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SURV201 Surveying Methods 1

2021 information for papers will be published in early September. 

The use and calibration of standard surveying instruments. Includes fundamental surveying techniques and computational procedures, GNSS RTK surveying, and an introduction to precise engineering surveys.

An important paper for learning about instrumentation and techniques that will be a foundation for other papers and also for a surveying career in the future. As well as covering principles and theory, the paper includes a significant percentage of practical work and analysis of observations, including observations taken with GNSS/GPS receivers and Total Stations.

Paper title Surveying Methods 1
Paper code SURV201
Subject Surveying
EFTS 0.1334
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,110.69
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,411.27

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Pre or Corequisite
SURV 298 and one of SURV 101, SURV 111, SURX 101, SURX 111
SURV 211
Limited to
BSurv, BSc
May only be taken by BSurv students or BSc students majoring in Surveying Measurement.
Enrolments for this paper require departmental permission.
View more information about departmental permission.
Teaching staff

Convenor and Principal Lecturer: Dr David Goodwin
Lecturers: Jim Bazsika; Dr Robert Odolinski

Paper Structure

The paper covers:

  • Basic calculations, mainly on Excel, 12D, and the HP35s calculator
  • Errors
  • Electromagnetic distance measurement (EDM)
  • GNSS/GPS theory and practice
  • Miscellaneous instruments, including laser scanners
  • Surveying techniques for positioning and heighting
  • Topographical surveys
  • Feature coding
  • An introduction to engineering and cadastral surveying techniques
Teaching Arrangements
There are two lectures, a tutorial and a 4-hour practical each week, all of which are important in gaining a thorough understanding of the theory necessary for carrying out the practical work and passing written assessments.

There are three tests, spread over the semester, making it important for students to keep abreast of the work right from the start of semester.

It is strongly recommended that students purchase (for about NZ$15) the course book containing skeleton lectures and tutorial exercises.

Further material is covered on the whiteboard in lectures and tutorials, all of which is important for understanding and any of which may be examined in tests and the final exam.

If students wish to buy a textbook for the paper, the recommended textbook is Uren and Price's "Surveying for Engineers", Fifth edition, but this is optional.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking, Information literacy, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper should
  • Be able to use standard computational techniques in surveying
  • Be able to care for and use standard surveying instruments, including GNSS/GPS receivers and Total Stations
  • Be conversant with error types and their detection, prevention and mitigation

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 10:00-10:50 9-12, 18-22
Wednesday 10:00-10:50 9-12, 18-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 12:00-15:50 9-12, 18-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 11:00-11:50 9-12, 18-22
Friday 09:00-09:50 9-12, 18-22
Friday 10:00-10:50 9-12, 18-22