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# 17/11/2012

## Measurement of directions and

angles
Department of Geomatic Engineering
KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana
October 2012

Course content
Unit 1: Introduction to surveying
Unit 2: Chain surveying
Unit 3: Measurement of directions and angles
Unit 4: Traversing
Unit 5: Levelling and contouring
Unit 6: Methods of measuring areas
Unit 7: Introduction to GPS technology

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Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this Unit students should be able
to:

## Describe the various reference directions used in surveying

Deduce or compute bearings from angles
Distinguish between magnetic bearing and other bearings
Describe the Prismatic compass and its uses
Describe the parts of the Theodolite and its uses
Identify and eliminate errors in angular observation
Find directions of lines using magnetic Compasses and
Theodolites

Unit overview

## This unit discusses

Reference directions and bearings
Computation of bearing from angles
The Prismatic compass
Detection and elimination of local attraction
The Theodolite
Measuring and reading angles with the Theodolite
Booking angles measured with the Theodolites
Sources of error in Theodolite observation

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Reference directions

## The directions of survey lines may be defined, relative to

each other in terms of
the angles between consecutive lines, or
relative to some reference direction or meridian.

## Use of a reference direction or meridian has so many

advantages, particularly, regarding the facilities afforded for
checking and plotting.

Reference directions

## True or geographic meridian

The geodetic meridian is the north-south reference line
that passes through a mean position of the Earths
geographic poles.
It is the line on which the earths surface is intersected by
a plane passing through the point and the North and South
Poles of the earth.
There are an infinite number of true meridian lines.
All true meridian lines are straight land lines, but none
are parallel.

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Reference directions

Astronomic meridian
Wobbling of the Earths rotational axis causes the position of
the Earths geographic poles to vary with time.
At any point, the astronomic meridian is the north-south
reference line that passes through the instantaneous position
of the Earths geographic poles.
Astronomic meridians derive their name from the field
operation to obtain them, which consists in making
observations on the celestial objects (astronomical
observations).
True and astronomic meridians are very nearly the same, but
the former can be computed from the latter by making small
corrections.
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Reference directions

Magnetic meridian
A magnetic meridian is defined by a freely suspended
magnetic needle that is only influenced by the Earths
magnetic field.
This meridian is uninfluenced by local attractive forces.

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Reference directions

Assumed meridian
When the direction depicted as north is based on
something other than observations intended to detect the
axis of rotation of the earth that direction is referred to
as assumed north.
An assumed meridian can be established by merely
assigning any arbitrary direction - for example, taking a
certain street line to be north.
Assumed north lines are unique to each particular survey
and have no fixed relationship to any other assumed
north.

Reference directions

Grid meridian
Surveys based on a state or other plane coordinate system
employ a grid meridian for reference.
Grid north is the direction of geodetic north for a selected
central meridian and held parallel to it over the entire area
covered by a plane coordinate system.
If a flat plane is divided into a set of evenly spaced parallel
straight lines intersecting at right angles (90 degrees) with
another set of evenly spaced parallel straight lines, the
resulting pattern is a grid.
Grid meridian could then be defined as a direction parallel
with one of these sets.
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Horizontal angles

## Angles measured in surveying are classified as either

horizontal or vertical, depending on the plane in which
they are observed.

## Horizontal angles are the basic observations needed for

determining bearings

## The kinds of horizontal angles most commonly observed

in surveying are:
interior angles
exterior angles
angles to the right
deflection angles.
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Horizontal angles
Interioranglesanddeflectionangles

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Bearings

lines.

## The bearing of a line is defined as the acute horizontal

angle between a reference meridian and the line.

## Three types of bearing are known and is based on the

three directions (true north, magnetic north and grid
north)

Magnetic bearing
True bearing
Grid bearing
Arbitrary bearing

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Types of bearing

Magnetic bearing
In a compass, there is a magnetic needle, which, when
suspended freely, will point to the magnetic north.
The magnetic bearing of a line is the clockwise angle
measured from the magnetic north pole to the line in
question

True bearing
True bearing is the clockwise angle measured from the
true meridian to a line in question
True meridian coincides with the true north and south
poles

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Types of bearing

Grid bearing
The grid bearing of any survey line is the clockwise angle
between a grid north line and the survey line

Assumed bearing
In local surveys of a small site it may not be necessary to
relate surveys to either magnetic or true north
Some arbitrary point is chosen as reference object and
treated as being equivalent to the north pole
Whole circle of points on such map is measured with
reference to this assumed direction

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Magnetic declination

## The magnetic meridian does not coincide with the true

meridian, except in certain localities, and the horizontal
angle between the two directions is termed the magnetic
declination or the declination of the needle.

## Magnetic declination is the horizontal angle observed from

the true meridian to the magnetic meridian.

## When diagrams showing the true north and magnetic

north directions are combined, it is observed that the true
and magnetic bearings are different.

## The difference is called magnetic declination

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Magnetic declination

## Westerly magnetic declination - magnetic meridian lies

in the west of the true north

## Easterly magnetic declination - magnetic meridian lies in

the east of the true north

## The relationship between the magnetic and the true

bearings are given as

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Magnetic declination
True bearing = Magnetic Bearing + declination
Magnetic
North

True North
Declination

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Systems bearings

## There are two systems commonly used to express the

bearing.
Whole circle bearing

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## In this system the bearing of a line measured with the

magnetic north in clockwise direction

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## If the cardinal points of compass are drawn and

labeled north, east, south and west respectively the
whole 360 circle will have been divided into four

## In this system the bearing of a line is measured

eastward or westward from north or south whichever
is near.

## The directions can be either clock wise or anti

clockwise depending upon the position of the line.

## The quadrant bearing is the angle which the line

makes with the north-south axis

Eg. N 20 E, S 59 E, N 65 E
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Line
AB

N 76o 30 E
76o 30

BC

150o 25

DA

220o

45

S 40o 45 W

XY

290o 15

N 69o 45W

S 29o 35 E

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## The bearing of a line in the

direction in which a survey
containing several lines is
progressing is called the
forward bearing.

## The bearing of the line in the

direction opposite to that of
progress is the back bearing.

## Back bearing of a line is the

bearing of a line running in the
reverse direction
FORWARD BEARING = BACK BEARING 180
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## The bearing of AB is N4135E. The included angle at

Station B and C are 1290 11 and 880 35 respectively.
We want to use this information to compute the
bearing of lines BC and CD.
This means that our instrument is at Station B and we
face Station A before we turn clockwise through the
angle 1290 11 to face C. The bearing of BA is the back
bearing of AB.

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## A handy rule to compute bearings:

To the bearing of AB, add the included angle at B. If the sum
is greater than 180, subtract 180 from it to obtain the
bearing of the line BC. If, on the other hand, the sum is less
than 180 , add 180 .
If, after subtracting 180 the result is more than 360,
subtract 360 from it before proceeding as above.

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## The Prismatic compass

Essential parts:
Light weight telescopic tripod with miniature ball and socket
leveling joint
A non-magnetic glass circular compass box
Two sighting vanes attached to the outside of the box and
are hinged to enable them to fold down against it
A steel pivot attached to the centre of the box

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## The Prismatic compass

Essential parts
A broad magnetic needle and compass ring having line
jeweled centre, recessed to rest upon the steel pivot
Damping device in the form of a push button make pin
Various accessories such as folding mirror, sun glasses, etc
The line of sight is defined by the objective vane and the
eye slit, both attached to the compass box
The needle is on the pivot and will orient itself in the
magnetic meridian.

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## The following are the adjustments usually necessary in the

prismatic compass:
Centering
Leveling
Focusing the prism

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Centering
The center of the compass is placed vertically over the
station point by dropping a small piece of stone below
the center of the compass
It falls on the top of the peg marking that station.

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Levelling
By means of ball and socket arrangement the Compass is
then leveled
The graduated ring swings quite freely
It may be tested by rolling a round pencil on the compass
box

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## Focusing the prism

The prism attachment is slid up or down focusing till the
readings are seen to be sharp and clear.

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Observing bearing

is leveled.

## Having turned vertically the prism and sighting vane,

raise or lower the prism until the graduations on the
rings are clear and look through the prism.

## Turn the compass box until the ranging rod at the

station B is bisected by hair when looked through the
prism.

Turn the compass box above the prism and note the
reading at which the hair line produced appears to cut
the images of the graduated ring which gives the bearing
of line AB.

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of the line.

## The bearing of the line in the direction of progress of

the survey is called Fore Bearing (FB)

## The Back Bearing of a line is the bearing of a line in the

direction opposite to that of progress

direction

## Therefore BB of a line differs from FB by exactly 180.

Forward bearing = Back Bearing 180

## The errors may be classified as

Instrumental errors
Personal errors
Errors due to natural causes

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Instrumental errors

the compass.

## They may be due to the following reasons

The needle not being perfectly straight
Pivot being bent
Sluggish needle
Blunt pivot point
Improper balancing weight
Plane of sight not being vertical
Line of sight not passing through the center of graduated ring

Personal errors

## They may be due to the following reasons:

Inaccurate leveling of the compass box
Inaccurate centering
Inaccurate bisection of signals

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Natural errors

## They may be due to following reasons:

Variation in declination
Local attraction due to proximity of local attraction forces
Magnetic changes in the atmosphere due to clouds and
storms
Irregular variations due to magnetic storms
etc.

Local attraction

bearing by 180

## Any difference either than the 180 can be attributed to:

instrumental
observational and
other errors

## Where the difference is greater than 2 it is due to a

phenomena known as local attraction

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Local attraction

## Local magnetic attraction means the deflection of the

compass needle by a local magnetic force

## Local attraction can be created by nearby electrical,

power cables, nearby iron railings, piles of metal,

## Local magnetic force causes the magnetic needle to be

deflected from the magnetic meridian and give rise to
wrong bearings

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Local attraction

## When local attraction exists and is not compensated

for, the bearing you get is a compass bearing

## Compass bearing does not become a magnetic

bearing until it has been corrected for local attraction.

## Where the difference is other than 180:

the local attraction must exist at one station or
both of the stations and
neither reading can be depended upon until further
readings are taken along the traverse

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Local attraction
Correction
Station

Fore brg

Back brg

Fore

Back

PQ

69

249

QR

82

260

RS

75

258 30

+2

ST

172 30

354

-1 30

TU

153 30

331

-3

UV

354 30

172

Corrected Bearing
Fore brg

Back brg

Mean F. brg

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249

69

+2

82

262

82

-1 30

77

257

77

171

351

171

330 30

150 30

174

354

-0 30

-3

-0 30 150 30
+2

354

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The Theodolite

vertical angles.

## The accuracy with which these angles can be measured

ranges from 5mins to 0.1seconds

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The Theodolite

## A theodolite is generally classified according to the

Vernier
Optical scale or optical micrometer

Vernier scale

## Vernier is a type of auxiliary scale which is capable

of reading to 20 seconds of arc

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## Theodolite main components

A Frame or Standards
Mounted on the cover plate is a frame which carries the
telescope
In elevation, the frame has distinctive shape in the form of
a letter A

Telescope

Standards

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## The Lower plate (Tribrach)

The lower plate is the base of the whole instrument.
Is a body of the instrument carrying all the other parts
It houses the foot screws and the bearing for the vertical
axis.
It is rigidly attached to the tripod mounting assembly and
does not move.
It has hollow, slightly conically shaped socket into which
fits the remainder of the instrument
When the instrument is in used the tribrach must be
perfectly horizontal

Lower plate

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## Theodolite main components

Upper Plate
The upper plate is the base on which the standards and
vertical circle are placed.
Rotation or transiting of the upper plate about a vertical
(alidade) axis will also cause the entire standards/telescope
assembly to rotate in an identical manner.
For the instrument to be in correct adjustment it is therefore
necessary that the upper plate must be perpendicular to the
alidade axis and parallel to the trunnion axis.
Also, before the instrument is used, the upper plate must be
"levelled". This is achieved by adjustment of three foot screws
and observing a precise tube bubble.

Upper plate

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## Theodolite main components

Leveling screws
This is fitted between the tribrach and the trivet
stage
Used to leveled the tribrach
Used to centre the bubble of the plate spirit level

screws)
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## Vertical Scale (or Vertical Circle)

The vertical circle is a full 360 scale.
It is mounted within one of the standards with its center
co-linear with the trunnion axis.
It is used to measure the angle between the line of sight
(collimation axis) of the telescope and the horizontal. This
is known as the vertical angle.
Note that the side of the instrument where the standard
containing the scale is found is referred to as the face of
the instrument.

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## Vertical Clamp and Tangent Screw

In order to hold the telescope at a particular vertical angle a
vertical clamp is provided.
This is located on one of the standards and its release will
allow free transiting of the telescope.
When clamped, the telescope can be slowly transited using
another fine adjustment screw known as the vertical
tangent screw.

tangent screw
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## Horizontal Scale (or Horizontal Circle)

The horizontal circle is a full 360 scale.
Often placed between the upper and lower plates with its
centre co-linear with the vertical axis.
Capable of full independent rotation about the trunnion axis
so that any particular direction may be arbitrarily set to read
zero.
Used to define the horizontal direction in which the
telescope is sighted. Therefore a horizontal angle
measurement requires two horizontal scale readings taken by
observing two different targets.
The difference between these readings will be the horizontal
angle subtended by the two targets at the theodolite station.
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## Upper Horizontal Clamp and Tangent Screw

The upper horizontal clamp is provided to clamp the upper
plate to the horizontal circle.
Once the clamp is released the instrument is free to
traverse through 360 around the horizontal circle.
When clamped, the instrument can be gradually transited
around the circle by use of the upper horizontal tangent
screw.
Upper clamp and tangent screw are used during a sequence
or "round" of horizontal angle measurements.

tangent screw

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## Lower Horizontal Clamp and Tangent Screw

The lower horizontal clamp is provided to clamp the
horizontal circle to the lower plate.
Once the clamp is released the circle is free to rotate about
the vertical axis.
When clamped, the horizontal circle can be gradually rotated
using the lower-horizontal tangent screw.
The lower clamp and tangent screw must only be used at the
start of a sequence or "round" of horizontal angle
measurements to set the first reading to zero (if so desired).

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## Circle Reading and Optical Micrometer

Modern instruments usually have one eyepiece for
It is usually located on one of the standards.
The vertical and horizontal circles require illumination in
This is usually provided by small circular mirrors which
can be angled and rotated to reflect maximum light onto
the circles.

micrometer
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## Theodolite main components

Optical Plummet
Theodolites must be set up over fixed control stations, often
defined by wooden pegs and nails.
Modern instruments have an optical plummet incorporated in
them which greatly aids centering of the instrument
particularly in a windy weather
It consists of an eyepiece set in the lower plate. The line of
sight through the eyepiece, which is reflected vertically
downwards beneath the instrument by means of a prism, is
precisely in line with the vertical axis.
When the theodolite is properly set up and leveled, the
observer is able to view the ground station through the
eyepiece of the optical plummet

Optical plummet

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## Theodolite main components

Plate bubble
Angles measured in a vertical plane must be measured
relative to a truly horizontal line
The plate bubble is placed on the upper plate
By the help of the three foot screws the plate bubble is used
to level the instrument

Plate bubble
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Theodolite accessories

## Various accessories which provide for a)

the fulfilment of the geometrical
requirements for the measurement of both
horizontal and vertical angles, b) the
accurate bisection of targets and c) the

Tripod
Provide support for the instrument
They may be telescopic, that is they have
sliding legs or may have legs of fixed length
Tripod
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## These are operations which are carried out at every

survey station to ensure that the theodolite is in the
correct attitude, that is, the geometrical requirements
are fulfilled, for the measurement of angles.

are:
Centering
Levelling
Focusing

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## Temporary adjustments of the Theodolite

Centering
Defining a vertical plane at instrument station
Stepping on the tripod legs firmly in the ground
Mounting instrument on tripod
Examining position of plum bob
Manipulate the tripod legs

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Centering
1.

level

2.

3.

## Place the theodolite on top of the

tripod, and tighten the centering screw
to clamp the theodolite centrally on the

4.

survey station

## Focus the reticle

Focus the survey station

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Centering

6.

## By rotating the levelling foot screws,

using all the three in a random
manner if necessary, centre the
reticle in the optical plummet onto
the survey station

7.

## Using the pond bubble and by

adjusting the length of two tripod
legs, bring the pond bubble into the
centre of the pond bubble tube
The theodolite is roughly leveled
and centered over the station
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Leveling

## This is the process of making the standing axis, about

which the telescope rotates as it swings truly vertical

## This process is a fine level of the theodolite using PLATE

level bubble tube and the foot screws

Position A:

Align the plate level bubble tube with two foot screws
(parallel to the two foot screws)

## Centre the bubble by rotating the two foot screws in

opposite directions

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Leveling

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Leveling

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Leveling

Position B:

## Align the plate bubble by rotating the third foot screw

(e.i. 90o from position A or position is perpendicular to
position A)

(only)

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## Temporary adjustments of the Theodolite

Focusing
This is the process of adjusting the telescope so that you
see the signal or target at the distant station clearly
Sight clear skies
Focus until cross-hairs become clear
Check parallax

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1.
2.
3.
A

4.
5.
B

## A, B and C are the back, instrument and

forward stations respectively
With the theodolite carefully set up at
station B, release the lower horizontal clamp.
With the vertical circle of the theodolite on
your left, traverse the instrument to
approach target A, stopping just short of the
target.
Clamp the lower clamp.
Adjust the lower horizontal tangent screw
to complete the swing movement and bring
the graticule cross (cross-hairs) precisely in
line with target A. Do not overshoot

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6.

## Focus the eye piece of the circle reading

mechanism of the theodolite.

7.

against the index mark.

8.

## With the vertical circle still on your left, swing

the telescope on to station C and repeat the
process of step 3 to 5

9.

## Turn the telescope through 180 in the vertical

plane so that the telescope points at you.

10.

## Turn the alidade clockwise through 180 so that

the telescope now points at the station C.

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11.

## The vertical circle will now be on your right and

the instrument is now in the face right attitude.

12.

## Rotate the alidade through 360 in an

anticlockwise direction at least once and then
bisect the target at C.

13.

14.

## Swing the telescope in an anti-clockwise

direction to bisect the target at A. Take and
record the face right reading on A

15.

## This completes one set of observations of the

angle ABC.

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Booking of angles
Instrument
Station

Back
Station

Forward
Station

Face

Horizontal Circle

'
"

LL

25 16 30

Included
Angle

38 13 09

LL

RR

243 29 42

38 13 11

RR

205 16 31

38 13 10

63 29 39

Remarks

Mean

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