection measurements measured angles. These survey instruments improved over time by incorporating accurately engraved discs with improved angular resolution.
Surveying was also important in Greece. As the Greeks explored the science of geometry, they put it into practice to divide land precisely. The Greeks also developed the first surveying instrument, called a Diopter.
During the industrial revolution, the development of roads, railroads, and canals demanded more precise surveying techniques and surveying technologies advanced. This era saw the development of geodetic and plane surveying.
Modern surveying techniques- Global Positioning Systems, Geomatics, Geodesy and Remote Sensing-have replaced the older surveying techniques. Today, surveying has many purposes. In addition to establishing boundaries between plots of land, it is necessary for mapping the globe, both above and below sea level, and devising land, air- and water navigation routes. It is also necessary for gathering engineering data for constructing roads, bridges, and buildings. Surveying is also essential for acquiring databases for natural resources management.