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Fun Facts About Surveying: Theodolites Jason Spezza Senators Jersey , Famous Surveyors & More September 17, 2015 | Author: Carey Bourdier | Posted in Education
There have been surveyors around almost as long as people have been on the planet. While the early surveyors who helped construct Stonehenge and other ancient artifacts might not have had formal schooling, their skills helped build monuments that stood for thousands of years. In ancient Egypt and Rome, surveying was a revered profession and these individuals help build roads and buildings and even the Pyramids.


Surveyors use a variety of tools, including clinometers or inclinometers, compasses and GPS. One of the most common tools used by surveyors is the theodolite, an optical instrument which measures angles in the vertical and horizontal plane. The first theodolites date back to the early 16th century and perhaps the most famous theodolites were the Ramsden theodolites, which were used to create detailed surveys of Great Britain as well as India.


Theodolites are still quite similar to the ones used hundreds of years ago, although today’s optical instruments tend to be even more accurate. A total station is special device that has improved on the traditional theodolite and is quite popular with professional surveyors. This device is an optical instrument that not only includes a transit theodolite, it also contains an EDM or electronic distance meter and it records measurements for the surveyor.


Some of the world’s greatest historical figures have worked as surveyors. In the United States, this includes George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. However, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark are perhaps the most famous American surveyors. Benjamin Banneker is another notable surveyor. Banneker, the son of freed slaves, was an autodidact who eventually worked with team that surveyed the original borders of the District of Columbia.


Surveyors around the world can join in on the fun of International Surveyors Week, which is set annually in June. The highlight of the week is Survey Earth in Day, which also is known as SEAID. During this event, thousands of surveyors collect GPS data from known survey markers near their residence and share it with other surveyors. Any professional surveyor can use a GPS Gabriel Gagne Senators Jersey , total station or theodolite and get in on this event. During the most recent SEIAD event, more than 2,000 surveyors sent in data.


One fun activity that quite a few surveyors enjoy is geocaching, which isn’t actually surveying, but rather locating hidden caches using a GPS receiver. You can look for these fun hidden items or you also might consider hunting down some of the survey markers around the United States that the National Geodetic Survey has put in place. These markers are all over the country, on the tops of mountains, in cities and in many other locations. Unlike regular surveying, where you might need a total station or a theodolite and tripod, you just need a GPS receiver for these activities.


Carey Bourdier loves blogging about precision scientific instruments. For more information about surveying products like a surveyor compass, or to find other alignment instruments, visit the Warren Knight site today.


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