Textbooks are a contributing factor in expensive education costs. Publishers encourage authors to continually update texts so new editions appear every few years. Since the book audience is relatively small and physical publishing is expensive, students bear the burden of ever increasing costs. In education, we try to mitigate this by selecting texts which can be used in multiple classes either as a required resource or a reference. We also try to use texts students will keep after completing their degree so they are a lifelong investment.
Most introductory surveying texts don’t change much between editions; the biggest differences are in technology. However, technology is now evolving so fast that even new book editions can’t come out quickly enough to keep abreast of latest developments. We routinely turn to internet resources to get the latest technological information. So why pay for a new text which is dated as soon as it’s available? Basic surveying concepts and computations don’t change. An open traverse is still unchecked regardless if run with total station or GPS; all measurements are still subject to errors; we still reference measurements to gravity’s direction.
This opening topic will introduce some general Surveying concepts and terminology. Measuring equipment spans the spectrum from tapes and compasses to total stations to the Global Positioning System (GPS), all dependent on these base concepts to some degree. Their introduction here will serve as a framework on which later topics will expand.