In land surveying it is possible for the surveyor to make a mistake. In fact, as far as land surveying goes, there are almost never perfect measurements. However, there are different types of mistakes that range from relatively small errors to complete and total blunders. If you think your surveyor made a mistake, find out which category your issue fits into and how to deal with the problem.
Surveyors’ Guidelines Are Really Strict
Surveyors are responsible for staying within acceptable guidelines when it comes to accuracy. In the United States that guideline is about one eighth of an inch. That is a very small measurement of allowable error. The causes of surveying errors are normally instrumental, personal, or natural.
- Instrumental errors can occur when there is a faulty adjustment to the instrument or an unseen imperfection in the instrument.
- Personal errors can occur when the surveyor may not have perfect sight or a good line of vision.
- Natural errors occur due to wind, humidity, gravity, and even magnetic declination.
Systematic errors can be compensated for
A systematic error in surveying is not the end of the world. It happens when instruments are misaligned due to factors like weather or poor adjustment. Variations in humidity or temperature, refraction of light, and even poor eyesight can cause this type of error. When this does occur, the error will happen over and over again. A systematic error always follows a precise mathematical or physical law, and because of this it can be fixed or compensated for very easily. If the error isn’t caught for some reason, it can become a serious issue. However surveying equipment is designed to catch such errors.
Random errors are unavoidable
Random errors are generally very tiny errors that can’t be avoided in most circumstances. However, the surveyor can avoid some random errors by only doing surveys when weather is optimal. The good news is that this type of error is so small that it is normally canceled out or compensated for by the end of the survey. This type of error is generally not going to be noticeable to anyone other than a surveyor.
Gross errors can be avoided
A gross error can be avoided, and is usually made by the surveyor writing down a measurement incorrectly or aiming at a target incorrectly. Normally, a surveyor catches the mistake very quickly by doing checks every so often. If these checks aren’t done, it can throw off the entire survey. If you suspect this has happened, it’s imperative to bring it to the surveyors’ attention.
If you believe your surveyor made a gross error or a systematic error that went unnoticed, you must bring it to their attention and have the proper adjustments made. Your surveyor may have caught the mistake already and compensated for error. Don’t be afraid to ask the surveyor questions about your survey.