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Surveyor's Transit? GPS?

3 Posts
3 Users
Posts: 4
Regular Member Member
Topic starter

I'm not a surveyor.

Just curious, technology changes many industries. I was wondering if surveying now uses GPS tools to survey land? Or is it still sight/transits? or both?

I watched a show on TV and I saw a pole with a GPS device on the top of it ~ where they used it for marking spots on land to reference (places to dig).

Poll: Do you use GPS devices? If not why not? Are they precise enough?

Thank you,

Dan B
Rochester Hills, MI



Posted : November 14, 2022 11:01 am
Posts: 519
Member Member

Yes, Steve Guptil, the guy on “Curse of Oak Island” uses a GNSS (GPS is the name for United States’s satellites, GNSS includes Russian, European and Chinese satellites) receiver to locate features, borings and artifacts for mapping purposes. Regular Surveyors are in their third decade of using satellites to measure the location of points on earth. The first decade consisted of using the orbit of GPS satellites to calculate fixed positions on earth by recording the range between the satellite and the fixed position. The second decade consisted of improving the accuracy of the position on earth by using more satellites and increasing of the amount of data received from each satellite. Now we simultaneously receive copious amounts of data from satellites, additional receivers and internet servers to instantaneously calculate real-time positions as move across the face of the earth. It’s been 50 years since transits have been in use.

Posted : November 14, 2022 4:13 pm
Posts: 1586
Member Supporter

How much accuracy do you need?

A good gnss used properly will give results at around +/- 2 cm

A good total station around +/- 2mm

I would not use gnss to setout a building, but they are good for earthworks. 



Posted : November 14, 2022 6:12 pm
lukenz reacted

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