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Garscube Project Report

Geographical and Earth Sciences

GUID: 0208837
University of Glasgow

Executive Summary
This report presents an overview of the work carried out at the University of Glasgow
Garscube facility on Tuesday 28th October 2014. The main objective of this work was to give
the opportunity to the Geospatial and Mapping Sciences class to apply the techniques learnt
in a classroom environment to a small outside practical project. Derivation of coordinate and
elevation height was performed using the intersection method and detailing was done off the
building and surrounding environment at the Garscube facility. These results were compared
to GNSS data and relevant error adjustments were incorporated into the conclusions. In
order to fully visualize the data, post-processing was done via excel software to analyse the
results and mapping of the facility was achieved using N4CE software. Relevant conclusions
were derived from the results and critically examined for future improvements for potential

Keywords: GNSS, intersection, levelling, RTK, sensing


In order to manage the project efficiently and effectively, the Geospatial and Mapping Sciences
class was divided into groups consisting of four to five members per group. Each group carried
out the same project but independently from the rest of the class. The project was divided into
five tasks, namely: Provision of Control using static GNSS, Intersection of 1 Control Point using
angle measurement, Accurate height of Control Points using levelling, Detailing using radiation
with Total station and Detailing using RTK GPS.
In the present study, we will focus on the conclusions derived from the relevant results
obtained from our practical tasks and a brief summary of the steps taken to achieve these
conclusions will also be stated. The report is divided into the following sections: Projection of
Control using Static GNSS, Intersection of one CP using Angle Measurement, Accurate Height
of CPs using Levelling, Detailing of the Area, Conclusions and Educational Perspective.

Projection of Control using Static GNSS

This section briefly investigates the established location of the five control points (CPs) used
within this project. As shown in figure 1 (image taken from Google Maps), we can clearly see
that the control points A, B and E are inter-visible allowing control point E to be fixed using
Intersection. Control points C, D and E will be used to capture the outline of the building using
Detailing, therefore, each control point for detailing must be able to see another control point to
act as a reference object for radiation. These control points were marked with wooden pegs and

Figure 1: An Aerial View showcasing the established Control Point locations

the position was fixed using GNSS by moving the nRTK receiver over the wooden peg and the
coordinates were recorded relative to the base station position.
It should be noted that the coordinates for the control points selected within 1 were derived
from GNSS Latitude & Longitude to Cartesian image projection using autoCAD.
Two key components to meet the requirements of this task is to have the relevant visible
line of sights between the CPs and to make sure the control point location is not hindered by
overhead cover such as trees, lamp posts, etc., as these can deter the GNSS range received to the
total station.

Intersection of one CP using Angle Measurement

The objective of this task was

to calculate the position of CP E
by using the intersection method.
Each group member carried out
one round of horizontal angle
measurements at CPs A, B and
E. The results from this exercise
are displayed in table 2 with the
mean difference in angles from
all three points: 91 30 43", 58
46 10" and 29 44 41". The
coordinates of CP A and CP B
were derived using the base station connected to a GNSS receiver. From these initial coordinates and the measured angles, we
Figure 2: The Angle Intersection Formula displayed as a visual can calculate the location of CP
E using the Angle Intersection Forrepresentation

From figure 2, it can be postulated that all angles within the triangle should equate to 180 .
However there is a discrepancy of 0 1 34", which is not within the acceptable range as the
instrument used only had a 1 error margin. Therefore, two primary factors can account for this
resulting discrepancy and are listed below:
1 While taking observations from CP B, the tripod at CP A was accidentally moved
and had to be re-levelled. Due to time constraints we were unable to redo all
measurements and understood that there would be an error associated with our
2 Adverse weather conditions with heavy rainfall during the assessment.
3 The total station was also positioned too high at CP B, making the focussing and
adjustment of the target prism at CPs A and E very difficult.
Even knowing the discrepancy, the intersection assessment was still performed using the
angles from CP A and E only and it was calculated that the coordinates for CP E are 255322.79
Eastings and 670149.99 Northings. These values were compared with the coordinates derived
from GNSS and it was concluded that there was a discrepancy of Easting 0.0356 and Northing
0.0978. The relevant distances between each CP were calculated using basic trigonometry and
are stated in figure 2 respectively.

Accurate Height of CPs using Levelling

In this section, the height of CP E was determined from CPs C and D. By using traversing and
known heights for CPs C and D, one can derive the height of E and then retrace your path to
perform a subsequent check. A full description of the results achieved during this section are
given in table 1. It can be seen from the Table that moving from CP C to CP D, we have a derived
height of 34.3103m while the GNSS height is 34.3009m, giving a misclosure of 94mm and this
was further adjusted using the Bowditch method to spread this misclosure throughout the
traversing path. The final Bowditch height calculation for each relevant traverse path equated
to the GNSS height and can be seen in the table. A confirmation check was achieved traversing
from CP E to C which gave an even smaller misclosure, concluding that the latter measurements
were recorded were more accurate than the first.
However, traversing from CP C to E gave a high misclosure value of 48.89cm. This misclosure
value is too high to be accepted as an accurate or satisfactory result and it was concluded that it
may have arisen due the following:
1 The level was not accurately focussed during initial set up, which can lead to parallax
within the observation.
2 The observer has used different cross-hairs to take the relevant measurements within
the same traversing path.
3 The staff could have been read incorrectly due to the adverse weather conditions,
i.e. muddy ground, rainfall etc.
While retracing the traversing steps from CP E to C, there was not enough time to complete
the full set of measurements. Due to this, no further post-processing was carried out on this
traversing path. In order to overcome this for future measurements, it is important to plan the
traversing routes taken in advance, as the terrain of the Garscube facility car park made these

Pt. C to Pt. D
Pt. D to Pt. C
Pt. C to Pt. E
Pt. E to Pt. C

Derived Height (m)


GNSS Height (m)


Misclosure (m)

Table 1: Table defining the derived and GNSS height values for relevant CPs with Misclosure
routes at times inaccessible and required extra intermittent survey points. If careful planning had
been carried out during the reconnaissance phase, this complication could have been overcome.
If time permitted, the traversing method could also be used as a check, by measuring the
height from one CP to another and comparing this result following the opposite path in the
triangle. For instance, in figure 2, you can go directly from CP A to E and you can go indirectly
from CP A to E via B.

Detailing of the Area

A detailed outline of the Garscube facility is carried out using the RTK and nRTK rover. The nRTK
rover received the coordinates directly from GNSS while the RTK rover received coordinates
from the local synchronised base station. This section of the report is divided into two parts,
namely, detailing of the Garscube building, detailing of the surrounding area.


Detailing of the Garscube building

The total station was set up at CP C by using the D as its reference point source in order to
detail the back and left hand side of the building using the Radiation method. The coordinates
for location CP are set to the origin and detailing is carried out of the building by measuring
the distance and angle to the prism. The prism is mounted on a specific height staff which is
manoeuvred around every corner of the building. Relevant measurements are recorded on the
total station and exported to N4CE software for post-processing and mapping out the area. Once
all visible corners of the building are measure the same method is used with CP D being the
origin and CP C being the relative reference point source. Detailing of the back of the building is
carried out once again as well as the right hand side of the building. The reason for carrying out
the detailing for the back of the building is to find the relative cross-section coordinates of the
building to act as a check and to map any hidden cresses or pathways that were not visible from
A number of errors were encountered during this process, primarily, due to the insufficient
knowledge of the workings of the total station and assigning the specific characteristics needed
for this method. This lack of knowledge led to slow data capture and the time constraint added
to the complexity of this situation. No data capture was carried out for the front of the building
at CP E with A as its reference point source. This is due to the time constraints and the lack of
workable ground area due to other groups carrying out other field tasks in the same vicinity.


Detailing of the Surrounding Area

The Garscube carpark was mapped out using the RTK rover by placing the RTK rover over
the relative kerb points and lamp-posts. Once the RTK rover was placed over these relative
markings, the data was recorded on board the rover for post-processing at a later stage. The

Figure 3: Mapping of the Garscube facility using N4CE software

surrounding road was mapped out using a similar technique but using a nRTK rover instead.
Just like mapping the carpark features, the nRTK rover was manually placed on the relevant
road kerb markings and the data was stored for post processing.


Post-Processing using N4CE

The recorded data for the Garscube building and its surrounding area was imported into N4CE
and relevant attributes were assigned to the data to distinguish it accordingly. It was apparent
from first inspection that the lack of data capture had a mass affect on the final mapping of
the building. The mapped image of the building can be seen in figure 3 and it can be seen
that a number of lines are missing from the building and the car park. These missing lines are
attributed to the exporting of data from the total station to the N4CE software. As the data
recorded on the total station failed to export into a working folder for post processing, the
recorded data had to be entered manually into the N4CE software for post processing. This
data was incomplete as no experienced knowledge of the total station was known and therefore
finding a solution to this problem was not found. This error has been logged on the Leica support
blog and no response as of yet has been received. It should be noted that this manual input of data
also created a source of human error and even though it would have been easy to add these
relevant lines into figure 3, it was decided to clearly show the missing data by using 1 as the
absolute reference shape of the facility.
The data capture from the carpark and the surrounding road is satisfactory and was combined
with the building data to create figure 3. Editing was carried of this map to ensure no feature
were overlapping and any excess residual data created by the N4Ce software was deleted.


It is apparent that this practical exercise was very helpful in understanding the classroom
theories applied in actual exercise. Team work was carried out well within the group and
relevant tasks were finally sub-divided into pairs to be time efficient. A number of errors have
been listed in the preceding sections and it is apparent that not all objectives of the assignment
were met. These errors can be referred to the following reasons:
1 Poor planning of the execution of relative tasks leading to confusion.
2 Poor note-taking during measurements, e.g. not enough space to carry out relevant
angle calculations during the intersection method.
3 Inexperience with the equipment provided for the different tasks.
4 Reconnaissance should have been carried out in greater detail factoring in the cars
5 Time management of specific tasks to cater to tasks that may require more work
than others.
Even though a number of errors had arisen, it was understood where the inaccuracies had
occurred and solutions can be derived accordingly to improve future fieldwork excursions. It
should be noted that although the Leica instrumentation shows it was a 1 second interval error,
the error given in the manual states it is 5 seconds.

Education Perspective

This exercise proved valuable for personal feedback and allowed the students to reflect on
there blunders and devise possible solutions to overcome these complications. As the field
groups were pre-assigned, this practical assignment led to interactions with fellow members of
the class that you may not have previously interacted with, increasing your competency and
communication as an individual. In essence, this fieldwork led to a deeper understanding of
the basic principles associated with surveying work in the real world. One can even say, this
practical assignment embodied the basic definition of surveying:
"Surveying is the study or practice of measuring altitudes, angles, and distances on the land
surface so that they can be accurately plotted on a map."
Oxford Dictionary, 2013.


Equipment provided

In this section we will list all the materials, equipment, hardware and software provided prior,
during and post practical assessment.


Material & Information provided

The location for the base control station was provided alongside the synchronization of the
total station, RTK and nRTK with this base station. A map of the project area was available
displaying potential locations of control point establishment. A task list stating objectives was
also provided, outlining the requirements needed to match each task assessment.


Equipment provided

The following equipment was provided for the practical assignment: RTK & nRTK rovers,
3*tripods with tribrach attachments, 2*tribrach attachment prisms, Leica TSU06 total station,
Leice NA720 surveyors level, 2*field journals, pencil, 5*wooden pegs, mallet, GNSS base station,
measuring staff, steel tape measure and a prism mounted on a staff.


Relevant Tables

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

At CP. A facing B to E
Mean Angle Difference
00 00 02
91 30 39

91 30 41
00 00 06
91 30 42
91 30 48
00 00 00
91 30 42

91 30 42

At CP. B facing A to E
Mean Angle Difference
359 59 59
58 46 15

58 46 14
359 59 55
58 46 02
58 45 57
359 59 57
58 46 11

58 46 08

At CP. E facing A to E
Mean Angle Difference
359 59 42
29 44 20

29 44 02
359 59 53
29 44 29
29 44 22
359 59 59
29 45 17

29 45 16

359 59 54

00 00 01

00 00 06

91 30 48

Round 4
Mean Diff.

58 46 10

30 32

46 11

91 30 43"

29 44 36

58 46 10"

44 42
29 44 41"

Table 2: Table depicting the measured mean angles for two control points from each group member as a
separate round of observations