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SVY1104 Survey Computations A

Semester 2, 2011 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Engineering & Surveying
School or Department : Surveying & Spatial Science

Contents on this page


Examiner: Zhenyu Zhang
Moderator: Shane Simmons


Pre-requisite: SVY1102 or SVY1500 or Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCST or GDST


Much of a Spatial Scientist's work involves plane geometry, traverse calculations, area calculations, coordinate calculations, road geometry and circular curve calculations. Spatial Scientists normally work independently and must learn to identify a method of solving a problem, calculate a solution and prove that solution is correct by a different independent calculation. A Spatial Scientist must be able to utilise a modern hand held programmable calculator to obtain solutions. Some calculations are performed before using survey measuring equipment while other calculations are performed after survey observations are carried out. This course will integrate calculation and measurement theory and practice to simulate the workplace practices.


Society has always needed to be able to measure and map the Earth's surface to plan for the future. Measurement of land and geographic features assists in utilising the Earth's resources for a sustainable future. The role of the Spatial Scientist is fundamental in defining spatial location of the Earth's surface and features. This course expands upon previous surveying theory into increasingly sophisticated surveying technology and methodology. This will include: adjustment of surveying instruments; electronic distance measurement and calibration; specific surveying techniques for traversing, traverse calculations, area calculations, coordinate calculations, road geometry and circular curve calculations. The Spatial Scientist must be familiar with the functions available in a hand held programmable calculator, be able to program a calculator and utilise programming to obtain solutions.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. explain the principles of electronic distance measurement;
  2. calibrate electronic distance measurement equipment/total station;
  3. apply suitable traversing methods for specific survey tasks;
  4. check and adjust an automatic level;
  5. calculate and set out horizontal curves;
  6. use a nominated hand held calculator to solve surveying problems;
  7. perform plane surveying calculations.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Levelling 10.00
2. Theodolite and total stations 10.00
3. Theory of EDM/total stations 5.00
4. Calibration of EDM/total stations 10.00
5. Electronic calculations 10.00
6. Traversing methods and establishing datums 10.00
7. Calculations involving missing components 15.00
8. Area and co-ordinate calculations 5.00
9. Land boundary problems 10.00
10. Horizontal circular curves 15.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Hand held battery operated programmable calculator (HP50g is recommended).
  • Surveying programs: surveying application program suitable for the student's programmable calculator. As a minimum the programs must solve; for missing bearing and distance; for two missing distances; for two missing bearings; for missing bearing and distance (different lines); for unadjusted areas; and for Bowditch Adjustment.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Anderson, JM and Mikhail, EM 1998, Surveying, Theory and Practice, 7th edn, McGraw Hill, Boston.
  • Brinker, R.C., and Minnick, R 1995, The surveying Handbook, 2nd edn, Chapman and Hall, New York.
  • Ghilani, CD and Wolf, PR 2008, Elementary Surveying: an introduction to geomantics, 12th edn, Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 53.00
Examinations 2.00
Private Study 60.00
Report Writing 40.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 100 10 22 Aug 2011 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 2 200 20 03 Oct 2011 (see note 2)
2 HOUR RESTRICTED EXAMINATION 700 70 End S2 (see note 3)

  1. Assignment 1 may assess all objectives.
  2. Assignment 2 may assess all objectives.
  3. Student Administration will advise students of the dates of their examinations during the semester. Exam may assess all objectives.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the student's responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without extenuating circumstances then a penalty of 5% of the assigned mark may apply for each working day late up to a maximum of ten working days at which time a mark of zero can be recorded for that assignment.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade in a course a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    In a Restricted Examination, candidates are allowed access to specific materials during the examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are: writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination); a hand held programmable calculator which cannot hold textual information (students must indicate on their examination paper the make and model of any calculator(s) they use during the examination).

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the examination period at the end of the semester of the next offering of this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University's Assignment Extension Policy (Regulation 5.6.1), the Examiner of a course may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. The usual method of assessment submission for the Faculty is by written, typed or printed paper-based media (i) submitted to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mailed to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  5. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  6. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.59pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded the temporary grade: IM (Incomplete - Make up). An IM grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the Examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non-directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - both Deferred Examination and Deferred make-up).

  10. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University's aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course: 1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement. 2. forms part of the Bachelor of Spatial Science and is benchmarked against the internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review; and professional accreditation standards of the Surveyors Board of Queensland.