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SVY1104 Survey Computations A

Semester 2, 2021 On-campus Springfield
Short Description: Survey Computations A
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 031101 - Surveying
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 21 July 2021


Examiner: Shane Simmons


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


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. perform plane surveying calculations, in both polar and rectangular coordinate systems;
  2. apply suitable traversing methods and adjustments for specific survey tasks;
  3. explain the principles of electronic distance measurement;
  4. describe and calibrate electronic distance measurement equipment/total station;
  5. apply plane surveying calculation methods to a variety of real world situations, including horizontal curves and land boundary problems;
  6. use and write program code to solve surveying calculations in both a hand-held calculator and PC software; and
  7. identify and describe error concepts and apply them to survey data analysis.


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

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 (HP Prime is
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 & Mikhail, EM 1998, Surveying, theory and practice, 7th edn, McGraw Hill, Boston, MA.
Brinker, RC & Minnick, R 1995, The surveying handbook, 2nd edn, Chapman and Hall, New York.
Ghilani, CD & Wolf, PR 2016, Elementary surveying: an introduction to geomantics, 15th edn, Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

Student workload expectations

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

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
Assignment 1 250 25 16 Aug 2021 1,5,6
Assignment 2 300 30 17 Sep 2021 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
Assignment 3 450 45 22 Oct 2021 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

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:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  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:
    There is no examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  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 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 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.

Date printed 21 July 2021