There have been numerous advancements in construction surveying equipment and technologies over the past several decades, but probably none more impactful to the construction industry than the Global Positioning Satellite system or GPS.
Prior to today's GPS survey technology, the survey team relied on complex field calculations and measurements to determine grade, set the centerline and offset stakes. Continual field surveys and calculation were required to set and keep grade as the construction progressed. This required survey teams of at least two or more and a lot of time spent staking and re-staking the construction site. With GPS advancements in survey technologies, the dynamics and responsibilities of the onsite construction surveyor has also changed dramatically. Gone are the days of complex field calculations and long hours of staking out job sites, now the construction surveyor has the responsibility to constantly monitor and check line and grade. Even with today's complex GPS systems, accurate construction still requires a surveyor on the jobsite checking, crosschecking and verifying various survey readings and levels.
With advanced GPS, installation of a single base station greatly increases the survey team's efficiency and accuracy. In addition, this base station can service multiple receivers and control boxes installed on construction equipment. On a typical road project, stations are set at every 100 feet, however, instead of having to physically stake all the station and offset markers, the points are calculated by, and incorporated into the computer program, greatly reducing the time a survey team spends staking out a site. By utilizing the base station and a mobile total station, a single surveyor can now complete most of the survey work for the construction site.
Once the existing terrain has been determined, a preliminary site layout is established. Using advanced calculation programs to balance the cut and...