DIY Leveling Survey

As a kid I would watch surveyors at their tripods as they carefully calibrated their instruments. Today I learned more about their instruments so I could get make a topographical map of my front yard in Sketchup.


Used for measuring distances. I want to measure the topography of my yard, so I can manage the slope , the sidewalk, and dirt.

Leveling Survey

Gives us the relative topography of small-scale projects (note that these are estimates; not precision measurements)

Sight-levels; aka hand-levels

A hand level (also called a sight level or hand sight level) is a tool used for ‘rough leveling’

# Theodolite A theodolite, (pronounced “thee-ah-dough-light”) measures the “pitch” (tilt) and “yaw” (pan); more info at Wikipedia

Modern-day “total-stations”