Balancing Definitions for Land Surveyors

balancing a survey—Eliminating the error of closure by dispersing corrections throughout a traverse. Errors of closure may arise when a traverse closes upon itself or when it extends between points of known position. Corrections to balance the closing errors are distributed through the traverse according to some approved method so that the resulting survey figure is geometrically and mathematically consistent; the position and azimuth at the closing point, as derived by computation carried through the balanced traverse, will agree with the starting data for a closed traverse or with the fixed data where the traverse extends between fixed points. For an extended traverse, errors may be eliminated by using the least squares method, and the operation is called “adjustment.” In local work, errors may be eliminated by one of two standard methods—compass rule or transit rule—and the operation is known as “balancing the survey.” See also adjustment, direction method.

balancing a survey, compass rule—Corrections corresponding to the closing errors in latitude and departure are distributed according to the proportion-length of line to the total length of traverse. The compass rule is used when it is assumed that the closing errors are as much a result of errors in observed angles as of errors in measured distances. See also balancing a survey, distance prorate rule.

balancing a survey, distance prorate rule—A rule for holding angles to their recorded values and prorating the lengths of the lines in the traverse operated by locating the bearing to a convenient meridian, preferably the closing line of the traverse, and prorating the dimensions through a trigonometric process. See also balancing a survey, compass rule.

balancing a survey, transit rule—Corrections corresponding to the closing errors in latitude and departure are distributed according to the proportion latitude and departure of each line of the traverse to the arithmetical sums of the latitudes and departures of the entire traverse. The transit rule is used when it is assumed that the closing errors are caused less by errors in the observed angles than by the errors in the measured distances.

Source: NSPS “Definitions of Surveying and Related Terms“, used with permission.

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