Learning outcomes of the course unit
The student learns about measurement errors and their effect on
conputations; knows how to roughly evaluate the order of magnitude of
the results based on simple calculations; knows how to choose the best
combination of instruments and surveying techniques. On the basis of
fundamental concepts of surveying and cartography the student knows
how to plan and execute the survey, adjust the observations and analyse
The student applies his knowledge and undestanding by solving
exercices, in the classroom or at home, that refer to engineering practice.Moreover, grouped in teams, students carry out a practical survey with
total station, including the adjustment of a small network.
In the lectures it is stressed a problematic attitude towards the limits and
validity of methods and approximations in the mathematical and
statistical models; the exercices do not merely repeat the same case, but
demand of the student a critical review of his knowledge.
Teamwork in the surveys exercices with total station help students to
make and motivate choices, exchange opinions, draw conclusions. A
written report is also required to illustrate the aim and the results of the
Calculus and geometry: derivatives, integrals, linearization of functions,
solution of non linear equations systems, matrix algebra.
Course contents summary
Surveys determine the position of points w.r.t. the Earth surface in a geodetic datum
with controlled accuracy. Surveys are needed to produce technical maps, control displacements and deformation of large structures, vertical and horizontal terrain movements, in road construction.
Geodesy and Reference systems.
Surveying basic concepts. Geoid and Ellipsoid. Reference systems,
coordinate systems, geodetic datum. Coordinate transformation and datum transformation. Elements of geodesy.
Classification of map projections. Gauss projection and its use in geodetic
computations. UTM projection. Map production in Italy at different map
scales. Cadastral maps.
Error theory and statistical analysis of data.
Errors. Probability and random variables. Error propagation law. Error ellipse. Inference: parametric tests and confidence interval. Least squares adjustment of observations. Tests on standardized residuals and
significance of parameters. Measurement reliability.
Surveying instruments and surveying methods.
Total stations, levels; measurement of angles, distances, height differences.
Geodetic and topographic networks.
Observation equations of horizontal and height networks. Network simulation and adjustment. Georeferencing and co-registration of networks.
System description. Pseudo-range and phase observations. Systematic
errors and modeling techniques. Accuracy of absolute, relative and
differential positioning in kinematic and static surveys. Network design.
ITRF and ETRF frames and trasformation to national datum and orthometric heights. Networks of GPS permanent stations.
Application of Surveying to civil engineering. Use of maps in engineering projects. Road construction and building
construction surveys. Deformation and displacement monitoring in
building, bridges; landslides displacement control.
B. Hofmann-Wellenhof, H. Lichtenegger and J. Collins – Available in the
Biblioteca politecnica di Ingegneria e Architettura.
Global positioning system : theory and practice
Alfred Leick - GPS satellite surveying
Course material (slides of the lectures, lecture notes on statistical data
analysis, exercices, etc.) in TOPOGRAFIA at https://didattica.unipr.it. Registration
Lectures, numerical exercises, field surveys, execution of a practical
Assessment methods and criteria
The examination can be either by solving numerical exercises and
answering to written questions along the semester or by a discussion at
the end of the semester.
The written questions are in the form of “True or False” questions; aim to
evaluate the knowledge base and count for about 15% of the total score.
Solving the exercices highlights knowledge, understanding and ability to
apply them; they count for about 70% of the score. Homework and
teamwork in the field survey highlight ability to apply knowledge and
understanding as well as communication skills; they count for about 15%
of the score.
The oral examination starts with a simple exercise with computations;
passing this test is a prerequisite to continue the examination and
amounts to about 20% of the score. The questions are about theoretical,
methodological and practical aspect of surveys; each contribute to the
score by about 80%.