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Traverse Surveying 

Traverse Surveying is an important method used in the field of surveying which is capable of establishing control networks.    It is used effectively in geodesy. In Traverse networks, survey stations are played along a line or path of travel .Then the points calculated already in surveying is used to determine the next point. Many advantages are offered by traverse networks. Traverse networks have many advantages. In traverse surveying it is essential to employ less reconnaissance and organization. Traverse has a special feature to change to any shape and thus it helps to accommodate a great deal of different landscapes. In each station only a few observations are required. Chances for scale errors are very less in traverse surveying.

Types of Traverse Surveying

Traverse surveying are of three types-Open Surveying, Closed surveying and compound surveying. Control points are used in surveying engineering and geodetic surveying with an aim to observe distances and directions. In traverse surveying positions are measured by surveyors in series. Measurement is started at control points, then angles and distances to new locations are calculated. Trigonometry is used in traverse surveying to find out positions in a plane coordinate system and calculating a series of positions in this method is generally termed as running a traverse. An open traverse is one which has different beginning and ending locations. A closed traverse starts and ends at the same point or at two different known points. By adding the interior angles of the polygon formed by traverse, calculation errors in a closed traverse can be detected. The accuracy of open traverse can be calculated only by measuring distance and angles repeatedly, forward and backward, and then the averages of these results are calculated. In a compound traverse an open traverse joins with an existing traverse to form a closed traverse. To determine the closing lines, the coordinates which are calculated in previous surveys are used.


To do traversing two known points are essential. The first point can be used as an occupy point and the other one will be back sight. The instrument will be fixed in the first point. The second point is commonly used as the one where traverse begins. The first point will be set to zero degree, zero minutes and zero seconds. The only difference between the open and closed traverse is that closed traverse starts and ends at known points so that angles turned will come up with same coordinates and this is not possible in open traverse as it has unknown ends.


  • What is meant by traverse surveying?
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