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SVY3107 Geodetic Surveying B

Semester 2, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Engineering & Surveying
School or Department : Surveying & Spatial Science
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Peter Gibbings
Moderator: Xiaoye Liu


Pre-requisite: SVY1110 or Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCNS or GCST or GDNS or GDST or MSST or MENS

Other requisites

Recommended prior or concurrent study: SVY2105


Geodesy is the science of measuring and representing the earth's surface, and the determination of a geometrical shape, size and mathematical model of the earth. Surveyors require a knowledge of the equipment and theoretical methods, used to determine geodetic coordinates using satellites and conventional methods.


The purpose of this course is to provide the student with an understanding of the principles involved in determining the size and shape of the earth, and from these data how geodetic position on the earth's surface can be obtained. It also looks at the part satellites play in position fixation and how to relate all geodetic measurements to the ground. Map projections are examined to demonstrate the presentation of geodetic data in a useable format. The course provides the student with the necessary knowledge and skills to plan and undertake GPS surveys.


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

  1. define the elements of geometry of the ellipsoid and the geoid that are relevant to geodetic surveying, and illustrate these with the aid of suitable diagrams;
  2. identify the vertical datum most commonly used in Australia and explain how gravity measurements are used to help define this surface;
  3. reduce measured angles and distances, manually and with appropriate software, to a form suitable for use in geodetic calculations;
  4. explain the relationship between geographic coordinates of points, and the azimuth and spheroidal distance between these points;
  5. apply this knowledge to calculations of geodetic traverses, intersections and resections, using geographic and UTM grid coordinates;
  6. explain the coordinate transformation process and transform three dimensional coordinates between systems and between datums, with the aid of suitable software, to the required level of accuracy;
  7. explain the principles of post-processed GPS and its surveying applications, data acquisition methodologies and accuracies;
  8. plan, observe, reduce and adjust a GPS survey network in accordance with appropriate standards;
  9. describe ground-based coordinate systems and the theory and use of site calibrations.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Ellipsoids and datums 5.00
2. Gravity and vertical datums 5.00
3. Measuring on the Earth's surface 10.00
4. Computations on the spheroid 10.00
5. UTM grid coordinates 10.00
6. Coordinate transformations 10.00
7. GPS observation principles 10.00
8. Post-processed GPS Surveying Systems 10.00
9. Planning and design of GPS Surveys 10.00
10. Field procedures 5.00
11. Reduction and adjustment 10.00
12. Ground-based coordinate systems 5.00

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. (

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

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.
  • McElroy, S 1992, Getting Started with GPS Surveying, GPSCO, Bathurst.
    (526.982 MACE.)
  • Smith, JR 1988, Basic Geodesy, Landmark Enterprises, California.
    (526.1 SMI.)
  • Torge, W 1991, Geodesy, 2nd edn, DeGruter, Berlin.
    (526.1 Tor.)

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 50.00
Examinations 2.00
Lectures 24.00
Practical Classes 24.00
Private Study 55.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 200 20 20 Aug 2012
ASSIGNMENT 2 200 20 17 Sep 2012
2 HOUR CLOSED EXAMINATION 600 60 End S2 (see note 1)

  1. Student Administration will advise students of the dates of their examinations during the semester.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and 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 (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  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 Closed Examination, candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into 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 the 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 Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. 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 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail 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.

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

  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 one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary 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.