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Practical Geography for Secondary



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Chapter ONE:
Specific Objectives: By the end of this topic, each student should be able

Explain the meaning of simple land surveys without teachers


Explain the types of simple land survey without teachers help
Describe chain / tape survey without teachers assistance
Explain different types of equipment used in chain/tap surveying


without teachers help

Practice chain/ tape surveying activities at school level
Explain the importance of survey

Students, we are going to start a course on surveying, cartography and
mapping. This course is an introduction to essentials and basic techniques
used in surveying, cartography and mapping. In this chapter, we are going
to discuss about basic concepts in surveying and levelling.

Meaning and types of survey

Surveying is the science and art for determining and recording the relative
positions of different objects (natural and manmade) on the surface of the
Earth by measuring the horizontal distances between them and by preparing
a map to any suitable scale. The practice of surveying is an art, because it is
dependent up on the skills, judgments and experience of surveyor. It may
also be considered as an applied science, because field and office procedures
rely upon a systematic body of knowledge. The process of surveying involves
measuring and recording distances, angles and heights of the Earths surface

features and drawing them on plan, section or map. Survey as the act of
viewing and examining the marking of maps, the preparation of a body
factual information is data collection tool used together information about
individuals. A survey may focus on factual information about individuals, or it
might aim to collect the opinions of the survey takers.
Applicability of surveying
The two fundamental purposes for surveying are to determine the relative
positions of existing points and to mark the positions of new points on or
near the surface of the earth. However, different types of surveys require
different field procedures and varying degrees of precision for carrying out the
Importance of Surveying
Surveying is one of the worlds oldest and most important arts because, as noted
previously, from the earliest times it has been necessary to mark boundaries and
divide land. Surveying has now become indispensable to our modern way of life.
The results of todays surveys are being used to:
1. The Basic Engineering Discipline - Surveying is basic to all civil engineering
works. In transportation engineering, surveying provides the foundation and
continuity for route location, design, land acquisition, and all other
preliminary engineering. Surveys also set a basic "framework" of stakes,
which is used by contractors and engineers in building and inspecting
transportation projects.
2. The Thread of Continuity - Surveying is the single engineering function which
links all the phases of a project including conception, planning design, land
acquisition, construction and final monumentation.
3. Basis for Efficiency - To a great degree, the acceptability and costeffectiveness of planning, land acquisition, design, and construction are
dependent upon properly performed surveys.
Principles of Survey.

Whatever type of survey is being carried out, it will be governed by several

fundamental principles of survey, some of which we are to touch upon in this
The first principle is to establish a framework within which to work (from the whole
to the part). This is typically a system of control stations, positioned to a high
degree of accuracy. Surveys between these control points can then be carried out
by less elaborate methods. Any errors, which then arise, are contained within the
framework of the control points and can be adjusted to it. Errors will therefore be
restricted in magnitude and will not be allowed to accumulate throughout the whole
survey. Traditionally, this has generally been achieved by starting with a very rigid
framework of primary triangulation, which is broken down by second and third
order networks. As previously mentioned, the framework is more likely to be fixed
by GPS these days.
The second principle is that all survey work must be checked. Using good survey
procedures will ensure that many operations are self-checking, but when this is not
possible independent checks should be applied before the survey is completed.
Economy of Accuracy
Economy of accuracy means that the standards of accuracy should be proportionate
to the needs of the task and no higher. For example Great Britain has been divided
by Ordnance Survey into urban, rural and mountain/moorland areas, and
appropriate accuracy standards have been set for each area. An accuracy greater
than that of the control used cannot be achieved. Also, the higher the accuracy, the
higher the cost. The 1:1250 scale accuracy appropriate for urban areas would be
very expensive to achieve in all areas but more importantly, it would not be
Consistency of Accuracy
The same standards should be maintained for each stage of the task. This applies
not only to the accuracy, but also to the quality of the control used and to the
density of control or detail points provided. In the case of Ordnance Survey
consistency is achieved by having sets of rules and guidelines, a specification for

the data, and quality systems for data capture, maintenance, and the creation of
the final data products.
If it is at all possible, any requirements for future revision should be allowed for
when planning a survey scheme. When traversing was used by Ordnance Survey as
the primary means of providing minor control i.e. accurately positioned control
stations from which features could be captured, stations had to be sufficiently
permanent and well positioned to be useful in the future. With the use of GPS now
this principle is still relevant, for example, in timing the survey of large housing
estates, to obtain maximum benefit without several repeat visits.
If permanent stations have been sited, they will be of no use in the future if they
cannot be found. The station mark should be as permanent as possible. The mark
needs to be found in the future, so some sort of documentation will be required.
The station will need a reference number, its exact position recorded and a
dimensioned location diagram. Ideally such records will be updated and amended
as necessary.
This is still relevant today for Ordnance Survey although only for the network of
GPS fixed control stations rather than the thousands of minor control stations which
once needed to be maintained.
Types of survey
There are two types of surveying depending on the area, the nature of the terrain
and the amount and the distribution of the information needed namely; aerial
surveying and ground surveying. Aerial surveying is used to recording information
quickly on large areas and make measurements through using airplane. Ground
surveying is applied where aerial photograph interpretation is difficult and when
detailed information is required. Ground surveying is further categorized into
geodetic surveying and plane surveying.
Geodetic Surveying
Geodetic survey refers to the ground or land survey which considers the curvature
of the Earth surface. Basically it deals with large distance measurements on the
Earth surface. It provide survey stations located on large distance apart, determine

earth curvature distances, shape, size and gravity measurement on the Earth.
Geodetic surveys are carried at national level and often involve international
cooperation. Geodetic surveying is carried under the discipline called Geodesy in
which the size and shape of the earth are examined. Geodetic surveying is
undertaken for the purpose of determining positions of points on the Earth surface
which serves as control points for all other surveys.
Plane Surveying
In plane surveying, we usually measure horizontal linear distances between two
points and angles between two lines. The linear measurement of distance between
two points on the earths surface can be carried out by several methods depending
upon the degree of accuracy and precision required. Plane surveying refers to the
type of the ground survey which do not take into consideration the curvature of the
Earth. We know that, the shape of the Earth is spheroidal. Thus, the surface is
obviously curved. However in plane survey the curvature of the Earth is not taken
into consideration. This is because plane surveying is carried out over a small area.
So, the surface of the Earth is considered as plane (flat). In such surveying a line
joining any two points is considered to be straight. It involves measurements on
relatively small areas. The points on the Earth are projected upon a horizontal
surface (a plan), and angular measurement used are horizontal. The actual
measurement done by plane surveying represents measurement of the horizontal
plane rather than the rugged Earth surface measurement. Plane surveying is done
for the one of the following purpose;
a. Determining horizontal distance between two or more points on the
land surface.
b. Locating physical and non-physical features on the land surface.
c. Locating direction of various features on the land surface
d. Determining area of a given piece of land.
In plane surveying horizontal lines are assumed to be straight line and all vertical
lines are parallel.

Figure. In plane surveying, the curvature of the earth is neglected, and

Vertical distances are measured with reference of a flat plane.
No measurement can be perfect or exact because of the physical limitations of the
measuring instrument as well as limits in human perception. The difference
between a measured distance or angle and its true value may be due to mistakes
and /or errors. These are two distinct terms. It is necessary to eliminate all
mistakes and to minimize all errors when conducting a survey of any type.
BLUNDERS: A blunder is a significant mistake caused by human errors. It may also
be called a gross error. These are mistakes that can be attributed to the
inexperience of the team leaders. They include discontinuing the chain length (e.g.
where some arrows are misplaced); misreading of the tape; reading tape upside
down (e.g. taking 6 to be 9), etc. By taking the necessary precautions, these errors
can be corrected. Generally, it is due to the inattention or carelessness of the
surveyor and it usually results in a large difference between the observed or
recorded quantity and the actual or the true value.

Mistakes may be caused by sighting on a wrong target with the transit when
measuring an angle, a by tapping to an incorrect station. They also may be caused
by omitting a vital piece of information, such as the fact that a certain
measurement was made on a steep slope instead of horizontally. The possibilities
for mistakes are almost endless. However, they are only caused by occasional
lapses of attention.
ERRORS: An error is the difference between a measured quantity and its true
value, caused by imperfection in the measuring instrument, by the method of
measurement, by natural factors such as temperature, or by random variation in
human observation. It is not a mistake due to carelessness. Errors can never be
completely eliminated, but they can be minimized by using certain instruments and
field procedures and by applying computed correction factors. Surveyors, whose
work must be performed to exacting standards, should therefore thoroughly
understand the different kinds of errors, their sources and expected magnitudes
under varying conditions, and their manner of propagation. Only then can they
select instruments and procedures necessary to reduce error sizes to within
tolerable limits. The errors can be divided into two groups as a cumulative
(systematic) errors; and compensating (accidental) errors;
Cumulative Errors:
These are repetitive errors that are caused by imperfections in the surveying
equipment, by the specific method of observation, or by certain environmental
errors or cumulative errors. Cumulative errors are said to be systematic errors as
they are one-directional hence keep on accumulating as the survey progresses. If
not checked they have serious implications to the accuracy of the survey. Errors in
this include incorrect length of the tape, or the tape not being in line. Since the
sources of these errors are known, they can be eliminated. They can either be
positive or negative errors. While positive errors shorten the measurement (e.g.
where the tape length is shorter than what it should be) while negative errors
elongates the measurements (e.g. where the tape is longer than what it should be).
Checking the equipment can eliminate these errors.

Under the same conditions of measurement, systematic errors are constant in

magnitude and direction or sign (either plus or minus). They usually have no
tendency to cancel if corrections are not made.
For example, suppose that a 30-m steel tape is the correct length at 20 0c and that
it is used in a survey when the outdoor air temperature is, say 350c. Since steel
expands with increase in temperatures, the tape will actually be longer than it was
at 200c. And also transits, theodolites and even EDM are also subjected to
systematic errors. The horizontal axis of rotation of the transit, for instance, may
not be exactly perpendicular to the vertical axis.
Compensating Errors:
An accidental or random error is the difference between a true quantity and a
measurement of that quantity that is free from blunders or systematic errors.
Accidental errors always occur in every measurement. They are the relatively small,
unavoidable errors in observation that are generally beyond the control of the
surveyor. These random errors, as the name implies, are not constant in magnitude
or direction. Compensating errors are said to be accidental errors hence cancel out
and does not pose serious problem to the accuracy of the survey. They arise as a
result of not being perfect in the use of the equipment or in the whole survey
One example of a source of accidental errors is the slight motion of a plumb bob
string, which occurs when using a tape to measure a distance. The tape is generally
held above the ground, and the plumb bob is used to transfer the measurement
from the ground to the tape. The effect can either be positive or negative.
If two or more measurements of the same quantity are made, random errors
usually cause different values to be obtained.
As long as each measurement is equally reliable, the average value of the different
measurements is taken to be the true or the most probable value. The average (the
arithmetic mean) is computed simply by summing all the individual measurements
and then dividing the sum by the number of measurements.

Using appropriate statistical formulas, it is possible to test and determine the

probability of different ranges of random errors occurring for a variety of surveying
instruments and procedures. The most probable error is that which has an equal
chance (50 percent) of either being exceeded or not being exceeded in a particular
measurement. It is sometimes designated as E90.
In surveying, the 90 percent error is a useful criterion for rating surveying methods.
For example, suppose a distance of 100.00 ft is measured. If it is said that the 90
percent error in one taping operation, using a 100 ft tape, is 0.01 ft, it means
that the likelihood is 90 percent that the actual distance is within the range of
100.00 0.01 ft. Likewise, there will remain a 10 percent chance that the error will
exceed 0.01 ft. It is sometimes called maximum anticipated errors. The 90 percent
error can be estimated from surveying data, using the following formula from
E90 = 1.645 [ () 2/ (n (n-1))]
Where: = sigma, the sum of
= Delta, the difference between each individual measurement
and the average of n measurements.
n = the number of measurements.
For example, if we have measured the distance, through using the tape several
times; for nine separate measurements of 900ft distance, each with a maximum
probable error of 0.01 ft. It is tempting simply to say that the total error will be
9 (0.01) = 0.09 ft. But this would be incorrect. Since some of the errors would
be plus or some would be minus, they would tend to cancel each other out. Of
course, it would be very unlikely that errors would completely cancel, and so there
still be a remaining error at 900 ft.
A fundamental property of accidental or random errors is that they tend to
accumulate, or add up, in proportion to the square root of the number of
measurements in which they occur. This relationship, called the law of
compensation, can be expressed mathematically in the following equations:
E = E1 n
Where E = the total error in n measurements.
E1 = the error for one measurement.
n= the number of measurements.

From the above example, E = 0.019 = 0.01 3 = 0.03 ft.

In other word, we can expect the total accidental error when measuring a distance
of 900 ft to be within a range of 0.030 ft, with a confidence of 90 percent. It
must be kept in mind that this type of analysis assumes that the series of
measurements are made with the same instruments and procedures as for the
single measurement for which the maximum probable error is known.

Accuracy and Precision in surveying

Accuracy and precision are two distinctly different terms, which are of importance in
surveying. Surveying measurements must be made with an appropriate degree of
precision in order to provide a suitable level of accuracy for the problem at hand.
Since no measurement is perfect, the quality of result obtained must be
characterized by some numerical standard of accuracy.

Accuracy refers to the degree of perfection obtained in the measurement or how

close the measurement is to the true value. When the accuracy of a survey is to be
improved or increased, we say that greater precision must be used.

Precision refers to the degree of perfection used in the instruments, methods, and
observations- in other word, to the level of refinement and care of the survey. In
Precision Degree of perfection used in the survey.
Accuracy Degree of perfection obtained in the results
In a series of independent measurements of the same quantity, the closer each
measurement is to the average value, the better is the precision. High precision is
costly but is generally necessary for high accuracy. The essential art of surveying is
the ability to obtain the data required, with a specific degree of accuracy, at the
lowest cost. The specified degree of accuracy depends on the type and the purpose
of the survey.

Illustration of accuracy and precision

In the following example, the more precise method (steel tape) resulted in the
more accurate measurement.





Cloth tape
Steel tape




However, it is conceivable that more precise method can result in less accurate
answers. But if the steel tape had previously been broken and in correctly repaired,
the result would still be relatively precise but very inaccurate.
Error of Closure
The difference between a measured quantity and its true value is called error of
closure. In some cases, the closure can be taken simply as the difference between
two independent measurements.
For example, suppose a distance from point A to point B is first determined to be
123.25 m. The line is measured a second time, perhaps from B to A, using the
same instrument and methods. A distance of 123.19 m is obtained. The error of
closure is simply 123.25 123.19 = 0.06m. It is due to accidental errors, as long
as blunders have been eliminated and systematic errors corrected.
Relative Accuracy
For horizontal distances, the ratio of the error of closure to the actual distance is
called the relative accuracy. Relative accuracy is generally expressed as a ratio with
unity as the first number of numerator. For example, if a distance of 500 ft were
measured with a closure of 0.25 ft, we can say that the relative accuracy of that
particular survey is 0.25/500, or 1/2000. This is also written as 1:2000. This means
basically that for every 2000 ft measured, there is an error of 1 ft. The relative
accuracy of a survey can be compared with a specified allowable standard of
accuracy in order to determine whether the results of the survey are acceptable.
Relative accuracy can be computed from the following formula:
Relative accuracy = 1: D/C, where D = distance measured and C = error of
Example. A group of surveying students measure a distance twice, obtaining
67.455 and 67.350 m. What is the relative accuracy of the measurements?
Example2. Determine the accuracy of the following, and name the order of accuracy
with reference to the US standards summarized.
Error, m

Distance, m




Although in this book we are going to discuss in detail four methods of surveying
includes chain or tape surveying, prismatic or traversing compass survey, plane
table surveying and levelling. But for easy understanding of surveying and the
various components of the subject, we need a deep understanding of the various
ways of classifying it. Surveying is classified based on various criteria including the
instruments used, purpose, the area surveyed and the method used.
Classification of surveying based on the surface and the area surveyed include land
survey, marine or hydrographic survey and astronomical survey.
Land survey: It is also called property survey or boundary survey. It is performed in
order to establish the positions of boundary lines and property corners. It is usually
performed whenever land ownership is to be transferred or when a large tract of
land is to be subdivided in to smaller parcels for development. It is also performed
before the design and construction of any public/private land-use project. Land
surveys are done for objects on the surface of the earth. It can be subdivided into:
a. Topographic surveys: These are surveys where the physical features of the










settlements on the surface of the earth are measured, and maps and plans
prepared to show their relative positions both horizontally and vertically.
Depending on the extent of the survey these may be either geodetic type
surveys or plane surveys, where no account is taken of the earths curvature.
The datas obtained from a topographic surveys are plotted in a map called
topographic map and the shape of the ground is shown with lines of equal
elevation called contours.
b. Cadastral or property survey is used to determining property boundaries
including those of fields, houses, plots of land, etc. Cadastral surveys are
usually undertaken to define and record the boundaries of properties,

legislative areas and even countries. In many cases cadastral surveys will be
almost entirely topographic, with features defining boundaries. This survey
tends to be relatively precise with the coordinate positions and nature of the
boundary defining features recorded as part of the survey. Again geodetic
principles may have to be applied in the case of country boundaries, but
much of the work consists of plane surveying.
c. City surveys: The surveys involving the construction and development of
tows including roads, drainage, water supply, sewage street network are
generally referred to as city survey.
Marine or Hydrographic Survey: Those are surveys of large water bodies for
navigation, tidal monitoring, the construction of harbours etc. The taking of
soundings on shares aid banks aid the determination of water depths helps in the
production of topographic maps and the survey of batty metric controls.
Astronomical Survey: Astronomical survey uses the observations of the heavenly
bodies (sun, moon, stars etc) to fix the absolute locations of places and gratiscules
(lines of longitude and (attitude) on the surface of the earth.
Some times survey is conducted in order to serve certain purposes in society. So
basing on the purposes survey can be classified as;a. Engineering or site survey: Engineering or site survey is used to acquire the
required data for the planning, design and execution of engineering projects
like roads, bridges, canals, dame, railways, buildings, etc. These are surveys
undertaken to provide information for construction projects. They are
generally large-scale topographic surveys and usually plane surveys except
on very large construction projects.
b. Control Survey: Control Survey uses geodetic methods to establish widely
spaced vertical and horizontal control points.

Control survey is of the two

kinds including horizontal and vertical:


Horizontal control survey: The surveyor, using temporary/permanent

markers, places several points in the ground. These points, called
stations, are arranged throughout the site area under study so that it
can be easily seen. The relative horizontal positions of these points are
established, usually with a very high degree of precisions and

accuracy; this is done using transverse, triangulation or trilateration










reference points are determined by precise leveling methods. Marked

points of known elevations are called elevation benchmarks. The
network of stations and benchmarks provide

a framework for

horizontal and vertical control, up on which less accurate surveys can

be based.
c. Geological Survey: Geological survey is used to determine the structure and
arrangement of rock strata. Generally, it enables surveyors to know the
composition of the earths constituents.
d. Military or Defense Survey: Military or Defense Survey is carried out to map
places of military and strategic importance
e. Archeological survey: Archeological survey is carried out to discover and map
ancient/relies of antiquity.
In conducting survey some methods involve so as to obtain the reliable data.
Methods like triangulation and traversing or offset are popular used during
surveying. So basing on the methods survey can be Classified as;a. Triangulation Survey: In order to make the survey, manageable, the area to
be surveyed is first covered with series of triangles. Lines re first run round
the perimeter of the plot, then the details fixed in relation to the established
lines. This process is called triangulation. The triangle is preferred as it is the
only shape that can completely over an irregularly shaped area with
minimum space left.
b. Traverse or offset survey: If the bearing and distance of a place of a known
point is known it is possible to establish the position of that point on the
ground. From this point, the bearing and distances of other surrounding
points may be established. In the process, positions of points linked with
lines linking them emerge. The process of establishing these lines, while the
connecting lines joining two points on the ground is called traversing. Joining
two lines while bearing and distance is known as traverse. A traverse station

is each of the points of the traverse, while the traverse leg is the straight
line between consecutive stations.
Lastly, the proper instruments should be considered during surveying. Surveyors
must have enough and explicitly knowledge on the instruments to be used before
conducting any survey. So survey can be classified basing on instruments as;a. Chain or Tape Survey: This is the simple method of taking the linear
measurement using a chain or tape with no angular measurements made.
b. Compass Survey:

Here horizontal angular measurements are made using

magnetic compass with the linear measurements made using the chain or
c. Plane table survey: This is a quick survey carried out in the held with the
measurements and drawings made at the same time using a plane table.
d. Theodolite survey: This is the measurement and mapping of the relative
heights of points on the earths surface showing them in maps, plane and
charts as vertical sections or with conventional symbols. It takes vertical and
horizontal angles in order to establish controls. It is also, called levelling.
This is the simplest form of survey where only the linear measurements are made
while the angular, measurements are ignored. This type of surveying is suitable for
surveys of small extent on open ground to secure data for exact description of the
boundaries of piece of land or to take simple details. The principle of chain survey
or chain triangulation, as is sometimes called is to provide a skeleton or framework
consisting of a number of connected triangles, as triangle is the only simple figure
that can be plotted from the lengths of its sides measured in the field. To get good
results in plotting, the framework should consist of triangles which are as nearly
equilateral as possible. Chain survey is carried out to obtain data further accurate
description of property boundaries; to prepare an accurate plan of a plot of law and
determine its area; to delineate the boundary of a piece of land in a previously
surveyed location; to share a piece of land into smaller units; to obtain data for
engineering project (e.g. road and rail alignment). The chain survey is preferred
when the ground is nearly flat and open (avoiding crowded areas with many details,

or areas which are heavily wooded or undulating) and also when the area to be
surveyed is smaller and it is not suitable for large areas that are crowded with
many details and wooded and undulating areas.


Station points:
Main Stations: Main stations are the end of the lines, which command the
boundaries of the survey, and the lines joining the main stations re called the main
survey line or the chain lines.
Subsidiary or the tie stations: Subsidiary or the tie stations are the point selected
on the main survey lines, where it is necessary to locate the interior detail such as
fences, hedges, building etc. Survey lines include;
Tie or subsidiary lines: A tie line joints two fixed points on the main survey lines. It
helps to checking the accuracy of surveying and to locate the interior details. The
position of each tie line should be close to some features, such as paths, building
Chain line:
Check Line: A check line also termed as a proof line is a line joining the apex of a
triangle to some fixed points on any two sides of a triangle. A check line is
measured to check the accuracy of the framework. The length of a check line, as
measured on the ground should agree with its length on the plan.
Base Lines: It is main and longest line, which passes approximately through the
center of the field. All the other measurements to show the details of the work are
taken with respect of this line.
Offsets: These are the lateral measurements from the base line to fix the positions
of the different objects of the work with respect to base line. These are generally

set at right angle offsets. It can also be drawn with the help of a tape. There are
two kinds of offsets:
Perpendicular offsets: The measurements are taken at right angle to the survey line
called perpendicular or right angled offsets.
Oblique offsets: The measurements which are not made at right angles to the
survey line are called oblique offsets or tie line offsets.
The principle of chain surveying is derived from principle of triangulation. The whole
area to be surveyed is divided into framework of triangles of suitable sizes. Network
of triangles is selected as these are simple geometrical figures which can be easily
plotted with the measurements of its sides only. It is advisable to use wellconditioned triangles whose sides are as nearly equal as possible with angles
between 30o to 120o. This shaping of triangles result in higher accuracy. The
triangulation of area avoids the need of measuring angles hence can be surveyed
and plotted easily by measuring distances by changing alone.
The chain survey processes or procedures follow the steps which includes:Reconnaissance survey, measurement and Field work, and Office work. The
procedure will be explained under the following headings:


Ranging, Running of a chain line, Measurement of offset and Booking drying

Reconnaissance Survey: This is a pre-field work and measurement phase. It
requires taking an overall inspection of the area to be surveyed to obtain a general
picture before commencement of any serious survey. Walking through the site
enables one understand the terrain and helps in determining the survey method to
be adopted. The initial information obtained in this stage helps in the successful
planning and execution of the survey. The scale is determined by getting an
estimate of the maximum dimensions of the area by pacing and measurements.
Measurement and Field work
This is the actual measurements in the field and the recordings in the field
notebook. To get the best results in the field, the surveyor must be acquainted
(familiar) with the functions of the equipment and take good care of them. Also, the

surveyor must ensure the required equipment are full available in order to perform
the following activities
Ranging: Ranging involves placing ranging poles along the route to be measures so
as to get a straight line. The poles are used to mark the stations and in between
the stations.
Running a chain line: for effectively running a chain line, surveyor takes a number
of arrows and holding the handle of the tape, the leader starts the chaining process
by walking along the line towards the end of the line learning behind the follower
holding the tape, with signals from the follower, the leader extends the tape along
the line, and places an arrow where the tape ends. The procedure is continued until
the whole line is coursed.
Measurement of offsets: To measure, two team leaders called a leader and a
follower are chosen. As the chaining progresses, the leader leaves the tape on the
ground for the offset and booking teams to do their work. Offsets are
measurements made outside the main survey line. Where the appropriate
equipment are not available, a simple method of taking measurements along the
survey line at two points to the object is used.
Booking: Booking refers to process of entering the surveyed measurements in the
field note book. In order to avoid confusion after the measurements in field, booker
or recorder must take care to record neatly results in a field notebook. Booking that
takes measurement is done along the line from the bottom of the page to the top.
Right and left entries on the page is made to correspond with the right and left
measurements on the ground. It is advisable that each chain line should be
recorded in a separate page.
Although, survey equipment can be divided into three, namely (i) Those used for
linear measurement (E.g. Chain, steel band, linear tape)(ii) Those used for slope
angle measurement and for measuring right angle (E.g. Abney level, clinomater,
cross staff, optical squares) (iii) Other items (E.g. Ranging rods or poles, arrows,
pegs etc). Chain survey is mainly concerned with the measurement of distances
hence the main equipment used include the following:

A chain is made up of steel or iron pieces of wire known as links which are joined
together with circular or oval rings that make for flexibility. It has a brass handle at
both ends which is part and parcel of the total length of the chain known as chain
length. Different kinds of chains exist including Gunters chain, Engineers chain and
metric chains. The basic instrument or equipment used in chain surveying is a chain
or a tape. A survey chain is generally composed of 100 or 150 links formed by
pieces of galvanized mild steel wire of 4 mm diameter and has a brass tag at every
10th link called a teller. The ends of each link are looped and connected together by
means of three circular or oval shaped wire rings to provide flexibility to chain. The
length of each link is measured as the distance between the centers of two
consecutive middle rings. The joints of links are welded to avoid length changes due
to stretching.
The ends of chain are provided with brass handles with swivel joints. This helps in
turning the chain without twisting. The end link length includes the length of handle
and is measured from the outside of the handle, which is considered as zero point
or the chain end. Tallies, which are metallic tags of different patterns, are provided
at suitably specified points in the chain to facilitate quick and easy reading. A semicircular grove is provided in the center on the outer periphery of handle of chain for
fixing the mild steel arrow at the end of one chain length.
The number of links in a chain could be 100 in a 20 m chain and 150 in a 30 m
chain. The details of a metric chain are as shown in Figure 2.1.

Figure 1.1: Chain

The chain can be used conveniently in a rugged terrain and can be subjected to
rough use under adverse site conditions. It can be read easily by even semi-literate
persons. However, the length is liable to be changed due to continued usage. Its
comparatively heavy weight may cause sagging in the chain thereby affecting the
measurement accuracy.
Tapes have replaced chains in recent years because they are light, portable and
flexible. The tape is made from steel strap or fibber band with length of 10 m, 20
m, or 30 m. Graduated in 10 mm division and numbered at each 100 mm (10 cm)
division. Tapes can be used for more accurate measurements of lengths. They are
lighter and easier to handle and comparatively less liable to change in length than
chain. Different types of tapes exist and they are classified according to the
materials they are made of hence we have cloth or line tape, metallic tape, steel
tape and in car take: Depending on the material, these can be of following types:
Cloth or linen tapes
These are made of linen cloths that are varnished to resist moisture. Cloth or linen
tapes are 12 to 15 mm wide closely woven linen varnished for moisture proofing.
These are available in range varying from 2 m to 50 m in lengths in such a way that
tapes of 10 m, 20 m, and 30 m are commonly available. Since these are liable to
shrink when wet and alter in length due to twisting or stretching, these are rarely
used for accurate measurements. The main limitation of cloth tape is that it
stretching of the length can introduce errors in measurements. It is not as heavy
and strong as chain or steel tape hence is likely to twist and tangle and does not
remain straight in strong winds. So, the better ones are interwoven with small
brass, copper or bronze wires to provide strength and resistance to shrinkage and
Steel tapes
These are fine steel ribbons used to provide measurement of superior accuracy than
cloth or metallic tapes. With a ring at the end, whose length is included in the
length of the tape, steel tapes consist of light strip of steel with width ranging from
6 to 10 mm, in lengths of 2 to 50 m.

Steel tapes can be more accurately graduated. The graduations are etched (fixed)
as meters, decimeters and centimeters on one side and 0.2 m links on other side.
The steel tapes are very delicate and hence not suitable for rough usage. These
also require frequent cleaning and drying to avoid rusting. It is also difficult to read
as compared to chain.

Figure 1.12: Steel Tape

Metallic Tape
These are more durable than cloth tapes as they are made up of cloth that are
reinforced with brass or copper wires. Usually, between 20 to 30m, they come in a
leather cases with winding mechanism.

Figure1.13: Metallic tapes

Invar tapes

Invar tapes made up of alloy of Nickel (36%) and steel can be used for higher
accuracy as their coefficient of thermal expansion is very low. However, it is costly
and more delicate in use.

Figure1.14: Invar tapes

Fiberglass tapes
In recent times, fiberglass tapes are extensively used in the field survey because of
its low thermal expansion, cheapness, strength, ruggedness and durability. These
are available in ranges varying from 5 m to 30 m in length. This is used primarily to
obtain a high degree of precision, invar tapes are more expensive and softer than
steel tapes.




Steel Bands:
Steel bands made up of
ribbon of steel with brass swivel handle at each end. Also called a band chain. The
steel bands width is usually 16 mm and length of 20 or 30 m. The steel band is
used to obtain accurate measurements, it is lighter to handle than the chain, and its
length is not stretched due to usage. Band is normally divided by brass studs at
every 20 cm and numbered at every one meter. The steel bands are very delicate
and hence not suitable for rough usage. These also require frequent cleaning and
drying to avoid rusting.

Figure 1.16: Steel Bands:

Surveyors band
Surveyors band is made of steel strip which is rolled in metal frame with winding
handle. The

lengths of surveyors band can be of 30 m, 50 m and 100 m.

Figure 1.17: Surveyors band

Optical Squares
This is an optical instrument used to take offsets at right angles from the chain
lines. Offsets are measurements made from outside the survey line of triangulation
or traverse skeleton to a property boundary or fence or wall offsets enable one fix
point details in relation to the chain line.

Figure1.121: Optic squares

Cross staff

This is a simple form of optical squares used for the same purpose of fixing offsets.
Constructed in the form of a wind vane, consisting of a cross with vertical ends with
slits. Offsets are taken using the lines of sight which cross at right angles. Cross
staff is made of wood or metal with eye slits at right angle.

Figure 1.18: Cross staff

Arrow or chain pin
An arrow is a piece of steel skewer and iron bent at the top into a circle and with a
posited end allow for easy penetration into the ground when chaining a long line. It
is used primarily for marking the end of chaining and temporary stations. Arrows
should be colored rag or tag tied to the circular end to make them more visible.
Arrows or chain pins, as these are called sometime, are made of stout steel wire 4
mm in diameter, 400 to 450 mm long and black enameled. The chain has to be laid
down a number of times and the positions of the ends are marked with arrows. If
arrows are not available pegs can be used to mark temporary stations on the

Figure 1.19: a) Chaining pin (b) Keel

Ranging pole
This is a pole of about 2 meters in length alternatively painted white and red and is
pointed at one end so that can be seen easily from distance. It colored in white,
black and red at equal distance. They are used to mark stations and for ranging (is
getting out straight lines). To do this two poles are fixed at the 2 stations or points
and this enables one to measure along straight lines by placing a series of ranging
poles along the route in order to get the straight lines.

Figure 1.120: surveyors Range pole

Flagpole or flag staff
This is a surveying instrument consisting of a straight rod painted in bands of
alternate red and white each one foot wide; used for sightings by surveyors. A pole
on which a flag is raised. Also called flagstaff. Flagpole is a staff or pole on which a
flag is or can be displayed so that, to announce as a test to gauge reactions.

Figure 1.122: Flag pole

Wooden Pegs
These are made of stout timber generally 25 to 30 mm square or circular size and
150 mm long as shown in Figure 1.6.

Wooden pegs are normally used to mark

station position on ground on a quasi-permanent state. These are tapered at one

end so that they can be driven in the ground easily.

Figure 1.123: Wooden pegs

Plumb Bob
It is usually heavy spherical or conical ball, as shown in Figure 1.124, of metal and
is used to transfer points on ground by suspending it with the help of a strong
thread. It is used in measuring distances on sloping ground by stepping. With a
plumb bob surveyor can check if the ranging pole is vertical. Compass, Dumpy
levels and Theodolites are also positioned over the station point accurately with the
help of plumb bobs.

Figure 1.124: Plumb Bob

Line Ranger
A line ranger consists of either two plane mirrors or two right angled isosceles
prisms placed one above the other as depicted in Figure. The diagonals of both
the prisms are silvered so as to reflect the incident rays. Line rangers are
provided with a handle to hold the instrument. A line ranger can also be used to
draw offset on a chain line.

Figure1.125 Line Ranger

Field Note book and pencil

Figure 1.127 Note book and pencil

1. Record all field data carefully in a field book at the moment they are
2. All data should be checked at the time they are recorded.
3. An incorrect entry of measured data should be neatly lined out, the correct
number entered next to or above it.
4. Field notes should not be altered, and even data that are crossed out should
still remain legible.
5. Original field records should never be destroyed, even if they are copied for
one reason to another.
6. A well-sharpened medium-hard pencil should be used for all field notes.
7. Sketches should be clearly labeled.
8. Show the word VOID on the top of pages that, for one reason or another, are
9. The field note book should contain the name, address, and the phone

Each new survey should begin on a new page.


For each day of work, the project name, location, and date should be
recorded in the upper corner of the right hand page.


1. Preliminary Inspection
1. Walk over the whole area to be surveyed and note good line of sight, corners
and intersections that can be seen from where you are standing.
2. Choose the main triangles with at least two sides running close to the outside
boundary of the area to be surveyed.
3. Build up the secondary triangles with their sides intersecting sharply.
4. Draw a key diagram of the lines you are going to use, lettering or numbering
the stations you are going to use. See figure 1.129. In the fig. below the
surveyor need to measure a line between two existing buildings, which is
close to the new fence feature to be surveyed. The line has been tied out at
41.8m. Offsets are raised at right angles to measure line to each corner on
the new feature and to selected points on the curved section. The length of
each offset is measured and then booked.




New fence
to be






Figure 1.129: Sketch plan of the area to be surveyed

2. Running the Chain Lines
a. Chain lines are run by surveyor team that comprises a leader, a follower and
booker. The leader starts off from the beginning of the line, holding the front
end of the chain and taking with him a number of arrows and ranging poles.
When the chain is full stretched the follower at the starting point of the line
signals the leader left or right until the end of the chain is in direct line with
the station at which the leader is standing.
b. The follower erects a ranging pole at the first base point and sights in the
leaders pole by signal.
c. The leader straightens the chain and drives in a skewer or an arrow at the
exact point.
d. The chain is left on the ground while offset and tie lines are measured.

e. The leader then takes his end of the chain further along the line and the
follower comes up to the skewer.
f. The same process is repeated until the line is completed
3. Measuring Offsets and Tie Lines
a. Some of the outside boundaries of the areas consist of curved edges whose
position must be fixed by taking offsets.
b. Offsets points e.g. curved edges points are fixed by locating the right angle
line to a point using a cross staff.
c. If the distance to objects or other details to be included are quite long tie
lines should be used.
d. Tie lines are used to measure distance to a point from two points on the
chain line
e. For example a building is fixed by making two measurements towards each
of the near corners. The building is then measured.
4. Booking the surveyed measurements in the field note book.
Definition of booking
Types of booking method in chain survey
Although today most measurements are keyed directly into PRISM software by
Ordnance Survey surveyors, when using non-electronic methods the technique used
for booking measurements made during detail survey goes back to that used in the
days of chain survey. Most surveyors adhere to basic rules which then enable other
surveyors to understand what has been recorded. This is useful as it allows an
independent check of the work, or completion of a task by a different surveyor.
Clarity and accuracy of booking are obviously essential. Although neatness is
desirable, mistakes inevitably occur and should be cancelled and amended in the
field. The rewriting of bookings in the office should be avoided wherever possible as
this can lead to mistakes, which may go undetected. Traditionally, measurements
along a taped line are normally recorded within two parallel lines ruled down the
center of the page. Distances along the line are be entered from the bottom of the
page and proceed sequentially. Detail picked-up along the line either as an offset,

straight, reference or in-direction measurement etc. should be sketched on the

correct side of the parallel line in its approximate position relative to other detail.
Distances recorded to this detail should be positioned on the booking sheet to avoid
ambiguity. For lines, which have been tied out, the total length of the line is entered
at the top of the page and is under and over scored. Chain survey must be free
from mistakes or blunders. A potential source of major mistakes in surveying
practice is the careless or improper recording of field notes. The art of eliminating
blunders is one of the most important elements in surveying practice. In order for
the surveyor to eliminate mistakes or blunders, clear and neat booking must be put
into consideration. The following are booking techniques or procedures surveyor
must follow in order to ensure good booking.
a) Draw two parallel lines about 20 mm apart in the note book from top to a
center of a page. These lines represent the line along the chain line and in
between are entered the distance along the traverse.
b) At the bottom of the page write the name of the line being booked.
c) Enter the measurements at points along the line from which tape distance,
tie lines and offsets are taken to object.
d) If the building is located it is plotted so that its corners which are located by
tie lines fit the points already obtained.
Booking format the surveyed measurements in the field note book looks as

Tie out










Fig.1.129 The booking sheet for line between the

two buildings.
Office work: This is the post field work stage in which data collected and recordings
in the field notebooks are decoded and used to prepare the charts, planes and
maps for presentation to the clients and the target audience.
Agor, (1993) classified the various types of obstacles encountered in the course of
chaining into three: Obstacles which obstruct ranging but not chaining; Obstacles
which obstruct chaining but not ranging; Obstacle which obstruct both ranging and
Obstacles that obstruct ranging but not chaining
Here, there is lack of inter-visibility between the ends of a chain line. This occurs in
an undulating terrain.
Obstacles which obstruct chaining but not ranging.
Water bodies like lakes, ponds and rivers are typical examples of obstacles in this
category. It is possible to chain around these obstacles by using the Rectangulation
method which is done through constructing rectangles or Triangulation method
which is done through the construction of similar triangles:

Pond: A survey may encounter an obstacle of a pond during the chain surveying
and in order for the chaining to continue the obstacle should be avoided. If chaining
has reached point A and encountered an obstacle. To get to point B, mark C, D, E

F with an arrow. Set of perpendiculars CD and EF high enough to clear the

obstacles. Join and measure CD which now equals EF. This allows chaining to
continue from D as described below.


As long as figure in the figure above CDEF is rectangle with sides CD = EF and CF =
DE, then the total length AB will be obtained by adding the lengths AC, CF = DE,
and F. Therefore, the measured distance or length of AB = AC+ DE+FB
Triangulation method is done through constructing similar triangles
Pond: To continue chaining from B, fix a point E away from the obstacle. Range a
pole at G to align with CE hence CE = EG. In line with BC range another pole F in
line with DE. Hence DE = EF. Measure FG which equals CD hence chaining can
continue from B.



To overcome the obstacle of the river is done by constructing similar triangles as
depicted in the figure below. If the chaining has reached A from initial point (T 0),
and unfortunately surveyor meet an obstacle of a stream which cannot be ranged.
For the effective chaining, surveyor must overcome it. Through considering the
illustration of stream as drawn below as an obstacle during the chain surveying,
surveyor can follow the following procedures in order to overcome the obstacle.
1. Establish the direction of the chain line across a river from T 0 to T1 though
point A and B.
2. At point B, establish any perpendicular convenient chain line towards another
point E at one end of the river bank.
3. Erect a perpendicular line AE through C as mid-point at any convenient
4. At point D, erect the perpendicular line DF and for that case range pole F is in
straight line with range pole B and C, that makes line BCF to be a straight
line. In this case the triangles BAC and FEC are congruent, and line AB is
equal to line EF.




From the illustration above, the two triangles BAE and DCE created are congruent
which implies that length CD = length AB which is the required length hence
chaining can now proceed from B to the final terminal (T 1).
Therefore, T0T1 = T0A + EF + BT1
Obstacles which obstruct both ranging and chaining
The surveyor cannot easily range and chain in the area with features like tall
buildings, forest and big block of rocks. These obstacles during the chain surveying
obscure both ranging and chaining.

And if the surveyor cannot see through the

obstacles, the chain line can be conducted and measured through the following

1. Establish the chain line across the house and if the chaining has reached
point A from T0 where an obstacle like a building has been reached as
illustrated below.
2. Establish beyond the house another point B and point T 1 exactly aligned
along the chain line.

3. At pin A and B, erect any convenient equidistant perpendicular lines to clear

an obstacle. If that is the case, line AC will be equal to the line BD.
4. Set off perpendicular line CD that will be equal to imaginary line AB. AS
T0,A,B and T1 are on chain line and obstacle AB has already cleared with line
CD, then surveyor must continue to measure from B to T 1.



Definition: Traversing surveying is that type of survey in which a number of
connecting survey lines form the frame work and the directions and lengths of the
survey lines are measured with the help of an angle measuring instrument and a
tape respectively. Traversing survey as the type of land or ground survey is
conducted by fixing of a bearing position in the field. The bearing is measured
through measuring the angles of bearing between the line of magnetic North and
the line of the sight to the object. Traversing surveying is also known as prismatic
compass surveying, compass surveying or compass traversing. Compass traverse
involves fixing of a point in the field by measuring the angle of bearing from
another known point.

A traverse is a series of connected lines whose lengths and directions are measured
in the field. The survey performed to evaluate such field measurements is known as
traversing. The lines on the traverse are known as legs and points as stations.
Traversing can be achieved by using the simple angular measuring instrument such
as a prismatic compass or a sophisticated instrument such as a theodolite. In
prismatic compass survey several kilometers from the observer to the objects can
be plotted. A traverse is developed by measuring the distance and angles between
points that found the boundary of a site
Principle - In Compass survey chain or tape is used for linear measurements and
compass is used for fixing direction. In compass freely suspended magnetic needle
directs to north- south and the bearing of line is obtained by line of sight.
Uses of Traverse Surveying

Traverse surveying is used where the conditions make the chain triangulation


method impossible, i.e. a woody area, built up areas or long winding rivers.
It also used where the survey is of a large area and details are not required.

Types of Traverse

The Closed Traverse

A closed traverse is a series of distances and angles that form a closed figure. The
closed traverse is the one which proceed from known point to another and back to
the known point. This type is used for surveying closed features such as forest,
lake, building blocks or other areas across which no ties, or check lines, can be run.
Such a traverse can be easily checked as the survey starts and finishes at a fixed
point or points.

Figure 1.132 : Closed traverse


An Open Traverse

An open traverse is a sequence of angles and distances that define a line or route,
but does not form a closed figure. The open traverse is one that proceeds from one
point to another but which does not close back to the known point. This type of

traverse is used to

survey rivers, roads

or railway routes.

Instruments used

Figure. 1.133 : Open traverse


compass survey


instruments used in

the compass survey are: Prismatic compass, Tape, Ranging rods, Tripod, Arrows.
Although tape, ranging poles or rods are already discussed in this chapter, here we
are going to discuss little bite on the prismatic and tripod stand as prismatic
compass surveys instruments.
Prismatic compass
Prismatic Compass comprises of a magnetic needle attached to the circular ring
made up of aluminium. The needle is on the pivot and will orient itself in the
magnetic meridian Therefore the north and south ends of the ring will be in this
direction. The line of sight is defined by the objective vane and the eye slit, both
attached to the compass box. The object vane consist of a vertical hair attached to

a suitable frame while the eye slit consist of a vertical slit cut in to the upper
assembly of the prism unit, both being hinged to the box.
When an object is sighted, the sign vanes will rotate with respect to the N-S end of
ring through an angle which the line makes with the magnetic meridian. A
triangular prism is fitted below the eye slit, having suitable arrangement for
focusing to suit different eye sight. The readings increase in clockwise direction
from 0o at South end 90o at West end 180o at North end and 270o at East end. The



can be


on the





the top

at box.





against a bend lever which lifts the needle of the pivot and holds it against the glass
lid. When bright objects are sighted dark glass may be interposed in to the line of

Figure 1.134: Prismatic Compass

Tripod stand

Figure 1.135: Samples of tripod stands

Adjustments in prismatic compass survey
The following are the adjustments usually necessary in the prismatic compass:
Centering, Leveling & focusing the prism
Centering: The center of the compass is placed vertically over the station point by
dropping a small piece of stone below the center of the compass, it falls on the top
of the peg marking that station.
Levelling: By means of ball and socket arrangement the Compass is then leveled
the graduated ring swings quite freely. It may be tested by rolling around pencil on
the compass box.
Focusing the prism:

The prism attachment is slid up or down focusing till the

readings are seen to be sharp and clear.

Observing Bearing and azimuth
A bearing is defined as the acute horizontal angle between a reference meridian
and the line. The angle is measured from either the north or south towards the east
or west, to give a reading smaller than 900. The bearing of a line is measured from













applies). It requires




letters and

numerical value e.g. N450E. It may be true/magnetic/assumed, forward/back. The

position of an area can be shown by using bearing. There are two systems
commonly used to express the bearing.
Whole circle bearing: In this system the bearing of a line is measured with the
magnetic north in clockwise direction. The value of bearing thus varies from 0o to
360o. In this system the bearing is stated without indicating the direction of the
object or observer.
Quadrantal system: In this system the bearing of a line is measured eastward or
westward from north or south whichever is near. The directions can be either clock
wise or anti clockwise depending upon the position of the line. Bearing directions
are shown by using the compass bearing which shows main compass directions or
cardinal points. The bearing the shown by direction such as east, west, north,
south, north east, south west and so forth. Thus, the starting point in stating the
direction of a particular area is 0000N towards 3600N.
There are three types of cardinal points which are four cardinal points, eight
cardinal points, and sixteen cardinal points.
000 0N



180 0S
If all 4 cardinals=3600
Therefore, in 4cardinal points each cardinal point contains 90 0







If 8cardinal points=3600
1 cardinal point=X
X= 3600
Therefore, in 8 cardinal points each cardinal contains 45 0


N 3150W








S 2250 W




180 S

If 16cardinals points= 3600

1 cardinal point=X

=22.5 0

Therefore, in 16 cardinal points each cardinal contains 22.5 0.

Types of Bearing
There are two types of bearings which are forward bearing and back ward bearing.
Forward bearing is the type of bearing in which the reading is taken by an observer
to the object along a line of sighting. The bearing of the line in the direction of
progress of the survey is called Fore Bearing (FB).
Back bearing is the type of bearing in which the reading is taken by the observer
from an object. The bearing in the opposite direction is called Back Bearing
(BB).Back bearing is used for checking the accuracy of forward bearing reading
taken from the observer to the object along the sight line. It is checked by noting
the difference in degree between the Back Bearing and Forward Bearing. Always
the difference between the Back Bearing and Forward Bearing is exactly180 0 or 0000
and if it is less or greater than these readings has an error which need to be

Station A

Station B
The compass always points toward magnetic north, so when making a compass
traverse the angles of the line of a traverse (leg) is related to the north-south line
of the compass needle. For example, if you conduct a compass traversing from
station A to station B, the Angle between north and AB is known as a forward
bearing of AB and the angle between north and AB at station B is known as the
back bearing of AB.
If there is a local attraction the compass needle is diverted from the north-south
line and the compass reading will be inaccurate. Where there is a local attraction
the back bearing and the forward bearing difference will not be 1800. As the back
bearing and forward bearing differ by exactly 1800.

The presence of metals,

metallic ores or electric currents causes the local attraction, therefore the stations
should be chosen so that they are beyond the influence of local attraction.
If forward bearing>1800, Back Bearing (BB) = Forward Bearing (FB) 1800and
If forward bearing<1800, Back Bearing (BB) =Forward Bearing (FB) +1800

Forward bearing of BC


Back bearing of AB


Example1. Find back bearing under the following forward bearing:i.






Back bearing of BC

600 Forward bearing of AB

Consider the figure below that show forward and back bearings of lines AB and BC.

Given Forward Bearing=1550 since FB<1800, then
Back Bearing (BB) =Forward Bearing+1800

The back bearing for forward bearing S1550SE is N3350W

Given Forward Bearing =3600

since FB>1800, then

Back Bearing (BB) =Forward Bearing 1800

=3600 1800
The back bearing for forward bearing 3600 is 1800S.
Given forward bearing=1850 since FB >1800, then
Back Bearing (BB) =Forward bearing-1800
= 1850 1800
The back bearing for the forward bearing 185 0 is 0050N.
The errors may be classified as 1.Instrumental errors 2.Personal errors 3. Errors
due to natural causes.
Instrumental errors - They are those which rise due to the faulty adjustments of the
instruments. They may be due to the following reasons:

The needle not being perfectly straight.

Pivot being bent
Sluggish needle
Blunt pivot point
Improper balancing weight
Plane of sight not being vertical
Line of sight not passing through the center of graduated ring

Personal Errors They are those which rise due to the human imperfection. They
may be due to the following reasons:
a) Inaccurate leveling of the compass box.
b) Inaccurate centering. Inaccurate bisection of signals.
c) Carelessness in reading and recording.

Natural errors - They are those which rise due to the natural factor of an area. They
may be due to following reasons:

Variation in declination
Local attraction due to proximity of local attraction forces.
Magnetic changes in the atmosphere due to clouds and storms.
Irregular variations due to magnetic storms etc.
Intersection method to plot the area using a compass

Compass Traverse Procedure and Plotting

The following will be procedures during the compass traverse survey when
conducted in certain area.

Held a prismatic compass over a station and take the bearing reading of


the forward station.

Held the compass over the same station and take the bearing over the


back station and record it.

The distance to the forward station is measured and recorded and the
process of sighting the bearing is repeated at each following station until


all the stations are complete.

The field measurements are reduced and the traverse is plotted with to


Definition of local attraction

Consider the example of the field ABCD given below then correct the effect
of local attraction if exist.

Actual bearings recorded.

At AB: Forward bearing = 600, BA: Back bearing =2400, then the diff. =1800
BC: Forward bearing = 1200, CB: Back bearing =3000, then the diff. =1800
CD: Forward bearing = 2100, DC: Back bearing =320, then the diff. =1780
DA: Forward bearing = 3170, AD: Back bearing =1350, then the diff.1820.
This indicate at D there is a local attraction effect since the forward and back
bearing at D do not vary by 180 0.This attraction causes the bearing at D to be 182 0
instead of 1800. To correct the effect of local attraction the 2 degrees is subtracted
from each of the bearing at D. After applying the correction of -2 degrees the
bearing at D will be corrected.
Table below shows the corrected bearings as it affects point D:




Different exist between














Plane table is a graphical method of surveying in which the field works and the
plotting is done simultaneously. It is particularly adopting in small mapping. Plane
table surveying is used for locating the field computation of area of field. The plane
table consists of a drawing board with arrangement for fixing on a tripod stand. The
plan is drawn by the surveyor in the field, while the area to be surveyed is before
his eyes. Thus, there is no possibility of omitting the necessary measurements.
There are various types of plane tables, depending upon the arrangement of fixing
the boards to the tripod, leveling off the table and rotating arrangement in a
horizontal plane. Figure 1.---. shows a sample plane tables.

Figure1.--. Samples of plane tables

Principle of plane table
Advantages of Plane Table Survey

1) It is suitable for location of details as well as contouring for large scale maps

directly in the field.

2) As surveying and plotting are done simultaneously in the field, chances of

getting omission of any detail get less.

3) The plotting details can immediately get compared with the actual objects

present in the field. Thus errors as well as accuracy of the plot can be
ascertained as the work progresses in the field.
4) Contours and specific features can be represented and checked conveniently

as the whole area is in view at the time of plotting.

5) Only relevant details are located because the map is drawn as the survey

progresses. Irrelevant details get omitted in the field itself.

6) The plane table survey is generally more rapid and less costly than most

other types of survey.

7) As the instruments used are simple, not much skill for operation of

instruments is required. This method of survey requires no field book

Disadvantages of Plane Table Survey
1) The plane table survey is not possible in unfavorable climates such as
rain, fog etc.
2) This method of survey is not very accurate and thus unsuitable for large
scale or precise work.
3) As no field book is maintained, plotting at different scale require full
4) The method requires large amount of time to be spent in the field.

5) Quality of the final map depends largely on the drafting capability of the

6) This method is effective in relatively open country where stations can be

sighted easily.
A plane table mounted on a tripod stand and a number of accessories are used
during plane table survey. The accessories consist of alidade, spirit level, trough
compass, plumbing fork, plumb bob, drawing sheet.
An alidade is a device in which the vertical plane of the line of sight is maintained
parallel to a straight-edge ruler on which the sighting arrangement is kept. It is
used to draw a line parallel to the line of sight and thus provides the direction of the
object to be plotted. Depending on the type of sighting arrangement, alidades are
classified as Plain Alidade, Telescopic Alidade and digital alidade.
Plain Alidade: It consists of a straight-edge ruler, made of a metal or wood, with
one of the edges is beveled and graduated known as fiducial edge. It consists of
two vanes which are perpendicular to its ends, fitted with hinges at their bases,
known as sight vanes. These are kept folded down on the ruler when not in use.
One of the sight vanes is provided with a narrow slit having three holes. This is
used as eye vane. The other, used as object vane, is open and carries a hair or thin
wire at its center. Thus, the line passing through the slit of the eye vane joining the
thin wire of the object vane and passing beyond is known as the line of sight of a
plane alidade. A string is fitted at the top of the sight vanes and is used for inclined
sight. In some alidade, a compass needle as well as a spirit level gets fitted in a box
engraved at its base. However, the plain alidade is not very accurate. (Figure 33.2)
show a plain alidade.

Figure 33.2 Plain Alidade

Digital Alidade: It consists of an EDM, with a built-in telescope for sighting, an
automatic angle sensor for registering vertical angle and a microcomputer for
yielding horizontal distance and difference in elevation. It also consists of a liquid
crystal display which is used to display and thus read and retrieve the observed and
calculated parameters. Digital alidade is particularly useful for accurate plotting of
detail and for the long line of sigh. It consists of a telescope as an arrangement for
sighting (similar to that present in the upper part of a theodolite). The telescope is
fitted with a stadia diaphragm and can be used as tachometer also for computations
of horizontal distance and vertical elevations. The line of sight of the telescope is
aligned along the fiducial edge. In this instrument, the object is sighted through the
telescope and the distance is scaled off in that direction along the fiducial edge.
Figure 33.3 shows a telescopic alidade

Figure 33.3 Telescopic Alidade

The telescopic alidade is designed for greater precision and longer range of sights.
It can be used with advantages for contouring and plotting of details during
topographic surveying.
Plumbing Fork

A plumbing fork is a U-shaped piece of metal or wooded frame (Figure 33.4). The
end of one of its arm is pointed and the other arm is having an arrangement for
hanging a plumb bob. The frame is constructed in such a way that the tip of the
pointed arm and the plumb line lie in the same vertical line. At the time of use, the
pointed arm is placed on the table and the other arm, with a plumb bob attached, is
kept below the table. Plumbing fork with a plumb bob is used in large scale
surveying for centering of plane table and for Transferring of ground point.

Figure 33.4 Plumbing Fork

Spirit Level: It consists of flat based tube with a small bubble either circular or
tubular in shape. It is used to check the level of plane table by placing it on the
board in two positions at right angles to each other. When the bubble tube remains
in the center at any point on the table is considered to be properly leveled. Figure
1.---. shows a spirit level.

Figure 1.---.Spirit Level

Trough Compass: A trough compass consists of a long, narrow rectangular box,
covered with glass. Inside the box, at its center, there is a magnetic needle resting
on the pivot. At the extremities of the trough compass, there are graduated scales
with zero at the center and marking up to 5 on either side of the zero line. Figure
1.126 shows a Trough compass

Figure 1.126: Trough Compass

The trough compass is used for marking the magnetic north line on the drawing
sheet of the plane table. It determines the North and South line. In this case, the
magnetic needle point to 0 - 0 of the graduated scale and a line drawn parallel to
the edge of the trough compass is along the magnetic meridian. A trough compass
is also used to orient the plane table with respect to the magnetic meridian.
Drawing board mounted on tripod
A sheet of drawing paper, called plane table sheet is fastened to the board. Board is
made up of well-seasoned wood such as teak of size 40x30 to 75x60cm with plane
and smooth top. It is mounted on a tripod in manner that it can be leveled. Leveling
up of the table is done by shifting the legs of tripod. Some tripod provided with
leveling screw or by ball and socket head for accurate leveling.
It is necessary to check whether the accessories satisfies some basic conditions and
if required, necessary adjustments are to be done before starting any plane table
surveying work. The operations involved in this are known as temporary adjustment
of plane table. Following three distinct operations at each survey station are carried
out for the temporary adjustments of a plane table. These operations include
Centering, Leveling and Orientation. The conditions needed to be tested and
subsequent adjustments are as follows:
1. The surface of the board should be a perfectly plane.
Test: It is tested by placing a straight edge on the top surface of the plane table in
different directions. If there is no gap between the base of the straight edge and

the surface of the plane table then the surface is perfectly plane. Otherwise, the
surface is not perfectly plane.
Adjustment: If the gaps are minute, those are removed by rubbing with sand paper
and for more gaps, the table should be replaced.
2. The fiducial edge of the alidade should be straight.
Test: It is tested by drawing a fine line on the paper along the fiducial edge of the
alidade. Then, by reversing the alidade, end for end, and placing against the line
drawn, a line is to be drawn again along the fiducial edge. If the two lines coincide,
the edge is straight. Otherwise, the edge is not straight.
Adjustment: The fiducial edge of the alidade is to be made straight by filing and
then test is repeated till satisfactory outcome.
3. In fully opened condition, the sight vanes of the alidade should be perpendicular
to its base.
Test: Hang a plumb bob at a distance of about 5 to 10 m from the plane table.
Bisect the string of the plumb bob through the alidade placed on properly leveled
plane table. If the sighting slit, the object vane hair and the plumb bob string lie the
same vertical line, the vanes of the alidade are perpendicular to the base of the
alidade. Otherwise, it requires adjustment.
Adjustment: is being carried out by inserting packing under the base of the sight
vanes or by filing the base, as required. The test and adjustment get repeated till
satisfactory outcome is achieved.
The telescopic alidade if used should be in perfect adjustment.

The testing and

adjustment of the telescopic alidade are to be carried effectively.

Centering: It is the process of keeping the table over the station that the point on
the paper representing the station being occupied is vertically over the point on the
ground. It is done by forked plumb bob. The legs of tripod are well spread out to
get the convenient height for working on the board. Then, the operation of
centering is carried out by means of plumbing fork or U-frame and plumb bob. This
process ascertains the fact that the point on paper represents the station point on
ground. The pointed end of the plumbing fork is kept on point on paper and at the
other end, a plumb bob is fixed. The table or board is shifted bodily till the plumb
bob hangs exactly over the peg of the station.

Leveling: The process of leveling is carried out with the help of spirit level and it
consists of making the table level either by ordinary tilting the board or by ball and
socket arrangement or by adjusting the legs of tripod.
Orientation or positioning of Plane Table: The objective of this operation is to
maintain the orientation of the table constant at all the stations in any particular
plane table surveying i.e., the four edges of the plane table will always be in the
same direction at all the stations. Thus, all lines plotted on the plane table sheet
will maintain parallism to their corresponding lines on the ground.


orientation, the leveling of the plane table generally gets disturbed so it is usually
carried out with leveling simultaneously iteratively. The orientation of plane table
can be carried out by using a trough compass; back sighting; resection.
Orientation by using Trough Compass: In this method, the edge of the trough
compass is placed along the magnetic meridian (drawn at the starting station) and
the plane table is rotated till the needle points to zero-zero of the scale. Once it is
achieved, the table is said to be oriented and thus clamped. This method of
orientation is not very accurate and also may get affected by local attraction and is
generally used for small-scale survey.
Orientation by Back sighting: In this method, the fiducial edge of alidade is laid
along a ray drawn from previous station to the present station and the plane table
is then rotated till the line of sight of alidade bisects exactly the ranging rod placed
at previous station. The plane table is then clamped and said to be oriented. In this
method, the level of the plane table has to be maintained identical in both the


Following are the four methods by which an object might be located on paper by
plane table including Radiation; Intersection; Traversing and Resection.
This is the simplest method and it is useful only when the whole traverse can be
commanded from a single station. Here, the plane table is set up at one station

which allows the other station to be accessed. The points to be plotted are then
located by radiating rays from the plane table station to the points. After reducing
the individual ground distances on the appropriate scale, the survey is then plotted.
This method is suitable for small area surveys. It is rarely used to survey a
complete project but is used in combination with other methods for filing in details
within a chain length. The procedure is as follows:
1. Select a point P so that all the corners of the traverse ABCD are seen.
2. Carry out the usual temporary adjustments of centering and leveling. Mark
the north line on paper.
3. Put the alidade on point P and dram a line of sight for station A.
4. Measure the distance PA on ground and put this length to a suitable scale on
paper which will give point a.
5. Similarly, obtain points b, c and d on paper by drawing lines of sight for
stations B, C and D and measuring the distances PB, PC and PD on ground
6. Join points a, b, c and d on paper, as shown in figure.
7. For checking the accuracy of work, measure the distances AB, BC, CD and DA
on ground and compare them with the lengths ab, bc, cd and da respectively
on paper.



This method is useful where it is not possible to measure the distances on ground
as in case of a mountainous country. Hence, this method is employed for locating
inaccessible points, the broken boundaries, rivers, fixing survey stations, etc. In
this method, two instrument stations are used with the distance between them
called based line serving as the base to measure and plot the other locations: The
procedure is as follows:

Select two stations P and Q so that the points to be located on paper are

easily seen from them.

ii. Plot the line pq, which is known as the base line, on paper. This can be done
in one of the two ways:
a) The table can be centered and leveled at station P and then after
orienting at station Q, the distance PQ can be accurately measured and
put up to some scale on the paper.
b) The line pq can be drawn to some scale on the paper and then the
board can be adjusted from station P by back sighting at station Q.
iii. From station P, draw rays for stations A, B, etc.
iv. Shift the table to station Q and after proper orientation, take rays of stations
A, B etc.,
v. The intersection of rays from stations P and Q will give points r, s etc. on
paper, as shown in figure.

vi. For checking the accuracy of work, measure the distance AB on ground and
compare it with its corresponding length rs on paper.



Plane table



Fig. Plane Tabling using Intersection

This method resembles the compass traversing in which the plane table is
set up at each successive and the back sight taken station until all the stations are
1. Set up the plane table over station A
2. With the Alidade at a sight B, measure AB and using appropriate scale draw
the distance ab to correspond with ground distance AB.
3. Transfer the table to B and position b to B. from b sight, measures scale AB
and insert as ab on the paper.
4. Relocate the station to C and sight D from there. Continue the procedure
until all the stations are covered as shown in the diagram

Fig. : Plane Tabling using Traversing Method

Resection Method








from the stations

method is used
station points

have already been



whose locations
plotted on the sheet. This carried out

using various procedures:

1. In the simplest method, select a base line AB on the ground, measure and
plot ab on paper. Set up the plane table at B in a position where b
corresponds to B.




2. From b sight C and draw a ray to represent the approximate location of C
locate this position as C.
3. Set up the instrument at C and draw a ray to A, the tone position of C is the
point of intersection made between the ray and that made from b


Plane Tabling using Resection Method



1) What do you understand by plane table survey? What are the advantages
and dis-advantages of Plane Tabling? List the different accessories used in
plane tabling along with their uses.
2) Describe the steps involved in setting up of a Plane Table.
3) Explain the different operation involved in temporary adjustment of plane
table surveying.

The act of establishing the elevation of points on or below the surface of the earth
is called leveling. It is the methods of surveying that deal with determining height
and representing them. Levelling enables surveyors to survey in a vertical scale.
Levelling is therefore surveying in a vertical plane. The elevation of a point on the
surface of the earth is actually the difference in attitude between the point and
some datum or base level. Hence, leveling makes use of a base level to determine
the height of any point. The sea level is the base level of topographic maps. The
aim of levelling is to determine the relative heights of different objects on the
surface of the Earth and to determine the undulation of the ground surface.

Usually the vertical direction is parallel to the direction of gravity; at any point, it is
the direction of a freely suspended plumb-bob cord. The vertical distance of a point
above or below a given reference surface is called the elevation of the point. The
most commonly used reference surface for vertical distance is mean sea level. The
vertical distances are measured by the surveyor in order to determine the elevation
of points, in a process called running levels or leveling. The determination and
control of elevations constitute a fundamental operation in surveying and
engineering projects.
Leveling provides data for determining the shape of the ground and drawing
topographic maps and the elevation of new facilities such as roads, structural
foundations, and pipelines.
Uses of levelling
Levelling is done for the following purposes:

To prepare a contour map for fixing sites for reservoirs, dams, barrages
etc., and to fix the alignment of roads, railways, irrigation canals, and so


To determine the attitudes of different important points on a hill or to
know the reduced levels of different points on or below the surface of the


To prepare the longitudinal and cross section of a project (roads, railways,


irrigation canals, etc.) in order to determine the volume of Earth work.

To prepare a layout map for water supply, sanitary or drainage schemes.


Level Surface: A level surface is a surface which is everywhere perpendicular to the
direction of the force of gravity. An example is the surface of a completely still lake.
For ordinary levelling, level surfaces at different elevations can be considered to be
Level Datum: A level datum is an arbitrary level surface to which elevations are
referred. The most common surveying datum is mean sea-level (MSL), but as
hydrological work is usually just concerned with levels in a local area, we often use:

An assumed datum, which is established by giving a benchmark an assumed value

(e.g. 100.000 m) to which all levels in the local area will be reduced. It is not good
practice to assume a level which is close to the actual MSL value, as it creates
potential for confusion.
Level books: All levelling shall be booked in either level books or levelling sheets
which shall be retained as permanent records. Level books shall be numbered so
that they can be referenced on station history and inspection forms. They should be
stored in fire-proof storage as for original record. They should also include an index.
Levelling sheets shall be filed in time-sequential order in site files, and also need to
be in fire-proof storage as for level books.
Back sight: This is the first reading on the staff placed on a benchmark at the
commencement of levelling operation. It is first reading taken to a point whose
height is either known or can be calculated.
Foresight: Foresight is the reading taken at a point where the elevation is not yet
known. It is the reading taken at a point whose height is required in order for the
levelling operation to continue.
Intermediate foresight (IS): is a rod reading taken on any point where an elevation
is required. All staff reading between B.S. and F.S. are Intermediate sight. It is used
in many engineering levelling projects such as profiles or cross-sections or in open
pit mining surveys where specific ground elevations would be needed to calculate
volumes of material.
Orders of levelling: refer to the quality of the levelling, usually being defined by the
expected maximum closing error. These are given in Table below


Maximum close


Deformation surveys

0.001 x km

First order

Major levelling control

Minor levelling control

0.003 x km
0.007 x km

Third order


for 0.012 x km

Table 1. Levelling closes

Reduced Level: This is also called reduced height and is the calculated elevation of
a place above or below sea level. A reduced level is the vertical distance between a
survey point and the adopted level datum.
Bench mark (BM): A bench mark (BM) is the term given to a definite, permanent
accessible point of known height above a datum to which the height of other points
can be referred. It is usually a stainless steel pin embedded in a substantial
concrete block cast into the ground. At hydrological stations rock bolts driven into
bedrock or concrete structures can be used, but structures should be used warily as
they themselves are subject to settlement. The locations of benchmarks shall be
marked with BM marker posts and/or paint, and recorded on the Station.

The roughly 600,000 vertical control points in the U.S. National Spatial
Reference System (NSRS) are referenced to the North American Vertical Datum
of 1988 (NAVD 88).

The benchmark is a fire hydrant with

the word "OPEN" on top. The elevation
is 26.295 feet above sea level at the
top of the letter "O". This is an Official
benchmark elevations in San Francisco
that is available from the Bureau of
Street Use and
Mapping. (Located at 875 Stevenson
Street, Room 460 /// San Francisco,
CA. 94103 ///

Source: Degree

Figure: Sample of bench marks

Temporary bench mark (TBM): A temporary bench mark is a semipermanent point of known elevation established from a known BM. It is used
for convenience the site to transfer elevations for different stages of a
construction project.

Arbitrary bench marks: These are reference points whose R.L.s are
arbitrarily assumed. They are used in small works such bench mark may be
assumed as 100 or 50 m
Set-up: A set-up refers the position of a level or other instrument at the time in
which a number of observations are made without mooring the instrument. The first
observation is made to the known point and is termed a back sight (The site taken
after the level has been taken); the last observation is to the final point or the next
to be measured on the run and is termed as fore sight (The last sight taken), and
all other points are intermediates.
Run: A run is the levelling between two or more points measured in one direction
only. The outward run is from known to unknown points and the return run is the
check levelling in the opposite direction.
Close: A close is the difference between the starting level of the initial point for the
outward run and that determined at the end of the return run. If the levels have
been reduced correctly this value should be the same as the difference between the
sum of the rises and falls and also the difference between the sum of the back
sights and foresights.
Change points: Change points are points of measurement which are used to carry
the measurements forward in a run. Each one will be read first as a foresight, the
instrument position is changed, and then it will be read as a back sight.
Turning point (TP)
Line of collimation:-It is a line joining the intersection of cross hairs of diaphragm to
the optical center of object glass and its continuation. It is also known as line of
Height of Collimation: Height of Collimation is the elevation of the optical axis of the
telescope at the time of the setup.
Line of collimation: The line of collimation is the imaginary line at the elevation.

The following instruments are essentially required for levelling

Levels: The instrument used to furnish horizontal line of sight for observing staff
readings and determining R.L.s. The level is used to accurately determine the
difference in elevation between two points on the earths surface. By itself, it does
not read or register heights but gives a horizontal line of sight so that in looking
along it, places lying along the same height can be seen, varieties of levels exist
and their difference lines in the level of complexity. Level include tube water level,
Dumpy level, Abney level, Tilting level, Wye level, Automatic level
Dumpy level
More modern types of dumpy levels are still used by builders and contractors, but
have been largely superseded for survey work. Before the introduction of 'digital
levels' with electro-optical staff readings in the 1990s, a more common type of level
was the 'automatic level' , which is constructed in a manner similar to the dumpy
level, in that the telescope is rigidly fixed to the vertical axis of rotation. However,
the difference between the two is that automatic levels feature an opticalmechanical 'compensator' suspended under gravity, which automatically adjusts the
line of collimation without the need of a level tube.
This dumpy level by Baker is one of the two major types of levels available in the
instrument collection. It is the simplest form of levelling instrument consisting of
two main parts: the tribrach and the telescope. The tribrach has four foot screws
which are used to give the telescope the required horizontal line-of-sight. The
instrument has a vertical axis, around which the telescope can be rotated to sight
to a staff. No other adjustment is possible between the telescope and the tribrach.
The level is fitted with a long sensitive bubble tube attached to the top of the
telescope which enables the line-of-sight (line of collimation), as defined by the
cross hairs, to form a horizontal line which is perpendicular to the direction of
gravity at that point. The levelling of this tubular bubble is carried out by
manipulating the four foot screws.
There is also a smaller tubular bubble, which is perpendicular to the longer bubble
and hence the line-of-sight of the telescope. This bubble provides the instrument

with an additional adjustment in the direction perpendicular to the telescope's lineof-sight. Levelling the cross bubble reduces the cross-axis tilt.
In a dumpy level, there is only one axis of rotation - the vertical axis. The initial
levelling of the dumpy level must be done very carefully. Any adjustment of the foot
screws between sightings to the staff alters the height of the line-of-sight.

Abney level The


Figure1. : Dumpy level by Baker.






can be used to determine

height. It is a surveying instrument consisting of a spirit level and a sighting tube;

used to measure the angle of inclination of a line from the observer to the target.
It is moderately expensive and of medium size and weight.

Figure. Abney Level

Tilting level: It is also known as I.O.P. level (Indian office Pattern). In this level the
telescope tilts about its horizontal axis hence it is called tilting level

Wye level
The essential difference between wye level and other levels is that in wye level the
telescope is carried by two vertical wye supports. The telescope can be rotated,
moved or even raised in wyes.

Automatic level
It is also known as self-aligning level. It is a recent development. The fundamental
difference between auto level and other levels is that the levelling is not manually
but it is levelled automatically. It is achieved by inclination compensating device.

Water level
A water level is a device used for matching elevations of locations that are too far
apart for a spirit level to span. The water level is made up of 2 glass tubes half filled
with colored water fitted ant a tripod when the two water levels are in line and one
looks along a horizontal line of sight passing through the water surfaces, anything
are sees along this line are of the same level with ones eye and the water surface.
The surveyors level consists of a bubble tube with a telescope attached. The
simplest water level is a section of clear tubing, partially filled with water. Water is
easily procured for use, and easily discarded after use. The ends are held vertical,
and the rest of the tubing lies on the ground or floor. The water level at each end of
the tube will be at the same elevation, whether the two ends are adjacent or far
apart. Water levels have been used for many years. The water level is lower-tech
than the laser level, but it can be more accurate over long distances. To avoid error,
all of the water should be at the same temperature. Other sources of error include
difficulty reading due to meniscus.

If the water level is used often, dye can be added to the water to make it easier to
see. If the water level is used outdoors in winter, antifreeze can be added to the

Figure. Tube Water level


These adjustments are performed at every setup of instrument
Setting up the level:-This includes
A) Fixing the instrument on tripod
B) Levelling the instrument approximately by Tripod
Levelling:-Levelling is done with the help of foot screws. The purpose of
levelling is to make vertical axis truly vertical. It is done with the help of foot
A) Place the telescope parallel to a pair of foot screw then hold the foot screws
between thumb and first finger and turn them either inward or outward until the
longitudinal bubble comes in the centre.
B)Turn the telescope through 900so that it lies parallel to third foot screw, turn the
screw until the bubble comes in the centre.

Focusing the eye piece:-To focus the eye piece, hold a white paper in front of
object glass, and move the eye piece in or out till the cross hair are distinctly
Focusing of object glass:-Direct the telescope to the levelling staff and on
looking through the telescope, turn the focusing screw till the image appears
clear and sharp.
Leveling Staff:

A level staff, also called levelling rod, is a graduated wooden or

aluminum rod, the use of which permits the determination of differences in

elevation. Levelling rods can be one piece, but many are sectional and can be
shortened for storage and transport or lengthened for use. Aluminum rods may
adjust length by telescoping sections inside each other, while wooden rod sections
are attached to each other with sliding connections or slip joints.
There are many types of rods, with names that identify the form of the graduations
and other characteristics. Markings can be in imperial or metric units. Some rods



only one side while

others are







sides, the markings

can be identical or,




have imperial units


one side and metric


the other

Two sides of a modern surveyor's levelling rod.

Metric graduations on the left, imperial on the right.
Level staffs or rods

An optical instrument consisting of a small mounted telescope rotatable in
horizontal and vertical planes, used to measure angles in surveying, meteorology,
and navigation. In meteorology, it is used to track the motion of a weather balloon
by measuring its elevation and azimuth angle. The earliest theodolite consisted of a
small mounted telescope that rotated horizontally and vertically; modern versions
are sophisticated computerized devices, capable of tracking weather balloons,
airplanes, and other moving objects, at distances of up to 20,000 m (65,600 ft).

Front view of theodolite

A Surveyor using Theodolite

Levelling procedures
(a) Setting up

Side view of theodolite

Theodolite set up

o Back sight and foresight distances should be approximately equal to

avoid any errors due to collimation, refraction or earth curvature.
o Distances must not be as great as surveyor cannot be able to read
the graduations accurately.
o The points to be observed must be below the level of the
instrument, but not lower than the height of the staff.
(b) Elimination of parallax
Parallax is the apparent movement of the image produced by movement of the
observer's eye at the eyepiece. It is eliminated by focusing the telescope on
infinity and then adjusting the eyepiece until the cross-hairs appear in sharp
focus. The setting will remain constant for a particular observer's eye.
(c) Booking
o Level books or loose-leaf levelling sheets shall be numbered and
indexed in a register.
o Details of the site, work, date, observer, chainman, booker,
weather, wind, instrument and any other relevant items shall be
o Enter the first observation (which is on a known point) in the Back
sight column, and sufficient detail in the Remarks column to identify
it. Enter the point's R.L. zero from the site register or plate on the
BM, etc.
o Enter all other points on subsequent lines as intermediates except
the point chosen as the foresight. Identify them in the Remarks
column as above. Enter the foresight on a further line in the
Foresight column.
o Change the instrument to the next setup. Enter the following back
sight on the same line as the previous foresight but in the Back
sight column.
o Repeat the above procedure at each setup on the outward run then
reverse it to work back to the starting point on the return run. The
furthest point out is treated as for all other change points.


Levelling methods are subdivided into two major categories which are Direct and
Indirect methods. Direct levelling methods describes the method of measuring
vertical distances (difference in elevation) directly with the use of precise or semiprecise levelling instruments. Direct methods involve simple levelling, differential
levelling, fly levelling, precise levelling, profile levelling and reciprocal levelling. And
indirect methods on the other hand, apply to measuring vertical distances indirectly
or by computation. Unlike direct levelling operations, indirect levelling operations do
not depend on lines of sight or intervisibility of points. Some of the instruments
commonly used for indirect levelling methods are transit and theodolite. Indirect
levelling methods involve trigonometric levelling, stadia levelling and barometric

Simple levelling: It is the simplest method used, when it is required to find the
difference in elevation between two points on the ground. It is performed when
the difference of level between two points is determined by setting the levelling
instrument midway between the points. Suppose A and B are the two points


whose difference of level is to be determined. The level is set up at O, exactly

midway between A and B.

After proper temporary adjustment, the staff

readings on A and B are taken. The difference of these readings gives the
difference of level between A and B. See the figure below.
Fig. Simple levelling

Differential or spirit levelling: By far the most common leveling method, and the
one which most surveyors are concerned with, is differential leveling. It may also be
called spirit leveling, because the basic instrument used comprises a telescopic
sight and a sensitive spirit bubble vial. The spirit bubble vial serves to align the
telescopic sight in a horizontal direction, that is, perpendicular to the direction of
gravity. This method finds the difference in the elevation between points if they

are too far apart or the difference in elevation between them is too much. It is
generally used in determining elevation of points to establish a chain or network
of bench marks (BMs) for future use. It requires series of instruments set ups
along the survey route; and for setup, a horizontal line of sight is established,
using a sensitive level. Differential levelling is adopted when (i) the points are
great distance apart (ii) the difference of elevation between the points is large
(iii) there are obstacles between the points. In this method, a horizontal line of
sight is first established with an instrument called a level. The level is securely
mounted on a stand called a tripod, and the line of sight is made horizontal. Then
the surveyor looks through the telescopic sight towards a graduated level rod,
which is held vertically at a specific location or point on the ground. A reading is
observed on the rod where it appears to be intercepted by the horizontal cross hair
of the level; this is the vertical distance from the point on the ground up to the line
of sight of the instrument.

Fig. 1.---Reading the leveling rod through the


Figure 1.---Leveling rod detail

Generally, if the elevation of point A is already known or assumed, then the rod
reading on a point of known elevation is termed as a back sight reading (plus sight,
because it must be added to the known elevation of point A to determine the
elevation of the line of sight). Consider the figure below. Suppose it is required to
know the difference of level between A and B. The level is set up at points Q1, Q2,
Q3 and Q4 and after temporary adjustment, staff readings are taken at every set
up. The points TP1, TP2and TP3 are known as changing points, then the difference
between A and B is fund out. If the distance is positive A is lower than B and if it is
negative, A is higher than B.






BM =1003.00

Fig. Differential leveling

Fly levelling: Fly levelling is just like differential levelling carried out to check
the accuracy of levelling work. In fly levelling only B.S. and F.S. are taken. It is
low precision method that finds or checks appropriate level, generally used
during reconnaissance survey. It is conducted in order to connect a bench mark
to the starting pints of the alignment of any project. Fly levelling is also
performed to connect the bench mark to any intermediate point of the
alignment for checking the accuracy of the work. In such levelling, only the back
sight readings are taken at every set up

of the level and no distances are

measured along the direction of the leveling(fig.-----). The level should be set
up just mid-way between the backsight and the fore sight.

Check levelling: This kind of levelling is carried out to check the accuracy of work. It
is done at the end of the days of the work in the form of fly levelling to connect the
finishing point and starting point. It is operation of running levels for the purpose of
checking the series of levels, which have been previously fixed. At the end of each
day work, a line of level is run, returning to the starting point of that day with a
view to check the work done on that day. Suppose the following information were
obtained from the levelling done in a certain area by the surveyor X and want to
check the accuracy of the work.
Instrument at


Reading at

Then the surveyor must questions himself whether the line of collimation is in
adjustment and or what should be the correct staff reading at A during the second
setup to make the line of collimation truly horizontal and what is the amount of the
collimation error in order to check for the accuracy of the work done.
When the instrument is at A:
Apparent difference of level = 1.725 1.370 = 0.355m
When the instrument is at B:
Apparent diffrence of the level = 1.560 1.235 = 0.325m

Since the two apparent differnces are not equal, then the line of collimation is
not in adjustment.
0.355 + 0.325
The true difference level between A and B =
to B)

= 0.340 (fall from A


In second set up:

Correct reading at B = 1.235 (as the level is near B)
Correct staff reading at A= 1. 235 + 0.340 = 1.575m
But the observed staff reading (1.560m) at A is less than the correct reading
(1.575). So, the line of collimation is inclined downwards.

Therefore, the amount of collimation error =1.560 1.575 = 0.0015

Reciprocal levelling:

Profile levelling or Longitudinal Section: This method is used for taking levels along
the center line of any alignment like road, railway canal etc. In this operation the
backsight, intermediate sight and foresight are taken at regular intervals, at every
set up of the instrument. The chainages of the points are noted in the level book.
This operation is undertaken in order to determine the undulations of the ground
surface along the alignment.

Fig. Example of profile levelling

Source: Survey Camp Class Notes.pdf (pg. 17)
Booking format of this profile levelling will look as follow:

Fig. Profile field notes

Source: Survey Camp Class Notes.pdf (pg.17)
Cross-sectioning: This operation is carried out perpendicular to alignment at regular
intervals such as 10, 20, 30, 40 m. The idea is to make an estimate of earthwork. It
is the operation of levelling to determine the surface undulation or routine of the
ground transverse to the given line and on either side of it. It is generally
performed in order to know the nature of the ground cross the center line of any
Precise levelling:-It is used for establishing bench marks for future public use. It is
carried out with high degree of accuracy using advanced instruments.
Trigonometric levelling: This is leveling procedure that involves observing the
vertical (or zenith) angle and slope distance between two points. The difference in

elevation can then be calculated. Within the limits of ordinary practice, triangle BEC
(figure 45) can be assumed to be a right triangle and:
EC = BC x cos (zenith angle)
A major source of error in determining the difference in elevation by this method is
the uncertainty in the curvature and refraction caused by variations in the
atmospheric conditions.

Height of target

Line of sighting
Horizontal line

Level surface

Mean sea level

The effects of Earth Curvature and Atmospheric Refraction must be taken into
account when using trigonometric methods to determine elevations. A line of sight
perpendicular to a plumb line lies in a horizontal plane. The earths curved surface
departs from this line by the value c (shown in Figure 45, as the distance E-F). For
most surveys, a practical value for curvature is:
c = 0.667M 2
Where M is the sight distance in Miles and c is the earths curvature in Feet. Due to
the density of the air, the optical line of sight refracts or bends back towards the
earth, negating about 14% of the effects of curvature. The combined effect of
Curvature and Refraction is:
(c+r) = 0.574M 2

There are two acceptable methods to correct for Curvature and Refraction if the
formulas are not applied: (i) Balance the Backsights and Foresights and (ii) Observe
the zenith angles from both ends of the line (reciprocal zeniths).
The effects of Curvature and Refraction increases rapidly with distance as shown in
the table below:
(h) feet

200 ft

Effects of Curvature and Refraction

500 ft
1000 ft
1 mile

2 mile

When using trigonometric methods to establish accurate elevations, the following

must be taken into consideration:
1. Due to the effects of curvature and refraction, the instrument to target
distance must be kept relatively short. A good rule of thumb is not to exceed
1000 feet.
2. Make sure you understand your equipments capabilities. Instruments that
can measure zenith angles and slope distances to a high order of accuracy
will produce good trigonometric elevations.
3. Setup and level your instrument and target carefully. Measure the height of
instrument and height of target accurately.
4. Measure several slope distances and use a representative or mean value.
Make sure that your EDM is correcting for the appropriate atmospheric
5. Measure Direct and Reverse zenith angles, and use the adjusted value for
your calculations.
6. For lines longer than 500 feet, correct for curvature and refraction.
Modern Total Station instruments have to build in capabilities to reduce and display
trigonometric elevations.
Refer to figure above, for the following exercise. Given the following:
Elevation of Point A
Height of Instrument
Height of Target
Measured Slope Distance
Direct Zenith Angle

506.78 ft
5.21 ft
5.46 ft
837.58 ft

Reverse Zenith Angle


Correcting for curvature and refraction, calculate the elevation of point D.

Barometric levelling: In this method the altitude difference is determined by

means of a barometer. By using special barometers to measure air pressure
(which decrease with increasing elevation), the elevation of points on the earth's
surface can be determined within 1m. This method is useful for doing a
reconnaissance survey of large areas in rough country and for obtaining preliminary
topographic data.

Hyposometric levelling: The working of Hyposometry for determining the

elevation depends upon the fact that the temperature at which water boils
varies with the atmospheric pressure. The boiling point of water reduces at
higher altitude thus knowing the boiling point of water, the atmospheric
pressure can be calculated and knowing the atmospheric pressure altitude or
elevation can be determined.


As with any surveying operation, blunders must be eliminated and errors minimized
while running levels. Misreading the rod is a common blunder; it can be avoided by
always having the rod person check the reading with pencil point or target. Note
keeping mistakes can be particularly troublesome. The computations of HI and
turning point (TP) elevation should be done in the field, as the work progresses. A
simple arithmetic check at the end of the leveling run can be made to avoid
addition or subtraction errors.
a. Random Errors
Unavoidable accidental errors may occur when running levels, for several reasons.
For example: The level rod may not be precise when the reading is taken, heat
waves from the ground make it difficult to read and on windy day, slight vibration of
the cross hair can cause small errors in the reading. The instrument may be slightly
out of level if the spirit level is not perfectly centered. Accidental errors can be
minimized with a properly maintained and adjusted instrument if the following steps
are taken:

1. Make sure the tripod legs are secure and firmly anchored before leveling the
2. Check to see that the bubble is centered before each reading; re-center it if
3. Do not lean on the tripod legs when reading the rod.
4. Have the rod person use a rod level, to make sure it is held vertically.
5. Try to keep the line of sight about 0.5m above the ground when positioning
the instrument.
6. Do not use very long BS and FS reading.

b. Systematic / Instrumental Errors occur due to incorrect length of the rod,

when the bubble tube axis is not perpendicular to the standing axis of the
instrument or and when the line of sight of the telescope is not parallel to the
bubble axis. If the line of sight of a level is not exactly horizontal when the
bubble is centered, but slopes either up or down, it will slope by the same
amount for any direction of the telescope. As long as the horizontal lengths of
the BS and FS are the same, from any given instrument position to the rod, the
line of sight will intercept the rod held on each point with exactly the same error
in height. But since one of the sights is a plus sight (+) and other a minus sight

(-), the two errors will cancel each other out in the leveling computation.

Fig.------. When the horizontal length of the foresight (plus) and back sight (minus)
are the same, the systematic error of adjustment of the level is cancelled.

c. Errors Due To Curvature and Refraction

From the definition of a level surface and a horizontal line, it is evident that the
horizontal departs from a level surface because of curvature of the earth. In figure
below, the deviation from a horizontal line through point A is expressed
approximately by the following formula

Cm = 0.0785L2
Where the departure of a level surface from a horizontal line is
Cm is the departure of level surface in meters, and
L is the distance in kilometers

Fig. 5.13. Illustration of horizontal line and level surface departure.

For horizontal sight, refraction Rm in meters is expressed by the formula
Rm = 0.011L2
The combined effect of curvature of the earth and refraction, h is approximated as
hm = 0.0675L,

where hm is in meters.

For example, for a 100m length there is about 0.00067m length of error.

Two methods are in general used to book and calculate the reduced level; the "rise
and fall" method and the "height of collimation" method. The latter reduces levels
relative to the instrument height. As it has inferior in-built checks it should not be
used and will not be covered here.
Rise and fall method
The rise and fall method uses differences in level between two consecutive points to
obtain the rise or fall in elevation at that point. The "rise and fall" methods shall be
used for reduction of all site levelling. Reduction shall be carried out on site before
packing up to ensure that the levelling has been done correctly.

Briefly, a

horizontal line of sight is first established with an instrument called a level. The
level is securely mounted on a stand called a tripod, and the line of sight is made
horizontal. Then the surveyor looks through the telescopic sight towards a
graduated level rod, which is held vertically at a specific location or point on the
ground. A reading is observed on the rod where it appears to be intercepted by the
horizontal cross hair of the level; this is the vertical distance from the point on the
ground up to the line of sight of the instrument. Generally, if the elevation of point
A is already known or assumed, then the rod reading on a point of known elevation
is termed as a back sight reading (plus sight, because it must be added to the
known elevation of point A to determine the elevation of the line of sight).
Calculate the rises and fall between successive points and book them in the
appropriate column (one can determine whether each shot is a rise or fall by the
following rule of thumb: a higher value on top denotes a rise; a higher value on the
bottom denotes a fall) through the following procedures.
1. Add up the back sight and foresight columns for the entire traverse and note
the difference between them; this is the close.
2. Add up the rises and falls for the entire traverse, and compare the difference
between them with the difference between the back sights and foresights;
they should be the same.
3. Carry the reduced levels in the Reduced Level column down the page by
adding or subtracting the appropriate rise and fall values to the successive
values of Reduced Level. The final value of the original starting point will
differ from the original value by the amount of the close.

4. If the levelling has been done correctly and all arithmetic reductions are
correct, the differences between total back sights and foresights, total rises
and falls, and starting and finishing R.L.'s should be the same. This difference
is the close; and for site inspection purposes it should be within 2mm or
6mm, depending upon which water-level standard is being followed, 3mm
or 10mm.
For example, suppose the elevation of point A is 200.00 m (above MSL), and the
rod reading is 1.00m. It is clear that the elevation of the line of sight is
200.00+3.00 = 203.00m. The elevation of the horizontal line of sight through the
level is called the height of instrument (HI).



BM 200M


leveling to measure vertical distance and elevation. (a) Step 1: take a
Backsight rod reading on point A (b) Step 2: rotate the telescope toward point B
and take Foresight rod reading.
Suppose we must determine the elevation of point B. The instrument person turns
the telescope so that it faces point B, and reads the rod now held vertically on that
point. For example, the rod reading might be 1.00m. A rod reading on a point of
unknown elevation is called foresight (minus sight). Since the HI was not changed
by turning the level, we can simply subtract the foresight reading of 1.00 from the
HI of 203.00 to obtain the elevation of point B,

resulting here in 203.00 - 1.00 = 202.00m.












End of

Checking the Accuracy of Calculations and Booking for rise and fall method
The difference of the sum of the back sight and foresight should be equal to the
difference between the first and the last reduced levels. If that is the case then,
calculation and booking is accurate. Consider the calculation and booking above,
then check for its accuracy.
Sum of Back sight = 9; Sum of Foresight = 8; First Reduced Level = 200; and Last Reduced
Level = 201.
Back sight & foresight sum difference = 1 and Diff. between 1st & Last RL = 1

Since the difference of the sum of the back sight and foresight is equal to the
difference between the first and the last reduced levels, hence the calculation and
booking of the data are accurate.
This method uses the collimation level or height, which is obtained through
calculations of heights of points along a stretch of land. In this method, the back
sight is added to the known elevation of the point to get the height of instrument.
The foresight of the second point is then subtracted from the height of the
instrument to obtain the reduced level or the elevation of the second point. Worked
example of levelling:

Consider you are conducting a levelling survey in the

following area portrayed in the figure 1. , where at point D there is a Man Hole then
calculate reduced levels at points A, B, C, D and E, height of instrument at point A
is 108.

HI 108


Bench mark 100


man hole




At A: Reduced level = Bench mark =100
B: Reduced level = 108 6 =102
C: Reduced level = (102+9) 5 =106
D: Reduced level = (106 + 7) 6 =107
E: Reduced level = (107 + 6) 8 = 105
The booking of surveying in the figure above is shown in the table below. This
method of booking is called the height of instrument method.



Height of


















Man Hole

Checking the Accuracy of Calculations and Booking collimation method

Checking the levels accuracy for collimation
Levels can move out of adjustment so that their line of sight (line of collimation) is
not truly horizontal. This will cause errors in readings which become greater as the
viewing distance increases. However if a back sight and a foresight are exactly
equidistant from the instrument, the error in each sighting will cancel each other
out. This feature can be used to check the accuracy of a level by the following
simple method which is depicted in figure 1. ---------i.

Install three pegs or marks firmly in the ground at distances of 30 m apart in

a straight line; the center peg is only to mark the distance, but the outside
two shall be firm enough for reliable change points.


Set up the level over the center peg and read the staff on each of the outside
pegs in turn. Book these values and calculate the height difference. This will
be a true height difference, as the distances are equal and any errors will be


Set up the level about 4 m to the far side of one of the outside pegs. Read
the staff on the peg 4 m away and then on the one 64 m away. Book these
values and calculate the apparent height difference.


Compare the two height differences; if the instrument is in adjustment (i.e.

its collimation is true) they will be within 5 mm.

The operation of reading a vertical rod held alternately on two nearby points is the
essence of differential leveling. The difference between the two rod readings is, in
effect, the vertical distance between the two points. The basic cycle of differential
leveling can be summarized as follows:
Height of Instrument = Known elevation +
Back sight
HI = Elevation A + BS
New elevation = height of instrument
Elevation B = HI FS

Frequently, the elevations of points over a relatively long distance must be

determined. A process of measuring two or more widely separated points
simply involves several cycles or repetitions of the basic differential leveling
operation. More specific terms for this are benchmark, profile, and
topographic leveling.

60m Approx.





Figure 1.

: A method for checking the level accuracy

1st Set-up: True height difference = 2.824m 1.736m=1.088m

2nd Set up: Apparent height difference = 2.217m 1.133m=1.084m
Different height = 0.004m.
As long as the difference height between the true and apparent height is less than 5mm, then the
level is in adjustment.

If the instrument's collimation appears to be out, recheck by repeating the process.

Then, whilst setup at one of the outside locations, adjust the instrument (according
to the manufacturer's instructions) so that it reads the correct value on the far staff,
checking it against the near one. Two staves are useful for this.

This type of level check shall be carried out at least once per year, preferably just
prior to carrying out a round of station inspections. The details and results of the
checks shall be recorded in a numbered level book and be readily retrievable as a
quality record, and the date of this calibration check shall also be recorded in the
instrument inventory.

Advantages of Using Surveys

1) Surveys allow researchers to collect a large amount of data in a relatively
short period of time.
2) Surveys are less expensive than many other data collection techniques.
3) Surveys can be created quickly and administered easily.
4) Surveys can be used to collect information on a wide range of things,
including personal facts, attitudes, past behaviors and opinions.

Disadvantages of Using Surveys

1) Poor survey construction and administration can undermine otherwise welldesigned studies.
2) The answer choices provided on a survey may not be an accurate reflection
of how the participants truly feel.
3) While random sampling is generally used to select participants, response
rates can bias the results of a survey.
Exercise 1.0
2. a) What is meant by the term elevation?
b) What does the term leveling mean?

3. What surveying instruments are used to measure angles and distances?

4. a)What is the basic assumption for plane surveying?
b) How does geodetic surveying differ from plane surveying?
5. Under what circumstances is it necessary to conduct a geodetic survey?
6. Give a brief description of the topographic and construction surveying.
7. Why is the proper recording of field notes a very important part of surveying
8 (a). Briefly describe the following; datum surface, line of collimator, Bench mark
and change point.
(b).The following readings are successively taken with a level 0.355, 0.485,
0.625, 1.755, 1.895, 2.350, 1.780, 0.345, 0.685, 1.230 and 2.150. The instrument
was shifted after the fourth and seventh readings. Prepare a level book and
calculate the Reduced Levels (RLs) of different points. The RL of the first point is
255.5 m.
9 (a). What is local attraction?
(b). The following bearings where observed in a compass traverse.

Forward bearing

Back bearing

At which of these stations would local attraction be suspected?

(c). Adjust bearings of the stations affected by local attraction.
10. A distance was taped six times with the following results: 85.87, 86.03, 85.80,
85.95, 86.06, and 85.90 m. Compute the 90 percent error of the survey.
11. a) A group of surveying students measure a distance twice, obtaining 57.455
57.350 m. What is the relative accuracy of the measurements?

b). What is the maximum error of closure in a measurement of 2500 ft if the

accuracy is 1:5000?
12. a). Define the following terms

Blunder and Error.


Accidental error


systematic error




Relative error

b). What are the basic difference between systematic error and an accidental



Specific objectives: By the end of this topic, every student should be able to:Explain the concept of map reading and its importance to social economic
activities without teachers help.

Identify at least five essentials of a map and its applicability without

teachers help correctly.
Recognize features on a map without guide assistance rightly.
Generate information from maps under no teachers assistance correctly
Interpret information from the topographical maps in relation to human
daily activities without teachers assistance.
Map and its nature
Map is defined as a scaled representation of a whole or part of the earths surface
on a piece sheet of paper or wood or any other flat materials. The different maps
can be drawn to illustrate different phenomenon on the earths surfaces depending
on its purposes or functions such maps include rainfall distribution maps, vegetation
distribution maps, temperature distribution maps, population distribution maps, and
economic distribution maps showing their corresponding spatial distribution
features. Maps serve as the representation or substitute of any phenomena map
maker wish to portray or study. Maps are directionally and geometrically accurate
due to its ability of showing distance, direction, size and shape in their horizontal
spatial relationship.
The skill of recognizing features and their spatial relationship on the map is called
map reading. Map reading is possible through the conventional symbols and signs
from the key. Therefore, through using these symbols and signs from the key the
process of examining the features characteristics from the given maps is
significantly attained.
Types of maps
There are many types of maps categorized according to their purposes such maps
include soil distribution map, vegetation distribution maps, climatic distribution
maps, population distribution map and so forth. All these map categories are
grouped into two major types which are topographical and statistical maps.
Topographical map is the one which depicts the natural and manmade features of
the landscape with a frame work that resulted from a systematic survey of a
country. These maps show physical features such as mountains, valleys, oceans,

hills, roads, railways, buildings, plantation and so forth while statistics maps show
the distribution of aspects which have been made with the help of exactly statistical
information. Such maps include Isopleths maps, Dot maps, Chloropleth maps and
flowing line maps.
Maps help to show the direction of an area
Maps help to portray the geology of an area
The map characteristics are marginal information or are essentials of the maps
which are very important in map reading. Cartographer includes these essentials to
assist the whole process of map reading, interpretation and map analysis.
Therefore, these characteristics should be clearly understood by map reader and
map interpreter for accurate reading and interpreting the map.
Title of the map
The title of the map is the word description of what is represented or a brief
summary of maps content or purpose. The title of the map must identify the area
covered and provide some indication of content, for example KINONDONI
Scale of the map.
This shows the relationship of the map distance and real ground distance. And the
map information are always affected by the size of

scale used to portray them

because the larger the scale the more detailed information while the smaller the
scale the poor detailed information portrayed on the map.. Normally it is difficult to
present the landscape on the paper without considering scale in order to reduce the
ground area. The geographical map scale is approximated to be constant all over
the map. The size of the map scale depends on the size of the land to be presented
on the map, amount of the contents and the size of the map itself.

Map distance
Map scale

Actual ground distance

Types of Map scales

Map scale is often confused or interpreted incorrectly, perhaps because the
smaller the map scale, the larger the reference number and vice versa. For
example, 1:100,000 is considered by some of people to be a larger scale
than a 1:25,000 thing which is not correct. Therefore, there are three map
scales nominated as small scale, medium scale and large scale.
Small scale is one which covers large area on the earths surface and shows
much information on the map.

The small scale shows large range of

denominator in RF scale e.g.1:250,000. Therefore, the scale contains less

detailed information which leads the shortage of information for particular
phenomena. This scale is used by the cartographer to draw a map if the map
aimed to show very large area such as continents or world which contains
more and less detailed information.
Medium scale on a map covers average area on the ground and shows the
moderate features on the map. The medium scale shows moderate range of
denominator in RF scale. E.g. 1:50,000. Therefore, the scale contains clear
information on the map compared to those shown in small scale.
Large scale is the scale which represents small area on the ground and
shows few features on the map. The large scale shows small range of
denominator in RF scale. E.g. 1:10,000. Therefore, the larger the scale the
more detailed information portrayed on the maps which shows all necessary
information on particular phenomena of the area covered on the map. This
scale is used by geographers to represent the small area of the ground on
the map such as village, district, and regions when they are interested with
just few and more clear details of particular phenomena.

There are several ways of representing scale on map but the major ones are
the Word method (Word or Verbal statement scale) and Fractional

method(Fractional scale or representative fraction ), graphic method(Graphic

bar or line scales), as briefly explained below;The word method is one of the ways of expressing scales which is stated in
words. The scale stated in word is termed as verbal or statement scale. In
this way the map distance is commonly represented by centimeter or inch
units and kilometers or mile units for actual ground distance respectively. For
example, one centimeter on the map represents a half kilometer on the
ground or one inch on the map represents five miles on the ground.
Fractional method is another way of expressing map scales where scale
compares map distance with ground distance by proportional numbers
expressed as a fraction or called a representative fraction scale. E.g. the
fraction scale may be in ratio or fraction as 1:50,000 or 1/50,000 and the
former one is preferred. This representative fraction scale can be interpreted
as 1 unit on the map represents 50,000 of the same units on the Earth. In
the representative fraction units are not stated but need to be the same. Any
unit can be used such as mm, cm, inches, feet etc map scale is drawn into
fraction or ratio.
Graphic method is another way of expressing scale through showing a
distance on the map that represents a given distance on the actual ground
by using bar or line. The scale drawn on a straight line is called plain or
linear scale. Normally linear scale has two different units such as meter and
kilometer or inch and mile located in secondary and primary sections of the
line respectively. The secondary and primary sections are separated by zero
where secondary section which is at left hand side of the line shows small
unit for every unit distance such as meters or inches and primary section
which is at right hand side of the same line shows large unit for every unit
distance such as kilometer or feet or miles.



Secondary section

Primary section

Conversion of map scales

This refers to the changing or converting scale from one form to another
which will represent the same value. For instance from Statement scale to
Representative Fraction scale or to Linear or from Linear scale to Verbal or to
Representative Fraction Scales and vice versa.
Note. From metric and imperial equivalents
1mile=63360inches and
1km=63360/1.6 inches=39600inches
Example1. Convert the following RF-scale into a statement scale;a) 1:50,000
b) 2:150,000
a) Given scale: 1:50,000 this means that 1cm on the map=50,000cm on
the ground.
Assume x be equals to 50,000cm on the ground, then
If 1km=100,000cm from metric

By crossing multiplication,
X= (50,000cm1km)/100,000cm
Therefore, 1cm on the map represents 0.5km on the ground.
b) Given scale: 2:150,000 this means that 2cm on the map=150,000cm
on the ground
Assume Y be equals to150, 000cm, then
If 1km=100,000cm from metric measurement
By crossing multiplication
Y= (150,000cm1km)/100,000cm
Y= 1.5km=150,000cm
Therefore, 2cm on the map represent 1.5km on the ground or 1cm on the
map represents 0.75km on the ground.
Example2. Given the number of kilometer to centimeter or mile to inches,
convert them into RF-scale.
a. 4miles to inches
b. 2km to cm
a. Given the map scale 4miles to inches
Assume K represents 4miles then,
If 1mile = 63360inches
4miles= K
By crossing multiplication
Therefore, the RF-scale required is 1:253 440
b. Given 2km to cm
Let X represents 2km, then

If 1km=100,000cm
By crossing multiplication
Therefore, the RF-scale required is 1:200,000.

Uses of map scale.

Map scale is used by cartographer and map reader to draw and read map.
Therefore, following are the some useful of the map scale;1) Map scale is used to obtain measurements on the mapped area
such as the distance, area and gradient on a map. This enables
the map reader to know the actual size, distance, area and slope
of the mapped area.
2) Map scale helps cartographer to draw maps of the different size
for the same place through reducing or enlarging the map scales
of the area. E.g.1:100,000 to 1:50,000 where 1:100,000 is the
small scale compared to 1:50,000.
3) Map scale helps cartographer to determine the amount of
features to be presented on the map. This is due to reason that
map scale is selective hence only wanted features will be
allocated on the map.
4) Map scale is very essential in the process of map enlargement
and map reduction
A. Date of the map
The date as one of the essential of the map indicates the time spans over
which the information was collected and the day on which the map was
published. Therefore, the date on the map informs the leader how timely or
out of date the map is.
B. Symbols and Signs

These are the different marks purposely to explain the actual object in the
map. The work of the cartographer is to use symbols and signs which will be
easily for the map reader and map interpreter to read and to translate the
information effectively. For instance a green colour stands for vegetation and
purple or white for glaciations region representation.

Not all the symbols

which are in the key apply to the particular map but all signs and symbols
applied in the map are shown on the key.
C. North direction
This shows the actual north direction of the map. On the large map three
types of the North printed on top or bottom of the map are Magnetic north
that shows by magnetic compass directed to the magnetic north pole, True
North (TN) is the direction toward the 90 0 north latitude from any place on
the earths surface. The true north represents the lines parallel with the lines
of longitude including 660 called northings. Magnetic North (MN) is the
direction shown by magnetic compass directed to the magnetic north pole.
For example in Africa magnetic north is always to the west of the north. True
North (TN) is the direction toward the 90 0 north latitude from any place on
the earths surface. The true north represents the lines parallel with the lines
of longitude including 660 called northings. Grid North (GN) is the direction
toward the north in those maps drawn to grid system. These maps represent
the lines parallel with the grid north south lines called easting.
Grid North (GN) which is the direction toward the north in those maps
drawn to grid system. For example in Africa magnetic north is always to the
west of the north., True north and Grid north as explained below;Consider the figure below.






D. Key or legend
Key is the conventional signals that represent certain features on the
topographical map. Key is very important because it helps to summarize the
information of the ground on a map. Map reader and map interpreters use
the signs and symbols on the key to read and interpret the map. For



E. Longitude and latitude

Longitudes are imaginary lines measuring the West and East of the great
meridian. The zero longitude is known as Prime Meridian and is passing
Accra and London. Longitude lines are very essential on time location on the
topographical maps.
Latitudes are the imaginary lines measuring North and South of the equator.
Latitude lines are used to fix the position of the features on the map such as
climate, vegetation and so forth.
F. Index number or Serial number

The direction of overseas surveyors is responsible for map making and

depicting serial number or index number to show the arrangement of maps
produced and with the totality of maps produced.
G. Margin or Boundary of the map
This shows the boundaries of the area represented on the map. These
margins are sometimes called map boundaries.

Contents and its

topographical maps




Any topographical map shows three kinds of contents such as natural,

artificial or supportive.

Natural contents

are non-manmade features

which occur naturally on the earths surface as a result of geomorphologic

processes and other natural factors. For example Mountains, hills, forests,
plateaus, rivers, oceans and so forth, while Artificial or Cultural contents
include all manmade features such as infrastructures, settlements, dams and
some artificial forests. Natural forests on maps indicated by names or when
they grow irregularly while that of man-made grow regularly. And also
Supportive Contents on contour maps involve the map marginal information
that assist the map readers and map interpreters. The supportive contents
include scale, north direction, key and date of compilation of the map.

The contents of any topographical map is influenced by the factor below;a) The purposes of the map which depends on the aims of the
cartographer(map maker)

as it is obviously known that not all land

information can be shown on the map as a map show only important

information. Therefore, the aim of the cartographer determines what
information intended to be shown on a map reflecting its purposes.
b) Scale size of the map drawn determines amount and characteristics of
contents to be depicted on the map. This is because map of different

scales show different features characteristics although are drawn from

the same land due to their different map scale sizes. For example if
the two maps are drawn from the same land area by using small scale
and large scale, their contents are likely to differ in such a way that
map drawn from small scale will show many and less detailed features
while of the large scale will show few and well detailed features.
Therefore cartographer can draw a map with large scale in order to
show more detailed information and vice versa is true.
c) Date of compilation refers to a period of time at which a map was
published or produced. It has to be noted that the land information are
dynamic over time due to some factors operating in and on the land
surface. Due to this reason map is likely to show features or
information which were represented by the time when it was prepared
or produced. Therefore, maps drawn at different period of time contain
different information about a particular area. For instance, the daresSalaam maps published in 1940sa and 1980s show different features.
The Dares-Salaam map drawn in 1940s cannot show TAZARA railway
and MANDELA road while that of 1980s show these features.
d) Nature of the landscape also determines the nature of the contents to
be illustrated on the map. Maps represent different nature of the
landscapes show different information due to their spatial distribution.
For instance, a map of Tanzania is drawing to show only two regions
Kigoma and Dares-Salaam show different contents in such a way that
Kigoma map must show Lake Tanganyika while that of Dares-Salaam
must show Indian Ocean although all these are water bodies but they
differ in their names, size and other characteristics.
e) Cartographer(map maker) nationality determines the contents on the
map, if the two maps of the same area are drawn by the two people of
the different nations their contents differ in such a way that map

drawn by foreigner lack some important features because of being not

familiar with the mapped area.

Distance measurement on the topographical maps

Distance measurement between the two or stations on the map is only
possible if the map scale is well stated. The map reader can measure the
distance of the points by using pair of dividers, piece of edge of paper or a
length of thin string (thread). All measurements must be converted into
ground distance by using the map scale provided. And the following are the
some of the tools uses to measure the distance between the two points;i.

Pair of divider is common method that used to measure a short and

straight distance (linear distances) between the points on the
Short straight road and railway on the map can be measured by pair of


A length of thin string (thread) is used to measure a stretch with many

curves or bends (nonlinear distances) on the topographical map.


A piece of edge of paper with a straight edge can be used to measure

both linear and nonlinear distances on the map. Under this method a
map reader marks on every corner between the distances on a white
edge of paper by using well sharpen pencil.


Transfer the recorded distance on a ruler and then the map distance in


Convert the map distance into actual ground distance by using the
Map distance
Map scale

Actual ground distance


Convert the real ground distance in either Kilometer or any other unit
as you restricted

For example, carefully study the sketched map given below and then find the
distance of road from KIGOMA STATION to Kasulu via KIDAHWE and









Uvinza road



We have given;Map scale=1:250,000





















Map scale

Map distance
Actual ground distance

Let actual ground distance from KIGOMA STATION to Kasulu be equal to P,




By crossing multiplication
=6325000cm, then convert into km.
If 1km=100,000cm
By crossing multiplication
Therefore, the distance from KIGOMA STATION to Kasulu is approximately to
be 63.25km
And let the actual ground distance of the KIGOMA STATION to MNANILA be
equal to K, then


By crossing multiplication



By crossing multiplication
Therefore, the distance from the KIGOMA STATION to MNANILA is 47.25km

Measurement of an area on a topographical map can be estimated

depending on the shape of the map or feature to be estimated as follows:a) Regular shape feature such as triangles, rectangles and circles can be
estimated by using their mathematical formulae. This method of









Geometrical Shape.
The figure can be divided into three regions of a, B and C where a is
rectangle and B and C are Triangles
To find the area of the rectangle, first measure the length and width
and use the formula of rectangle,
Area of a rectangle length width
To find the area of the triangle Band C measure their bases and
heights and then uses the formula for each triangle
Area of a triangle

Base Height
The total area of the figure above area of the rectangle+ area of the
triangles and then convert the sum of the area obtained due to the
given map scale either in Km2 or miles2.
b) Irregular shape features in topographical maps are so common and
cannot make easy estimation of area by using the mathematical
formulae. These include the shape of lakes, islands, forest, plantation,

settlement etc. The area of irregular shape features on the map is only
possible under strip and grid or tracing or square methods.

Stripping method

Striping method is the method used to calculate the area of irregular shape
features by performing the following procedures;1. Trace the shape of the feature on which its area is to be calculated or
2. Draw the strips of homogenous width to cover the whole mapped area.
3. Measure the length and width of each strip
4. Calculate the area of each strip by using mathematical formula
(Rectangle formula) and then convert the area obtained due to the
map scale provided.
For example, consider the topographical map below and then calculate the
area of coffee estate in km2.







































Figures 1.7

Area =length width where, width=1cm, then


Area =7cm1cm=7cm2


Area =8cm1cm=8cm2




Area =6cm1cm=6cm2



Total area


From the map scale given, 1cm on the map=0.5km on the ground, then
1cm2 on the map will be equal to 0.25km2 on the ground.
Let the actual area of the coffee estate be N, then
If 1cm2=0.25km2
By crossing multiplication
Therefore, the actual area of coffee estate is 8.75km 2.

Grid or tracing or square method

This is the simplest and commonest method of estimating the area of

irregular shape features by performing the following procedures.
1. Identify the figure of the map provided carefully.
2. Mark complete and incomplete squares of the mapped features.
3. Calculate the area of a square in its units, and then convert it due to
the map scale given
Use the formula
Total area (complete squares+ incomplete squares) area of a grid.

Example, Consider the figure provided below and then calculate the area of
KAIZE sisal estate in km2 as roughly shaded in February 2008.



Complete squares = 34
Incomplete squares=75
Width and length of a square=1cm by 1cm then,
Area of a square =length width
=1cm 1cm=1cm2

From map scale given,

1cm on the map=50,000cm on the ground

1cm on the map =1/2km on the ground

On squaring both sides, 1cm2 on the map=1/4km2 on the ground.

Then, area of a square= 1/4km2
Area of the sisal estate (complete squares+ incomplete square) area of a

(34+0.5(75)) 1/4km2
Therefore, the area of sisal estate is 17.875km 2.
Methods of fixing the position or location of
topographical maps

the features on the

A map reader as well as interpreter has to use Latitude and longitude, Grid
reference system, Place name or Bearing and Direction to determine the
position of the features on the topographical map. These are four ways used
to fix the position features on the map.


Latitude is defined as the angle between the perpendicular to the surface

and the plane of the Equator (greater circle) to that place. There is 180 0of
latitude from pole to pole. The quadrant of the equator from each pole is
divided to 900. The numbering start from the equator 0 0 and goes by degree
minute, second to 900at the pole. Latitude is designated as north or south
latitude e.g. 300N. Latitude lines are the imaginary lines measuring North
and South of the equator.
The longitude of a place is the arc, measured in degree, of a parallel
between that place and the meridian. The angular distance of the degree
meridian provides the east-west distance.

Longitudes are infinite set of

greater circles or meridians arranged perpendicular to the parallels. Unlike

the latitude, no meridian has a natural basis for being the starting line to
determine the distance east west in degrees, minute, seconds of longitude.
From a given meridian, selected as a starting line, east-west position is
designated by angular distance along the parallel circle in the latitude
system. Therefore, the length of a degree longitude become shorter with
increasing latitude until becomes 00 at the pole.

Grid- reference system

Grid system is a pattern of horizontal and vertical lines forming squares of

uniform sizes drawn on a map to aid in fixing the position or location of
geographical features. The number running east to west along the top to
bottom of the horizontal lines drawn on the map are called eastings and
those running from south to north along the right and left margins of the
vertical lines drawn on the map are called northings. Grid reference is the
reading in a grid system which contains four or six figures printed three
figures as eastings and other three figures as northings for the case of the
six figures and two figures for eastings and northings for the case of the four
figures (numbers).

For example, Study the sketched map provided below and then answers the
question that follows:69











TANAPA office

Telephone offices









































1. Name the grid-references for the location of following features:a) Telephone offices
b) TANAPA office
c) Top of Kite hills
2. What are the features found at the following grid references?
a) 693 194
b) 765 120
c) 729 190
3. Calculate the length of the road from the grid reference 710 000 to
730 225.

4. Calculate the area of cultivation to the south east of area covered on

the map in kilometer squares.

Place name.

The place name is another way of fixing the position of an area represented
on topographical maps. In this method name like Kigoma, Kondoa, DaresSalaam and so forth are clearly marked on a map. The place located should
be meaningfully to the person who is located it on the map and map reader.
Therefore, a small and unpopular part of the town should not be shown on
the map because it is not well known to the most of the people. The place
name must described clearly in order to avoid some confusion , for example
many places have the same name, the only way to avoid such confusion is
to add distinguishable items and also information about the situation of the
particular places that are intended to find the differences.

Revision exercise 1.0

1. Convert
a. 1:50,000 into statement scale if it is given in inches to miles.
b. Linear scale into statement and RF scale
1000 M


2. List at least three significances of the map scale.

3. Which one of the following aspects is not true about map reading?
a. Map reading is concerned with recognition of features

and their

spatial distribution on the earths surface

b. Map scale is concerned with the ratio between the map distance
and ground distance
c. Line is the method of expressing scale on the map
d. Stripping method is the area method that considers the full and half
squares in calculating the area on a given map
4. Choose the small scale among of the following map scales.
a. 1:50,000
b. 1:250,000
c. 1:100,000
d. 1:10,000
5. Define the following terms:a. Map
b. Map reading
c. Map scale
6. List any five common characteristics of the maps
7. Briefly explain ways of expressing scale on the map
8. Give the reason, why is it important to use the following aspects in
map reading?
a. A key
b. Title
c. North direction
9. Contrast forward and back bearing as used in map reading.

Carefully study the map extracted from Kigoma sheet 92/3 and

then answers the following questions:a. Calculate the area covered by the forest in kilometer squares.

b. Find the distance of the railway from Docks to Uvinza in

c. Convert the linear scale given into the statement scale.
d. Calculate the bearing and direction of Katosho Lake from Bangwe
point grid reference 879582.



















The gradient is the steepness of an area that shows the extent to which the
land is inclined. The gradient of an area is obtained by taking the ratio
between the vertical increase which is difference between the highest and
lowest contours (amplitude of contours) and horizontal equivalent which is
the distance of the slope of an area. And always the gradient is expressed in
ratio form where numerator must be equal to one.

Vertical Increase (interval)

Horizontal equivalent

Where: The vertical interval=Highest Contourlowest Contour and the

horizontal equivalent is worked out by converting map distance into actual
ground distance through map scale given. Therefore, horizontal equivalent is
equal to ground distance and should be written in meters.
Steps of finding the gradient of an area
The following are three major steps of obtaining the gradient of an area
Find the vertical increase V.I between the two points by taking
contours amplitude such that

V.I=Highest ContourLowest Contour

Measure the horizontal distance between the two spots on the map
and then convert it to the ground distance by the map scale.
Calculate the gradient of the between the two spots by using the

Gradient =

Vertical Increase
Horizontal Distance

NOTE: The unit of both vertical and horizontal distance must be same.
For example, find the gradient of the road from point A to point B if the map
scale is 1:50,000

B 600

We have given that:

Highest contour


Lowest contour =50m

Map scale


Measured map distance from point A to B=11.8cm



vertical increase
Horizontal equivalent

Where, vertical increase=Highest contour- Lowest

=600m 50m=550m
Horizontal equivalent = actual ground distance
= Map distance
Map scale



= 550m




The gradient of the road between point A and point B is 1 in 11. This
indicates that for every unit step vertical rises there are 11horizontal steps
Example2, the highest contour between the two towns is 18000m and that
of the lowest contour is 550m. Find the steepness of the area if the ground
distance is 25km.
Data given: Highest contour=18000m
Lowest contour=550m
Ground distance=25km=25000m

vertical increase
Horizontal equivalent

= Highest contour-Lowest contour

Ground distance
= 18000m-550m

The gradient is 1 in 1.4. This indicates that for every 1 vertical step rises
there is 1.4 horizontal steps rise.
Contour maps and Land forms
Land forms are the reliefs such as all the natural rocky features on the
surface of the earth. The term land form is applied by physiographers to
each of the multitudinous features that taken together make up the surface
of the earth. It includes all broad features such as plains, plateaus, and
mountainous and also all the minor features such as hills, valleys, slopes,
canyons, arroyos and alluvial fans. Most of these features are the product of
erosion, but the term also includes all land forms that result from the
movement of the earth on the earths surface and from movements within
the crust of the earth. The relief features or land forms on topographical
maps are recognized by looking the patterns of the contours. But these land
forms shown on contour maps may be grouped as high land forms and low
land forms which include plateaus, hills, ridges, spurs, slopes, escarpments,
passes, saddle or col and water shed and Levees, v-shaped valleys, gorges,
floods and delta respectively.
High land forms on contour maps

a) Plateaus defined as an extensive upland area with steep slopes and flat
of fairly level surfaces on the top of the surface. On the contour maps
plateau is recognized if there is the presence of roughly circular
contours, but the last highest contour round a large space on the map
and form the shape of the slope of the plateau sides. Consider the
figure below.














Figure. A plateau

b) Hills as a rounded upland not as High Mountain, on the map hill is

recognized by the presence of the roughly circular contours closed
together. A hill is below 500m high.
















c) A ridge is a big narrow and long upland with steep slope. The contours
of a ridge close and form an elongated rough circular. Because the land
is long and narrow and rises rapidly, the l contours are elongated and
very close to one another.




d) A spur is a projection of land or a broad tongue like structure of the

land from the side of a hill or mountain towards the valley. The
contours of the spurs form the V- shape that points down low land.



A spur

e) Slopes which are slanting piece of land. The slope of an area is

steepness of an area and can be categorized into four categories ;1. Steep slope is slanting land which is very steep at both top and










topographical maps when contours close one to another every

spaced from the top to the bottom.

2. Concave slope is the slanting land which is steep at the top and
gentle at the bottom. It is recognized when contours close
spaced at the top and wide spaced at the bottom of the slope.

3. Convex slope is slanting land which is gentle at the top and

steep at the bottom. It is recognized in contour maps when
contours wide spaced at the top and close spaced at the bottom.

4. Gentle or regular slope is slanting land which is gentle at both

top and bottom of the slope. Gentle slope is obtained on contour
maps when contours wide or even spaced from the top to the
bottom of a slope.


An escarpment which is an
upland that have gentle





steep slope on other side.









very close roughly circular

contours observed to one




contours at another side of



shed is



water of

streams or two drainage basins. On contour maps water shed is

recognized if the highest contour of water shed area run parallel to
each other and this is due to the presence of the two rivers dividing to
different directions.

Low land forms on contour maps

a) Levees are natural embankment built up by a stream along the edges
of its channel. In contour maps the embankments are shown by
packed lines at right angles to the course of the river.

b) V-shaped valleys, in the upper course the dominant work of a river is

vertical erosion. The river cuts a steep sided v- shaped valley. The
contour lines of a v- shaped valley form V that point up stream. The
stream crosses each contour at highest point of each V. when the vshaped is narrow and the contours are closed, indicates a narrow steep
valley and when the V- shape is wide and far apart indicates a wide
and less steep valley.
c) Gorges are deep narrow steep sided river valley. The contours of a
gorge close together forming a narrow V- shaped pointing sharply
upstream. The river in the gorge crosses each contour at the highest
point of each V.
d) Flood plain is an area of low land built up by the deposition of alluvium
(alluvial materials). During flooding the rivers floods the low land and
spreads a layer of silt over the flood plain. The contours of flood plain
run roughly parallel to the main river and the lowest contour is spaced
I a way that it mark the general width of the flood plain. The other
higher contours are evenly spaced marking the gentle slope of the
banks of the plain.
e) Deltas are the flat area of alluvial materials at the mouth of river
crossed by many distributaries that enter a lake or a sea. The lowest
contour marking the delta follows roughly the outline shape of the
Maps and Cross Section or Relief Section
Cross or relief section is defined as a geological diagram or actual field
exposure showing the geologic formations and structures transacted by a
given plane. Cross section diagrams are commonly used in conjunction with
geologic maps and contribute to an understanding of the subsurface geology.
Properly done, the map is an exceedingly important tool in geology. The
graphical picture it gives of the location, configuration and orientation of the

rock units of an area could be presented in no other way. Essential as the

map is, however, it is not without limitations, and if it is to be of maximum
use these limitations must be fully understood. The most important point to
realize is that geological maps generally record both observations and
interpretation. In part, the element of interpretation is due to a lack of time
and complete exposure; it is almost never possible to examine all parts of an
area. If a complete map is to be produced, this lack observed continuity then
requires interpolative between observation points and such interpolation is,
to a greater degree or less degree interpretive. Factual and interpretive data
on a map may also be distinguished by considering the two aspects more or
less separately. An out crop map is one of presenting field observations in a
more objective way and another way of conveying the essential information
of an out crop map, but without actually drawing in the boundaries of the
exposed rock masses, it to show abundant attitude symbols, which then
serve two functions: to record the measured attitude and to mark the
locality where the attitude can be measured. Vertical structure sections,
though they have their limitations, also useful in helping to work out and
depict the structural relationships at depth, particularly when the structures
are diverse and no single down structure direction exist. The formations,
faults, veins and so forth, are shown by convectional symbols or colours, and
the scale is adapted to the size of the features present. Unless otherwise
noted, cross sections are drawn in vertical plain. The profile shows the relief
variations of the landscape such as mountain, valley, depression, and so
forth on contour maps. The relief section is drawn to illustrate the exposed
geology of an area under the following procedures:1. Identify the two end points that are to be sketched on a contour
map, and then draw a straight line on the map to join them.
2. Lay down a straight piece edge of paper along the drawn straight
line and on it mark:-


Points of intersection of the topographic contours and the



Features such as the crests of hills, saddle, ridge, vegetation or

the location of streams should also be marked even though a
contour line is not present.


The elevation of the contours must also be indicated; every

contour may be marked especially if they are widely spaced or if
closely spaced, only those which mark change in slope direction
may be used.

3. In constructing a frame work of drawing the cross section attempt

the following procedures:i. A series of elevations lines are then drawn on a second sheet of
paper with spacing equal to the contour interval and plotted at the
same scale as the map.
ii. The topographic points along the section line are then transferred
from the edge of the marked paper, which the now represents the










corresponding elevation lines.

iii. Each of the points located is joined with a line representing the
topography. And if the spacing of the contour lines is wide, the
map may have to be consulted to assist in sketching in
topographic details.
iv. Choose the vertical height by examining the contours along the
line of cross section and then deal with the lowest and highest
contours as quick as possible. If the lowest contours start from
non-mean sea level take it as it is and not assume that all lowest
contours start from mean sea level and marked by zero meter as a
starting attitude.

4. Finishing the cross section through making it net, accurate, simple

and legible. And then mark and label the required informational
5. Shade









exaggeration (VE) to determine the size of the vertical scale times

the horizontal scale.
Vertical Exaggeration (V.E)
It is very common practice to draw cross section with the vertical scale
enlarged relative to the horizontal scale; that is, to stretch the section
vertically while leaving the horizontal dimension un altered. The vertical
exaggeration of a map is a change in a model surface or profile created by
proportionally raising the apparent height of all points above the base level
while retaining the same base. It is enlarging the vertical component on a
profile, relief model, or a block diagram to make it more apparent. This
practice is especially common I sections showing stratigraphic or geographic
information where more space is needed to plot vertical details or to
accentuate certain features which would others be obscure.

The result is

known as a vertically exaggeration section, and the degree of stretch is

defined by an exaggeration factor V,

Vertical Scale

Horizontal Scale

Example1. Given that the cross section has a vertical scale of 1cm to
250m and a scale of a map is 1:50,000. Calculate the vertical
Data given: vertical scale=1cm: 250m=1:25000
Horizontal scale =1:50,000
From the formula;

Vertical Scale
Vertical Exaggeration =
Horizontal Scale

= 2.0

The vertical exaggeration is 2.0, which indicates that the vertical scale is
twice the horizontal scale.
Example2. Given that the relief section has a horizontal scale 1:50,000 and
vertical scale 5km, calculate vertical exaggeration.
Data given: horizontal scale=1:50,000
Vertical scale =5km=500,000cm = 1:500,000
Vertical exaggeration= Vertical scale
Horizontal scale
= 1:500,000 = 0.1
The vertical exaggeration is 0.1, which indicates that the vertical scale is one
tenth times the horizontal scale.

Intervisibility between the two spots on contour maps.

Intervisibility is an ability of one spot to be seen from another spot. A good

way of determining if the two spots are intervisible on the map is to draw a
cross section from one point to another to view the structural appearance of
landscape in between the given two spots (points). If the two points can be
seen each one from another, then the two points are said to be intervisible
otherwise is non intervisible. This is possible if there is no raised ground in
between but if however, there is a raised ground in between, then they will
not be intervisible.

Usually on a cross section, draw a straight line called sight line to connect
two end points and if the line passes in between the points it implies that the
two points are intervisible and if the line is obstructed in between the two
points, this implies that there is no Intervisibility. Consider the figure below shows
points A, B and C

Line of sighting


Comment: Points A and C are not intervisible due to the presence of raised
ground that obscured the line of sighting while Points B and C are intervisible









Intervisibility is affected by the presence of relief features like mountains,

hills, vegetation like thick forest, building in between of two points that
obscure the two points.
For example, given the map having contour lines, as shown below whose
map scale is 1:50,000. Construct cross section from point A to B to the relief
features and then comment on Intervisibility between the points.

Scale; Vs: 1cm=250m

Hs: 1cm=500m


















Vertical Scale
Vertical Exaggeration =
Horizontal scale

= 5.0
1:50, 000

Therefore, vertical exaggeration of the area mapped is 5.0 which means that
the vertical scale is five times the horizontal scale of the map.

There is no Intervisibility between the two points A and B, because point A

cannot be seen directly from point B due to the presence of two raised
grounds (hills) between them.
Significances of Cross Section
1. It provide a clear pictorial view on the structural appearance of an area
between the two spots
2. It is used in Intervisibility determination of an area
3. It shows clearly the altitudes of different part of the land between the
two spots
4. It aid to make gradient determination of a slope landscape by relating
the vertical intervals to horizontal equivalent.
Methods of Determining Relief and Relief Features on the contour Maps
The relief of an area is the surface form of the land surface which shows size,
shape, slope of the high land and low land. Relief shows the land forms on the
earths surfaces which differ in shape and size. These land forms are referred to as
relief feature, good example of relief features are crater, caldera, mountains, hills,
plateaus, valleys, ridges, inselberges, spurs, flood plain, escapement, river basin
and so forth.

Relief features on topographical maps are shown by using different

ways (methods) include the following;-

These are the points on topographical maps with their exactly height fixed usually
from the sea level on mountain peak or other visible points. These trigonometrical
points are marked by a triangle followed by the number of the height of the land.

The method has merits and demerits like other method and the following are
the some of the merits and demerits of this method.
Merits of trigonometrical stations
The trigonometrical points show the actual height of places on a mapped
area. These points are marked on the ground by a concrete pillar, a slab or a

stone, in locations that offer the maximum view of a given area.

Trigonometrical stations are indicated on maps by special symbols as shown
below and hence easy to read and interpret, for example
--------Indicates the highest altitude

------Indicates the lowest altitude

Demerits of trigonometrical stations

The method does not show the nature of the landscape features like size, shape,
slope of the land forms and so forth since shows only height of the landscape. The
method is not used to identify land forms like hills, mountains, valley, depression
and so forth. It needs some training since it involves special symbols to read and
interpret them.

This is the topographical method of showing relief of a mapped area indicated by a
dot with their exactly height above a known level such as from sea mean level. On
topographical maps spot heights are represented by a dot and height actually is
written beside. And on the ground spot heights are marked on a permanent plot
like rock

1825 which means that 1825m is above mean sea level.


Contours are the line drawn on the map to join all points of the same and
equal heights above the sea level. The measurement of the heights shown
by contours lines start from mean sea level which is regarded as zero height.
The mean sea level is the average level between the high and low tide
marks. Contour lines are drawn on a map at intervals of the same numerical

value known as the vertical interval or contour interval. Thus, the vertical
interval of contour is the difference between the two successive contours.
Characteristics of the method
i. Contours are drawn at a fixed interval called contour interval (c.i) or
vertical interval (v.i).
ii. Contour are numbered in the breaks or above the line to the high
iii. Contours never cross one another
iv. Contours which are drawn closely suggest steep slope while contours
drawn widely spaced indicate gentle slope. Consider the figure below

Region A has steep slope because horizontal distance from one contour
to another is smaller than that of side B, hence on side B there is
gentle slope compared to side A due to the large horizontal distance
between the contours.

Advantages of the method

The method shows the accurate height of the land forms and their nature for
example slope, shape and size of the land forms. The method maybe
combined with other methods of representing relief such as spot height,
trigonometrical station and layer colouring method without interference.
Reading and interpreting relief on the map by using contours is very easy
since contours show shape of land forms.
Dis advantages of the method
In modern maps where more contours apply lead confusion to the map
reader and map interpreter during the map reading and map interpretation
of features from the mapped area.
These are the lines drawn on a map joining points of approximately the
same height above the mean sea level. These lines are drawn by estimating
the height of the land with the help of spot height.
Characteristics of the method
1) Form lines are usually un numbered lines drawn on a map to join

nearly the same heights

Form lines have no fived height interval
Form lines are broken line
Form lines can sometimes cross each other
Form lines apply where the contours do not apply


Advantages of form lines (method)

Form lines apply where contours failed to work to show the nature and the
shape of the landscape so, they are used as substitute to contours. Form
lines combine with other method of the relief representation such as
colouring method.
Dis advantages of the method
Form lines do not indicate the accurate height of the land form from above
mean sea level and do not apply where contours work to show relief of an
These are short lines drawn to represent the direction of the slope of land.
Where the slope is steep, the lines are thick and close together, but where
the slope is gentle, the lines are thin and wide apart. And if the area is not
hachured the land is said to be flat.

Advantages of


Hachures provide an idea about the general relief of an area such that steep
slopes can be distinguished from gentle ones. Hachures together with
contours can also be used to show minor but important details on maps,
where such details would not have been shown if contours were used alone.
Also, on modern maps hachures are sometimes used alongside contours to

show minor features such as road cutting, railway cuttings or small craters.
However, hachures are not very common on modern maps.
Disadvantages of hachuring method
If hachures alone are used to show relief, the map would lack definite
information about the height of the land above the sea level. Hachures do
not provide the exactly height of an area above the sea level. Hachures
require a lot of time to draw and to add information for showing various
features, such as areas covered by the vegetation, crops or settlements is
more difficult to insert either in writing or drawing without interfering with
the hachures. And more closed hachures hide some minor and important
features covered on particular area shown on a map.


This method uses light to illuminate some parts of the map while casting
shadow over others. In this method, there are two techniques are used to
express this;1. Assume light is shining vertically above the land.
In this technique the steepest slopes are least lit while hill tops,
surface of the plateau and plains as well as valley bottom are well lit.
The least lit areas have a darker shade while the well-lit areas have a
lighter shade.
2. Assume the light is shining over the land from the north-west
In this technique the slope facing north-west and east and south have
dark colour. Varying shades of
Colours are usually used.


Advantages of method
1) Hill shading is commonly used on Atlas maps showing relief, hence it
gives an idea about the general relief of an area.
2) It is easy to read and interpret map since diagram is used to illustrate
3) It combines with other method of relief representation such as
hachures and layer colouring methods.
Disadvantages of the method
1) Hill shading does not indicate the accurate heights above the sea level
2) The insertion of more details is difficult in the darkly shaded areas
3) It is also difficult to determine the direction of slope as well as the type
of land forms on the map


This is the method of showing relief by using colour or tint or some form of
shade (hypsometric shading). Land within a certain range of altitude is given
a particular colour or shade. A single colour example brown with varying
tones may be used. The faintest tin usually represents the lowest land and it
becomes progressively darker with increasing altitude. On the other hand, a

set of carefully chosen colour can be used to represent land within each
range of altitude as shown below.
Over 5500m
Dark brown
Light brown
Brownish yellow
Light green
Each tint merges into the next one to show continuity of relief
Advantages of the method
1) Both hypsometric shading (lines) and tints used to depict the relief
of an area, as they use uniform colours and only vary in
concentration accordingly. (see the illustration below)

2) On

Atlas both layer tinting and hypsometric shading may be used in the
same maps. The variation in depth of colour or shade is maintained
for both.
3) Layer colouring and hypsometric shading are useful in showing the
distribution of high and low grounds at glance.
Limitations of using this method
Layer tinting is only suitable for a region of varied relief and therefore, it
cannot serve any purpose to tint a whole region covered on the map with
only one colour if such region is almost level. It can mislead to tint or shade
by one colour assumes uniformity of height and yet the land is usually
steadily rising. The method is equally difficult to estimate heights of specific
places if tinting or shading work. It is difficult to identify land forms on such
maps where concentration of colour applies to tint or shade. In regions of
high altitude, the tint or shade may be so dark that insertion of additional
information becomes impossible. Also, it is very expensive to tint or shade a
large area covered on the map by using different colour.
This is the method of showing relief using drawings of land forms. Picture of the
land forms such as hills, mountains and valleys are drawn on a map in the
approximate positions where such land forms are to be found.

Advantages of the method
The method was used on ancient maps especially those used by explore
even though such maps are not common now days. Also, pictorial are easy
to interpret because the type and shape of the land forms can be easily
Dis advantages of the method
The symbol used is viewed from an angle which is contrary to the idea that a
map is supposed to be viewed vertically from above. The pictures may
obscure the details and therefore, some important details may not displayed
on the contour maps. Pictorials do not give heights of land above sea level
as it is difficult to draw the symbols in proportion to their various heights or
depths. Also, only a limited variety of land forms can be shown by using this
A bench mark (BM) is the term given to a definite, permanent accessible point of
known height above a datum to which the height of other points can be referred. It
is usually a stainless steel pins embedded in a substantial concrete block cast into
the ground. At hydrological stations rock bolts driven into bedrock or concrete

structures can be used, but structures should be used warily as they themselves
are subject to settlement. The locations of benchmarks shall be marked with BM
marker posts and/or paint, and recorded on the station history form.

Map interpretation is an ability of translating the signs and symbols to examine the
given geographical information on an area covered on the map. These information
includes climate, relief, economic activities, drainage, and transportation networks,
vegetation distribution, settlement distribution, water bodies and other features.
The interpretation of physical features and human activities on topographical maps
directly involves the study of relief and relief features on the area covered on the
map. But the land forms and other features can be easily identified and interpreted
only if their physical appearance and conventional signs are well known, for

Church (chi)

Mosque (mosq), signs for religious affair.

Sign for scrubs (scattered trees)

The objectives of interpreting physical features and human activities on

topographical maps are achieved if Interpreter use compass points, grid
reference and physiographic regions or relief regions such as high lands,
escarpment, low lands, plains and so on to interpret the location or position
of the physical features and human activities. Interpreter must master the
correct phrases that should be used in the interpretation

of physical

features and human activities on topographical maps. The following are the
important phrases:i. To the north east of the area covered on the map

ii. To the west of eastings of the area covered on the map

iii. To the south of northings of the area covered on the map
iv. On the high land or low land of the area covered on the map
v. On the plain of the area covered on the map
vi. On the escarpment of the area covered on the map

On the ridge of the area covered on the map

Avoid phrases such as to the east of the map since the map is just a piece
of paper. Instead use the phrases to the east of the area covered on the
map. Also avoid using phrases such as to the bottom of the map or to the
top or to the left or right of the map. Whenever there is a describing of a
certain feature on a map such as vegetation, settlements, and swamps
always refers to the key in order to ensure that the features described are
Interpretation of relief on topographical maps
Relief refers to the physical appearance of an area by its land forms of
contrasting shape and size. We interpret the relief of an area from a
topographical map by observing the arrangement of contours and their
respective heights. It is very important to find out from the key whether the
heights are in meters or feet. In common, relief of an area can be of either
highland or low land.
High land relief
The relief of high land is recognized if the contours on a map show higher
number of elevation of above 500m from the mean sea level. Relief of the
high land is varied and can be either mountain highland or plateaus where
the mountain high land is recognized if the map shows many hills or summit
dissection of rivers (streams), the presence of pass, saddle, watershed and
escarpment. State the types of hills, whether rounded, conical, flat topped
hills with depressions like craters and so forth. Also describe the type of
slopes of the hills, whether steep or gentle or concave or convex. Plateau
high land is recognized if contours on the map observed to show higher

numbers and upland is of the general level dissected by rivers (streams).

State whether the plateaus have hills and they have gentle or steep slope.
Also indicate if the plateaus are of river valleys and other associated
features. Avoid talking about river because these are not relief features,
although it is a physical feature.
Low land relief
Low land relief is recognized if the contours on the map show low numbers
of elevation of the below 500m from the mean sea level and the contours
are widely spaced. Relief of the low land is varied and can be either low land
coastal plains or the low land of the river valley. Low land coastal plain is
recognized by river valleys and when contours on the map is widely spaced
and on the elevation rarely exceed above 300m from the mean sea level.
Beside to this the mapped area is observed to be situated immediately after
the sea. And low land of the river valley is recognized if the contours of the
mapped area are observed to lies parallel to the main river valley for quite
some distance. In low land of the river valley the various features may be
found such as pronounced meanders, ox-bow Lake.
Vegetation interpretation on topographical maps
Vegetation refers to as a community of plants of the distinct species found in
a certain habitant for a particular period of time. Vegetation of a certain area
can be of naturally or artificially occurrence. Natural vegetation are identified
on the area covered on the map if they occupy irregular pattern face and the
artificial one observed by the presence of irregular pattern of appearance.
The common natural vegetation shown include forests, woodland, thicket,
mangrove, shrubs, scrubs, bamboo, riverine, swampy vegetation and
scattered trees. The interpretation of the vegetation on the topographical
maps is done by using a key through it; study the area covered on the map
carefully and identifies various types of the vegetation on the mapped area.

Also natural vegetation on the contour maps can be interpreted or described

according to the following climatic regions:i. Equatorial rain forests which characterized by heavy rainfall and high
temperature. These kinds of the natural vegetation are evidencelly
shown on the topographical maps due to the presence of dense or
thick forest of thick trees, epiphytes which grow on trunks of the major
trees. The forest lies 0050 north and south of the equator and receives
heavy rainfall of about 2000mm annually.
ii. Dedious forests which characterized with little rainfall of about 250mm
throughout the year. These forests are shrubs like which found mainly
in semi desert areas. The forests shed leaves and have well developed
roots system in order to adapt doughtiness of the area. Good example
of the Dedious forest is Acacia trees.
iii. Tropical savannah forests that characterized with moderate rainfall of
about 1500mm throughout the year. The forest lies between latitude
60200North and South Pole of the equator. On topographical map
tropical savannah forest is evidencelly shown by the presence of
scattered trees and glass land vegetation.
iv. Desert vegetation which characterized with little amount of rainfall of
about 250mm to 500mm throughout the year. On the topographical
maps semi- desert vegetation are evidencelly shown by the presence
of leafless evergreen plants like cacti, aloes and evergreen hard leaf
plant like Europhobia, salt tolerant plants like salt bush (trees).
v. Mountainous forests are shown on the topographical maps due to the
presence of species of trees on high latitudes. Mountainous vegetation
are not uniform all over the mountain due to the effects of
temperature and moisture variation; hence vegetation like rainforest,
bamboo forest, temperature forest and heath and moorland like
tussock, grasses, tough shrubs and short flowering alpine can be seen.

Generally, vegetation cover in a certain area avies accordingly due to the

following reasons:-

Climate of an area
The amount of rainfall and temperature of an area influences the distribution
of vegetation type. For example, the area that receives heavy rainfall and
high well temperature area mostly covered by thick forests and bamboo
vegetation. While the area with moderate rainfall and temperature is
experienced to have scrubs and scattered trees. And there is no vegetation
cover in desert region due to the existence of extreme temperature and lack
of moisture.
Relief and soils
Relief and soil influence the spatial distribution of vegetations over the world.
For example the area with steep slope usually cannot be covered by
vegetation due to the thin, infertile soil available that cannot support plants

On other hand, gentle slopes are covered by different types of

vegetation because of deep and well fertile soil exists that can support the
plants growth. Also very high altitudes experience very low temperature
inhibiting plant growth, thus there is no thick forest at very high altitudes.
The area covered by the volcanic or lime stone rocks may have no
vegetation because the soils in these areas are highly shallow or porous that
cannot support the proper growth of the plants respectively.
Mans influences
Some parts on the earths surface may not have covered by the vegetation
as a result of mans activities. These vegetations may have been cleared to
give a room for cultivation and settlement. Therefore, on the map look for
evidences such as presence of large plantations or dense settlement to
support the idea that vegetation have been cleared. On other areas on the
earths surface can be covered by the forest or vegetation as a result of man
influence through afforestation and reforestation. These are evidencelly

shown on the map by the presence of environmental offices like roots and
shoots office, TANAPA offices, Tacare offices, reserved offices and so forth.
Water bodies
Areas along river valleys have riverine vegetation because the water table is
close to the surface. Also swamps have vegetation due to the availability of
water and this is evidencelly shown on the map to due to the presence of
swampy vegetations. Again, if mangrove found in the area along the shores
of the coast lines indicates the presence of mangrove trees.
Sample of questions:
1. Account for the nature and distribution of vegetation on the map
Mode of the answer








explanations relating to the nature and the distribution of

With evidence provide the nature of vegetation distribution and
factor influencing their distribution
Recall that, when you are accounting for the distribution of
vegetation or anything else use phrases such as at the region to
the east of the area covered on the map there

is ------------,

give reason of its presence

Give the conclusion

2. Explain why vegetations are found on a map

Mode of the answer








Give vivid reasons for their presence on the map such as climate,
water bodies, mans influences and so forth.

Give the conclusion

Drainage and Drainage Pattern Interpretation on Topographical Maps
Drainage is the removal of surface water towards the system of rivers, lakes,
swamps, oceans and other related drainage systems.

This removal of

surface water is done through using pipe lines, canals, water pumps, and
other alternative. In the describing of the drainage system of an area
covered on the map one should base on following hints:a) State whether the area is well drained or poorly drained. A welldrained area has many permanent streams and lakes and no swamps
available. While a poorly drained area has extensive seasonal and
permanent swamps, seasonal rivers or extremely few rivers and may
lack any surface drainage.
a) Identify the main river, if any, describe its general direction of flow.
Also describe the general direction of the many rivers and their
b) State if the area has drainage basins with water sheds. Also state
whether the rivers have short courses or whether they disappearance
c) State whether there are artificial drainage features such as dams,
ponds, waterholes, canals, ditches, aqueducts, manmade lakes and so
Drainage patterns
This is a layout of plain made by a river system with its tributaries and








arrangement of streams and its tributaries in catchment areas. The pattern

of rivers and other water systems in many areas is the result of some
determinant factors including land slope, difference in hardness of the rocks,
general relief of the area, and climate of the area. The most common

drainage patterns shown on the topographical maps with the reflection to

area represented include Dendritic, Trellis. Radial, Rectangular, Centripetal
Dendritic drainage pattern
Dendritic drainage is the one which consists of a network of channels
resembling tree branching. It develops on gently sloping surfaces composed
of materials that respond more or less homogeneously to erosion, such as
areas underlain by nearly horizontal sedimentary rocks. In dendritic
drainage, tributaries join larger channels at various angles but always of less
than 900.


.A dendritic

drainage pattern
Radial drainage pattern
Radial drainage pattern is arrangements of stream courses in which the
steams radiate (flow) outwards in all directions from a central zone such as
high volcano. In this drainage pattern all tributaries diverge outwards and
flow from the summit of a rounded high land to the different directions. It
forms a shape of spoke rounded a wheel like structure and it is common to
the area of roughly circular hills of igneous rocks. On the topographical maps
radial drainage pattern is examined easily when different streams move
rounded hills or mountains.


A radial drainage pattern

Centripetal drainage pattern

The centripetal drainage patterns are the stream courses that tend to flow
from different directions and converging at a center of down wrapped

In the centripetal drainage pattern all streams are moved and

collected into the depression to form a lake or the big river for example, the
depression of Lake Victoria that collect different streams from different
directions of Tanzania and Uganda.

Therefore, on the topographical maps

centripetal drainage pattern is examined by the presence of the river steams

that are collected into the depression or other big river stream for example,
river Ruaha, river Ruvu

in Tanzania that collect different streams from

different directions of the Tanzania.



centripetal drainage pattern

Trellis drainage pattern




network of nearly parallel main





them at nearly right angles. Trellis

drainage develops in a region which is made up of alternate belts of hard

and soft rocks which all dip in the same direction, and which lie at almost
right angles to the general slope down which the consequent stream flows.
Erosion of folded sedimentary rocks developed a landscape of alternating
ridges on resistant rocks and valleys underlain by easily eroded rocks. The
tributaries extend their valleys by head ward erosion into the weak rocks
which are turned into wide valleys, whilst the hard rocks stand up as
escarpments. The tributaries which cut out the valleys, and which do not
flow down the main stream, are called subsequent rivers. This pattern
develops in scarp land regions and regions of folded sedimentary rocks.


A trellis drainage pattern

Fault guided (Rectangular) drainage pattern

This drainage pattern occurs

when the tributaries converging to the main

stream at right angle and it tends to have an individual stream taking the
shape like angular bending along it course. The drainage takes the
similarities to the trellised drainage pattern and occurs in the area with the
faulting igneous rocks or it is controlled by geological joint system that
intersect at right angles. It



Figure .A faulted guided drainage pattern

Annular drainage pattern

This drainage pattern occurs when the main streams and tributaries are
arranged in a series of the curves around the depression. Tributaries join the
main streams at sharp angles, example Lake Basumtwi in Ghana.


Parallel drainage pattern

This drainage occurs when the main rivers and tributaries flow parallel to
each other and it forms mainly on the escarpments, dis slopes and ridges.
The drainage pattern is common on slopes that dip towards the same
direction and exists side by side with dendritic drainage pattern.

Climate Interpretation on Topographical Maps
Climate is the average weather condition experienced in an area throughout
the year and normally recorded over thirty years. Climate has a good
number of elements and the most pronounced ones are of rainfall and
temperature. Topographical maps show little direct climatic information of
mapped area. With this the following guides should be taken into
consideration for easy interpretation of the climate on mapped area.
Vegetation types
Natural vegetation and artificial vegetation (crops) shown on the map are
good guides to climate interpretation of an area. For example, area covered
by natural vegetations like forests and bamboo suggest high and well
distributed rainfall and high temperature. And the climate of area with these

characteristics is termed as equatorial climate. The presence of wood land

vegetation and thickets indicate moderate rainfall and low high temperature
which implies Tropical savannah. While the presence of scrub vegetations
and scattered (shrubs) indicate low, seasonal and unreliable rainfall and high
temperature especially in day time which implies dry condition or semi-arid
(semi- desert).
And artificial vegetations (crops) as grow well depending on the climatic
condition that favours its growth are more considered to deduce the climatic
condition of an area. Hence the type of the crop covered on topographical
maps indicates the type of the climatic condition found on a mapped area.
For example, the presence of crops like coffee and tea on the map suggests
that the area covered on the map experiences heavy rainfall and low








mountainous climate. Presence of cashew nuts, sorghum, millets and

sunflower indicate moderate high seasonal rainfall and high temperature
which indicate semi- arid.
Altitude of an area
Altitude is the height of an area from the mean sea level. Altitude has
considerable impacts on the climatic regime of an area. It is therefore, the
consideration of altitude of an area from the map may help to suggest the
likely climatic condition. With respect to this, once you have been given a
topographical map, consider the altitude of a mapped area by reading the
contour heights to observe the area represented on the map if it is low land
or high land. High land areas above 1500metres suggest high Orographic
rainfall and cool temperature and these indicate mountainous climate. While
low land areas especially those near oceans and lakes suggest high
conventional rainfall and high temperature and these indicate tropical
modified climate.

Latitude of an area
Actually the climate on the earths surface differs from one latitude to
another which in leads to the formation of the climatic regions like
equatorial, savannah, semi arid and tundra. The latitudes of the mapped
areas are indicated along the map edges and therefore once you have been
given a topographical maps read and the latitudes of the mapped areas to
understand in which geographical position of the area represented is located
whether in tropical, equatorial or arid region. For instance, if the area is
located from or between 0`5`north and south of the equator, it implies that
the area is located in the Equatorial belt and likely to experience equatorial
climatic conditions such as high rain fall throughout the year with two
maximum peaks and high temperature throughout the year. And if the map
shows the latitude in between 6`-15`north and south of the equator it
implies the area represented on the map is located in Tropical region and
experienced tropical climatic conditions such as moderate rainfall received
annually (there is both wet and dry seasons) and high temperature but not
throughout the year for example temperature goes as high as 32`C during
the hot season but drop to 21`C during the coolest months.
Water bodies
Drainages are very good guides to interpretation of a climate of particular
area. The amount of rainfall received in an area influences the mounts of
water bodies in the area. For instance, the presence of salt lakes, like Lake
Magadi in Uganda, seasonal streams, bore holes and widely spaced streams
suggest low amount of rainfall is received in the area which indicates that
the area is characterized with high evaporation due to high temperature and
low rainfall. And the area with these characteristics is experienced with semi
arid climatic conditions. Presence of high stream density, permanent rivers,
swamps, lakes and oceans indicate that the area receives heavy and reliable
rainfall and area with these properties experiences Equatorial climate.

However it is important to note that rivers may originate from very wet
areas and drain through very dry areas.

The type of cultivation and animal keeping found in a certain area give the
suggestions on climate of the area. For example, in the areas where
irrigation is carried out suggests low and unreliable rainfall (seasonal
rainfall), such area experiences high temperature causes high evaporation
rates and low humidity rate. This kind of the area with these characteristics
experiences semi- arid climate.
Also animal rearing gives clues on the type of the climate of an area. For
example dairy farming suggests cool temperature and high temperature
which implies mountainous climate. The presence of the ranches indicate low
to moderate rainfall and high temperature, however, these characteristics
indicate tropical climate. Also Pastoralism indicates very high temperature
throughout the year and low, seasonal and unreliable rainfall and this kind of
area involves these characteristics experiences semi arid climate.
Revision exercise 1.1
1. Study the maps extracted from KOROGWE sheet192/2 provided, and
then answer the questions that follows:d) State any four ways used to depict relief features on the map?
e) A taxi driver was moving from grid reference 340 328 t0 a filling
station at grid reference 421 305, find the ground distance covered by
a taxi driver in kilometers
f) Convert the linear scale given on the map into statement scale.
g) Identify the main features obtained in the following grid references;a. 420 227
b. 350 367
c. 409 345

h) Calculate the area covered by the forest in kilometer squares.

i) Briefly explain any three relief features encourage tourism activities in
the mapped area
j) Draw cross section to show the relief feature of the area mapped from
the grid reference 442 331 to 390 355
2. Study the map extracted from Lindi sheet Y742 and then answer the
questions that follows;a. Calculate the area covered by forest in mile squares
b. Convert the linear scale given in representative fraction scale
c. Briefly explain any four major economic activities that exist on a
mapped area.
d. With evidences suggest the type of climate that Lindi found
e. Comment on drainage pattern found on area covered on the map.
Rock description and Geomorphologic process on topographical map
Rocks are aggregates of minerals in solid form that form the earths crust
giving it a solid nature. These rocks differ from each other in colour, texture,
density, mode of formation and ability to resist erosion. Rocks like igneous,
sedimentary, and metamorphic are extremely varied and popular. The
surface of the rocks of an area are not directly shown on the map but can be
described by taking the following hints into consideration;Nature of the land forms
The nature of the land forms are good guides to surface rocks types
identification of an area covered on the map. For example the presence of
volcanic land forms on the area covered on the map like radiating craters,
caldera, springs, conical hills, geysers reveals the existence of igneous rocks.
And the presence of depressions, sand dunes, mud flow, flood plain,
beaches, coral reef and converging storms on the mapped area indicate the
existence of the sedimentary rocks. Trellis drainage is usually evidence of

folding where parallel out-crops of erodible rocks form valleys between more
resistant ridges, as in the Ridge and Valley region of the Appalachians and
this suggest the existence of sedimentary rocks.
Drainage system
The drainage system in any area strongly relates to the nature of geology of
that area. It thus the consideration of a drainage system may help to
suggest the types of rocks in a particular area. For example the presence of
drainage pattern like parallel, radial on a mapped area reveals the existence
of the igneous rocks simply because the rocks develop in the area with
uniform rock structure(igneous rocks), while the presence of mud flats and
marshes indicate the existence of sedimentary rocks. And if the area covered
on the map is experienced with trellised and rectangular drainage pattern it
seems that the area is covered with sedimentary rocks due to fact that these
patterns develop in the area with soft and hard rock structure. The presence
of many streams on the area covered on the map indicates the existence of
the igneous rocks because these rocks are impermeable and do not allow
water to sink down the ground and the presence of no surface water
streams, and the presence of swamps suggest the existence of the
permeable and easily eroded rocks such as limestone rocks. Also the
presence of internal or interior drainage (drainage which has no outlet and
so does not reach the sea) indicates the presence of soft and hard rock rocks
named as sedimentary rocks that allow surface water to percolate.
Rock permeability
The permeability of the rocks indicates the existence of a certain type of rock
in a certain area. This is due to fact that some rocks allow water to
percolates under groundling while others resist. Topographical maps can
provide identifiable features that suggest the nature of underlying rocks as

In humid area permeable rocks show little evidence of surface water

in such a way that the permeability could be a result of rock with high
porosity either due to the present of sand stone or due to high
solubility of rocks such as limestone or due to system of joints.
Therefore, in humid climate where there are permeable rocks
(sedimentary rocks) mapped area will show dry landscape with few
A line of spring indicates generally the junction of permeable and
impermeable rocks such that surface water percolates in joints or
fissures and emerges on the surface were impermeable out crop. The
region experienced with a line of spring comprises sedimentary and
igneous rocks
Impermeable rocks do not allow free passage of water and where
there are impermeable rocks outcrop on the surface streams are
everywhere and the landscape is marshy and badly drained.
And when impermeable rock outcrop below the permeable strata,
bring the water table to the surface and springs appear on the
mapped area.
Generally the rocks are impermeable and form a variety of landforms.
Suggestive names on map such as granite quarry or slate quarry,
may help to recognize kind of rocks as igneous or sedimentary rocks
Nature of the landscape
The soft rocks are highly eroded compared to the hard one when the
erosional factors (agents) like rainfall, ice and wind operate on the bared
land surface. For example the presence of the highlands, steep slopes
indicate that the rocks are hard and resistances to erosion which are
generally indicate igneous rocks such as granites, and gabbro. And the
presence of low lands, gentle slopes suggest that the rocks are soft and
easily eroded which is generally indicates sedimentary rock such as clay and

shale. Therefore, the nature of the landscape depicts the type of rocks due
to their rock resistance variation against rock erosion.
Vegetation cover
Vegetation is the term that describes the plant species that grow in a
particular area. They usually vary from the place to place due to different
geographical conditions such as soil that derived from the rocks, water
availability, temperature and so forth. For example, the presence of the poor
vegetation cover like scrubs on the area covered on the map indicates the
presence of the sedimentary rocks. This is due to fact that the rocks like lime
stone do not hold water (moisture) to support the growth of plants. And the
area covered by volcano is experienced by the presence of no vegetations
cover because the soil derived from these rocks is highly poor that cannot
support the growth of vegetation.
Human activities
Different human economic activities are conducted depending on the nature
of the rocks available. For example the economic activities like quarrying is
conducted in the area experienced with igneous rocks while the presence of
soft mining like salt mining, and cement mining on the mapped area
suggests the presence of sedimentary rock. Geomorphologic processes are
those Earths movements or acts which lead to formation of various land
forms. These land forms can be influenced by the volcanicity, erosion, and
deposition, folding, or faulting and weathering. The identification of
geomorphologic processes on the area covered on the topographical map
suggested by taking into the consideration of the following:Land forms
The presence of the land forms on the area covered on the map suggests a
certain kind of the geomorphologic processes that exist on a particular area
either internally or externally of the earth. For example the presence of the
volcanic land forms like crater, caldera, volcanic mountains imply the

presence of volcanicity while the of block mountains, escarpment and

plateau suggest faulting process. And the presence of the mountains which
varies in ranges indicates the presence of folding process. The presence of
the basins suggests the presence of down warping force.


Transport is the transferring of goods and services from one place to another
while communication is the transforming of the information from one point
to another or from one person to another. In describing the distribution of
transport and communication on a mapped area, study the area covered by
the map carefully and identifies or interprets all the different types of
transport and communication networks like roads, railways, air ways,
pipelines, canals and so forth. For instance: In transport, the forms of the
transport like land transport, water transport and air transport are identified
and well described by stating whether the region covered on the map has a
good or poor transport networks. It has to be noted that the pattern of the
means of transport like roads, rail ways

and air ways on the map are

represented with reflection to the area as follows:Roads these are of varied nature and include all weather road bound
surface on the map is shown by means of the following convectional
--------- All weathered bounds surface
-------------All weather loose surface

----Dry weather road

-------------- Foot path

Railways shown on the map by the convectional representation

Air way-are identified by the presence of the air drome and airport where the
air drome on the mapped area is shown by the convectional representation
------------ Air drome

Water transport on the map is identified by the presence of ports, big lakes
and ferry across the rivers.
In communication: Different facilities like telephone lines, post office, TV
tower and mobile offices shown on the map indicate the presence of


It has noted that the pattern of the means of transport and communication
on the map with reflection to the areas represented influenced by the
following factors.
Relief factor affect transport and communication in various ways in a
way that roads and rail lines tend to follow regions of gentle slope and
fairly straight in low lands or plains because of highly floods prone.
Also avoiding steep slopes and meanders.
Drainage system is another factor that influences the construction of
means of transport and communication in a certain area. Roads and
railways are constructed some distance away from river valleys and
swamps to avoid floods. Also rail lines and roads avoid crossing many

river valleys in order to avoid too many expenses for many bridges
Economic activities also influence the construction of transport and
communication in a certain area simply because the means of
transport and communication are made to pass through the areas with
economic activities like in rich farming zones, mining zone et-cetra.
Residential areas, means of transport and communication are well
spread in the areas with settlements in order to facilitate movements
of the people as well their goods (properties). On the hand, dry band










communication like roads, telephone lines and post offices.

Revision exercise 1.3
1. Carefully study the map extract of Tabora sheet 118/2 and then
answer the following questions:a. Calculate the length of the road from Kigwa grid reference 890 408
to town center grid reference 796 446 in km.
b. Calculate the area covered by swamps in km2
c. With evidences state three major means of transport found in
d. Comment on the economic activities conducted in Tabora region
2. Carefully study the map extract of MUSOMA provided, and then
answers the following questions.

Settlement and Population distribution on the map

SETTLEMENTS are all forms of grouping of human habitations or are the

permanent occupation of site by a group of individuals. Settlements are area
lands exclusively or predominantly used for human settlements which may
be urban, rural or ethnics reserves. Settlements come in lots of different
sizes and shapes. A settlement may be permanent or temporary for example
refugee camps that have been built in conflict zones are temporary

settlements. Human population refers to the group of the people occupying

or the residing in a certain geographical unit. And the population distribution
on the map refers to the way in which people are spread on the map
provided that can be either evenly distributed or uneven distributed.
Therefore, when the teachers and students discuss settlement and spatial
distribution of the population for particular area covered on the map they
must state whether the population is evenly or unevenly distributed by
giving out the concrete reasons for their distribution. There are three
geographical factors that can be used to infer the reasons of development
and functions of a settlements in a certain locations which are;a) Site which refer to actual area of land on which settlements stand and
this site can be flat or elevated. Settlement on elevated site above the
flood plain or river may be developed to avoid the danger of floods
and easy access to water supply.
b) Shape that provides a clue of which settlement has grown that may be
nucleated around the market center or linear along the transportation
c) Situation which refers to the relationship with surrounding land and
water features example water seeking settlement. A settlement
developed near a spring may be water seeking settlement

Type of settlements








characterized with transportation junctions and highly populated. A good

number of the people approximately to over 80% engaged in nonagricultural activities.
Rural settlements which develop in villages and the majority of the people
are approximated to be over 50% engaged in agricultural sectors as their
main economic activity. On the most topographical maps, rural settlements

shown by means of the black round dots and the arrangement of houses in
rural settlements are extremely varied.

Pattern of the settlement

Settlement pattern is the layout of houses in habitable areas where people

live and conduct their socio- economic activities by interacting with the








arrangement of structures, roads, and other major created landscapes that






technology, population



livelihood. A good number of topographical maps show settlement patterns.

Settlements on topographical map are given by means of selected
convectional symbols. There are four types of the settlement patterns that
can be recognized on the map as linear, nucleated, dispersed and scattered
settlements. Settlements are established on allocation because one location
possesses natural advantages over the surrounding areas.

In map

interpretation we try to find evidence from the map the nature of these
advantages and give some reasons why a certain site was chosen rather
than other. Also from the map we can infer the functions of the settlements
and activities of the people in given locations.
Linear Settlement Pattern
This is the settlement created along the infrastructure networks like roads,
railways, and along the coast lines as well as rivers due to their economic




the settlement in

there are

many settlements

clustered together and is the pattern is common to areas of communal

society, where there is supply of a certain economic resources and everyone

is on need of it, also

relief barriers which make people to concentrate in

more less hazardous areas.

Dispersed Settlement
This is a rural settlement where people live scattered houses, and also
referred to as scattered settlements. The houses are widely spaced one to
another and it is common in areas of pastoral societies and where individual
forms are large enough and population is too spaced.

Scattered Clustered Settlement
This is the settlement where settlement occurs in clusters dispersed


Factors encouraging spatial distribution of Settlements on

the maps
A reliable source of the water supply

Settlements may be sited near source of water such as rivers and fresh
lakes. The water is used for irrigation and industrial purposes. However it is
important to note that the settlements are usually some distance away from
the water sources for fear of the flooding.
Relief factor (topography)

The relief of an area influences the settlement pattern of a particular area.

For example most of the people avoid setting settlements on the very steep
area such as on the escarpments and hills. This is because such areas are
hard to work in, inaccessible and are prone to soil erosion and mass wasting.
Gentle slope and plains usually have more settlements because such areas
are easy to work, accessible and poor prone to soil erosion and mass
Drainage system

Areas covered by the swamps, regions near lakes and rivers have barely any
settlement because these areas are prone to flooding. Such areas may also
have stagnant, water especially after heavy rainfall which could encourage
breeding of pests. There is also fear or danger of water borne diseases.
Vegetation cover

In the areas covered on the map which are thickly forested have no
settlements, since these areas are difficult to clear and for developing the
settlement patterns. Also some of the forests are governed as reserves;
hence no one is allowed to settle there. Woodlands may also not be settled
in because sometimes they may be infected with tsetse flies which cause
sleeping sickness.

Soil factor

Deep and well drained fertile soil attracts dense settlements because it
favors the cultivation of crops. Also some large rivers with a lot of alluvial
deposits may have dense settlements due to cultivation of crops.

In the area covered on the map agriculture which is indicated due to the
presence of the large plantations and ranches. These areas usually will have
or no settlements, sparse settlements since they have been preserved for
the growing of a certain crop or for the rearing of livestock. However, there
are may be labor lines on the plantations.
The urban areas usually attract large numbers of people from the rural










concentration of settlements.
Factors deterring or discouraging spatial distribution of Settlements on the
Marshy or swamps areas
In the topographical maps marshy or swampy areas usually symbols for
seasonal or permanent swampy will be printed on such areas, more
importantly the contours are very wide indicating a flat land in which
settlements are discouraged.
Steep slopes
The steep slope of an area give the difficulties for roads and railways
construction and land erosion and mass wasting

are common which

discourage the growing of the crops and the development of the settlements.
Reserved areas
Reserved areas discourage the settlements by laws known by government
lands and reserved for national parks, game reserve or for future
government planning.

Unpleasant climatic condition

Unpleasant climatic condition






difficulties to cultivation of the crops and water supply for domestic uses and
Land use
In this publication, land-use means the proper use of physical, social and
economic factors in such a way as to assist and increase the productivity, so
as to meet the needs of society. Farmers and other land users can, and
should, take an active part in deciding on how to use land so as to bring
social as well as economic improvement. Through the settlement designs the
land user perform different functions accordingly. Therefore, the settlement
designs on the topographical maps can depict land users functions as;
a) Some towns are trading centers which are indicated by the presence of
the stores such as ware houses, roads, converging in the town, shops
and markets.
b) Other towns are administrative centers suggested by the presence of
the chiefs camps, police posts, D.Cs office, D.Os office, court houses,
military camps etc.
c) They can be educational centers indicated by the presence of the
universities, colleges and schools
d) They can be transport and communication suggested by the presence
of the means of the transport and communication like roads, railways,
air ports, harbours, telephone lines, post offices, bus stands.
e) They can be health centers indicated by the presence of hospitals and
f) They can be industrial centers indicated by the presence of the
factories and industrial plants.
g) Some towns are agricultural centers evidenced by the presence of the
stores, creameries, dairies, silos, depots etc. such towns collect and
distribute agricultural products.

h) They can be mining centers suggested by the presence of the quarries,

mineral work, mines etc.
i) They may be religious centers evidenced by the presence of the
churches, mosques and temples
j) They may be recreational and sports center indicated by the presence
of the gardens, cinema halls, stadium and golf courses.
k) Towns may be cultural centers indicated by the presence of the

Sample of the questions

Analysis of the land use pattern on the map

Briefly explain the functions of town X


When the teachers and the students interpret the human activities on the
map, they must consider the kind of the activity which can be either social or
economic demand. These social activities including education, medical care,
security services, entertainments and others provided so as to meet the
need of society in order to ensure social development. And economic
activities are those tasks conducted for income earning to improve economic
growth of an individual or society as whole such as mining and quarrying,
agriculture, lumbering, irrigation, fishing and trading.
Social activities on the topographical maps can be identified as;a) Education that is identified due to the presence of the social
services like schools, colleges and universities, or any
educational centers.
b) Health care is identified by the presence of the hospitals and
dispensaries or any health center.
c) Security which is indicated by the presence of the police
station or post, military camps, prison and so forth.

d) Entertainment is indicated by the presence of the clubs, rent

houses, hotels, models and so forth.
e) Worship is identified by the presence of the temples,
mosques, mission centers and churches.
Economic activities on the topographical maps can be identified as:Agriculture activity

On the topographical maps agriculture activity is sub divided into the crop
farming and livestock farming as described below;CROP FARMING

Plantation (large scale) farming which is for commercial purposes is

suggested by the presence of the green diagonals lines that are drawn on
the map extracted. These diagonal lines refer to the key to find out the type
of the crops grown and the crops grown on plantations include tea, coffee,
sisal, sugar cane, cotton, and wattle among others.
Small scale cash crop growing is evidenced by the presence of the tea, and
coffee factories for processing, cotton ginneries, sugar juggleries, market
and so forth. Subsistence farming which is indicated by the presence of
dense rural settlement also may be suggested on the topographical maps.
Irrigation activities
On the topographical maps irrigation activity as one of the economic
activities is suggested when farming activities conducted along the water
bodies. Irrigation activity is possible to grow crops like fruits, vegetables,
rice, maize, and banana trees. It is difficult to irrigate crops like baobab,
coconut and other crops of the same kind.

Commercially livestock farming is indicated by the presence of the veterinary

offices, creameries, dairies, meat processing plants, cattle dips and ranches.
Pastoralism is also indicated on the topographical maps by the presence of
the grass land vegetation, scattered clusters of settlements, water holes,
bore holes dams, water pumps, quarantine camps and cattle dips.


This is an extraction of minerals from their ores like salts, magadi soda,
diamond, gold and so forth. On a map mining and quarrying is evidenced by
the presence of lakes in dry rift valley floor which shows the exploitation of
the minerals like salt or magadi soda, presence of the power supply in a
nucleated settlement, gravels quarries, a lot of water setlines, resting and so

This is the extraction of wood products from the trees, and on the map this
is indicated by the presence of forests, forest guard posts and dressing
plants appearing on a map for the process of extracting timbers (wood).
However, some forests are reserved and therefore no lumbering may be
allowed. It is therefore important to cite evidence on the map before
concluding that there is lumbering in an area.

Fishing activity refers to the extraction of the fish species from water bodies
like oceans, rivers, lakes, seas, swamps. The fishing activity is evidenced
shown by the presence of the dense settlement along the shores of lakes or
oceans or big rivers, together with fish traps, ponds, fish fillet factories,
fishing cooperatives, fishing farms, fish hatcheries, fishing department and
so forth.

The exchange of goods and services by selling and buying them are
suggested by the presence of the a wide variety of economic activities,
dense road network, presence of railway lines, airports, ocean or lake ports,
presence of towns, markets and shops. The presence of population in an
area itself, just indicates the presence of trading activity due to fact that
people engage into the exchange of goods and services (trading) in order to
meet their daily lives.

On the maps the process of processing and changing the raw materials into
finished goods of high value to human is indicated the presence of industries
and factories (installations). The presence of activities like ginning, hulling,
crops processing such as tea and coffee, brick making, quarrying, salt works
and so forth also suggest the presence of manufacturing and processing
activities (industries)

The movement of the people internally or externally of the countries for

purposes of studying, research, or leisure is depicted on the topographical
maps by the presence of the camping sites, national parks, picnic sites,
tourisms resort centers, pre- historical sites and among others.

On the maps transport and communication is suggested by the presence of

network of roads, railways, air way, sea ports (harbours) and the presence of
telephone lines, telecom offices, pipe lines, and post offices and so on.
Transportation on the topographical maps can be classified as land
transportation when transportation networks like roads, and railways are
depicted and air transportation when air ports and sometimes doldrums are
indicated on the topographical maps. Also, when the water bodies like lakes,
oceans or seas are shown on the topographical maps indicate water
transportation called navigation.

Exercise revision 1.4

Identify correct types of photograph without teachers help
Differentiate between ground, oblique photographs and

vertical without teachers assistance

Read correct features presented on


teachers help
Identify natural and manmade features in the fore, middle and


back ground of the photograph without teachers assistance

Interpret features presented on the photograph without


teachers assistance

Chapter 04


Specific Objectives: By the end of this topic, each student should be able to:i.

Explain the concept of statistics without teachers assistance


Differentiate types of statistical data without teachers help
Present data graphically without teachers assistance correctly
Explain the importance of statistics to the statistics user on


his/her own words correctly.

Describe how massive data


teachers help
Describe methods of presenting simple and complex(mixed)


data without teachers help

Calculate the mean, median and mode of statistical data


without teachers guide correctly.

Explain the significant of mean. Median and mode without


teachers help correctly.

Interpret the data using simple statistical measures without





teachers assistance
Meaning of Statistics:









summarising, presenting and analysing data as well as deriving valid conclusions

and making reasonable decisions on the basis of this analysis. Statistics is
concerned with the systematic collection of numerical data and its interpretation.
The word statistic is used to refer to Numerical facts, such as the number of
people living in particular area or the study of ways of collecting, analysing and
interpreting the facts. Statistics is only, one of the methods of studying a problem:
Statistical method do not provide complete solution of the problems because
problems are to be studied taking the background of the countries culture,
philosophy or religion into consideration. Thus the statistical study should be
supplemented by other evidences. It does not study individuals because it does
not give any specific importance to the individual items, in fact it deals with an
aggregate of objects. Individual items, when they are taken individually do not
constitute any statistical data and do not serve any purpose for any statistical
Functions of Statistics:

There are many functions of statistics. Let us consider the following five important

Condensation: Generally speaking by the word to condense, we mean to

reduce or to lessen. Condensation is mainly applied at embracing the
understanding of a huge mass of data by providing only few observations. If
in a particular class in Chennai School, only marks in an examination are
given, no purpose will be served. Instead if we are given the average mark
in that particular examination, definitely it serves the better purpose.
Similarly the range of marks is also another measure of the data. Thus,
Statistical measures help to reduce the complexity of the data and


consequently to understand any huge mass of data.

Comparison: Classification and tabulation are the two methods that are
used to condense the data. They help us to compare data collected from
different sources. Grand totals, measures of central tendency measures of
dispersion, graphs and diagrams, coefficient of correlation etc provide
ample scope for comparison. If we have one group of data, we can compare
within itself. If the rice production (in Tonnes) in Tanjore district is known,
then we can compare one region with another region within the district. Or
if the rice production (in Tonnes) of two different districts within Tamilnadu
is known, then also a comparative study can be made. As statistics is an
aggregate of facts and figures, comparison is always possible and in fact


comparison helps us to understand the data in a better way.

Forecasting: By the word forecasting, we mean to predict or to estimate
beforehand. Given the data of the last ten years connected to rainfall of a
particular district in Tamilnadu, it is possible to predict or forecast the
rainfall for the near future. In business also forecasting plays a dominant
role in connection with production, sales, profits etc. The analysis of time


series and regression analysis plays an important role in forecasting.

Estimation: One of the main objectives of statistics is drawn inference
about a population from the analysis for the sample drawn from that
population. The four major branches of statistical inference are
a) Estimation theory
b) Tests of Hypothesis
c) Non Parametric tests
d) Sequential analysis

Estimation theory: In estimation theory, we estimate the unknown value of the

population parameter based on the sample observations. Suppose we are given a

sample of heights of hundred students in a school, based upon the heights of

these 100 students, it is possible to estimate the average height of all students in
that school.
Tests of Hypothesis: A statistical hypothesis is some statement about the
probability distribution, characterizing a population on the basis of the information
available from the sample observations. In the formulation and testing of
hypothesis, statistical methods are extremely useful. Whether crop yield has
increased because of the use of new fertilizer or whether the new medicine is
effective in eliminating a particular disease are some examples of statements of
hypothesis and these are tested by proper statistical tools.
Scope of Statistics:
Statistics is not a mere device for collecting numerical data, but as a means of
developing sound techniques for their handling, analysing and drawing valid
inferences from them. Statistics is applied in every sphere of human activity
social as well as physical like Biology, Commerce, Education, Planning, Business,
Management, Information Technology, etc. It is almost impossible to find a single
department of human activity where statistics cannot be applied. We now discuss
briefly the applications of statistics in other disciplines.
Statistics and Industry:
Statistics is widely used in many industries. In industries, control charts are
widely used to maintain a certain quality level. In production engineering, to find
whether the product is conforming to specifications or not, statistical tools,
namely inspection plans, control charts, etc., are of extreme importance. In
inspection plans we have to resort to some kind of sampling a very important
aspect of Statistics.
Statistics and Commerce:
Statistics are lifeblood of successful commerce. Any businessman cannot afford to
either by under stocking or having overstock of his goods. In the beginning he
estimates the demand for his goods and then takes steps to adjust with his output
or purchases. Thus statistics is indispensable in business and commerce.
As so many multinational companies have invaded into our Indian economy, the
size and volume of business is increasing. On one side the stiff competition is

increasing whereas on the other side the tastes are changing and new fashions
are emerging. In this connection, market survey plays an important role to exhibit
the present conditions and to forecast the likely changes in future.
Statistics and Agriculture:
Analysis of variance (ANOVA) is one of the statistical tools developed by Professor
R.A. Fisher, plays a prominent role in agriculture experiments. In tests of
significance based on small samples, it can be shown that statistics is adequate to
test the significant difference between two sample means. In analysis of variance,
we are concerned with the testing of equality of several population means.
For an example, five fertilizers are applied to five plots each of wheat and the yield
of wheat on each of the plots are given. In such a situation, we are interested in
finding out whether the effect of these fertilizers on the yield is significantly
different or not. In other words, whether the samples are drawn from the same
normal population or not. The answer to this problem is provided by the technique
of ANOVA and it is used to test the homogeneity of several population means.
Statistics and Economics:
Statistical methods are useful in measuring numerical changes in complex groups
and interpreting collective phenomenon. Nowadays the uses of statistics are
abundantly made in any economic study. Both in economic theory and practice,
statistical methods play an important role.
Alfred Marshall said, Statistics are the straw only which I like every other
economist have to make the bricks. It may also be noted that statistical data and
techniques of statistical tools are immensely useful in solving many economic
problems such as wages, prices, production, distribution of income and wealth and
so on. Statistical tools like Index numbers, time series Analysis, Estimation theory,
Testing Statistical Hypothesis are extensively used in economics.
Statistics and Education: Statistics is widely used in education. Research has
become a common feature in all branches of activities. Statistics is necessary for
the formulation of policies to start new course, consideration of facilities available
for new courses etc. There are many people engaged in research work to test the
past knowledge and evolve new knowledge. These are possible only through

Statistics and Planning: Statistics is indispensable in planning. In the modern

world, which can be termed as the world of planning, almost all the
organisations in the government are seeking the help of planning for efficient
working, for the formulation of policy decisions and execution of the same.
In order to achieve the above goals, the statistical data relating to production,
consumption, demand, supply, prices, investments, income expenditure etc and
various advanced statistical techniques for processing, analysing and interpreting
such complex data are of importance. In India statistics play an important role in
planning, commissioning both at the central and state government levels.
Statistics and Medicine: In Medical sciences, statistical tools are widely used. In
order to test the efficiency of a new drug or medicine, t - test is used or to
compare the efficiency of two drugs or two medicines, t-test for the two samples
is used. More and more applications of statistics are at present used in clinical
Statistics and Modern applications:
Recent developments in the fields of computer technology and information
technology have enabled statistics to integrate their models and thus make
statistics a part of decision making procedures of many organisations. There are










forecasting simulation problems etc.

SYSTAT, a software package offers mere scientific and technical graphing options
than any other desktop statistics package. SYSTAT supports all types of scientific
and technical research in various diversified fields as follows
1. Archeology: Evolution of skull dimensions
2. Epidemiology: Tuberculosis
3. Statistics: Theoretical distributions
4. Manufacturing: Quality improvement

5. Medical research: Clinical investigations.

6. Geology: Estimation of Uranium reserves from ground


Chapter 05
Specific Objectives: By the end of this topic, every
students should be able to:i.

Explain the meaning of research on his or her own


words correctly.
Assess the importance of research in daily life


without teachers help.

Describe the research


research without teachers assistance.

Conduct research in school level without teachers












recommendations without teachers help.

The word research is composed of two syllables, re and search.
Re is a prefix meaning again, anew or over again and search is a
verb meaning to examine closely and carefully, to test and try, or
to probe. Together they form a noun describing a careful,

systematic, patient study and investigation in some field of

knowledge, undertaken to establish facts or principles. Therefore,
research is a structured enquiry that utilizes acceptable scientific
methodology to solve problems and create new knowledge that is
generally applicable. Scientific methods consist of systematic
observation, classification and interpretation of data. Although we
engage in such process in our daily life, the difference between
our casual day- to-day generalisation and the conclusions usually
recognized as scientific method lies in the degree of formality,
rigorousness, verifiability and general validity of latter.
Key terms:
Research problem
Research topic
Field research
Field work
Field study
Research methods or tools
Research techniques
Objectives of research
Qualities or criteria of good research

Research is a process of collecting, analyzing and interpreting

information to answer questions. But to qualify as research, the
process must have certain characteristics: it must, as far as
possible, be controlled, rigorous, systematic, valid and verifiable,
empirical and critical.
a) Good research is Controlled- in real life there are many
factors that affect an outcome. The concept of control
implies that, in exploring causality in relation to two
variables (factors), you set up your study in a way that








relationship. This can be achieved to a large extent in the

physical sciences (cookery, bakery), as most of the research
is done in a laboratory. However, in the social sciences
(Hospitality and Tourism) it is extremely difficult as research
is carried out on issues related to human beings living in
society, where such controls are not possible. Therefore in
Hospitality and Tourism, as you cannot control external
factors, you attempt to quantify their impact.
b) Good research is rigorous-you must be scrupulous in
ensuring that the procedures followed to find answers to
questions are relevant, appropriate and justified. Again, the
degree of rigor varies markedly between the physical and
social sciences and within the social sciences.
c) Good research is systematic-this implies that the procedure
adopted to undertake an investigation follow a certain logical









haphazard way. Some procedures must follow others.

d) Good research is Valid and verifiable-this concept implies
that whatever you conclude on the basis of your findings is
correct and can be verified by you and others.
e) Good research is empirical-this means that any conclusion











f) Good research is Critical-critical scrutiny of the procedures
used and the method employed is crucial to a research
enquiry. The process of investigation must be foolproof and








procedures used must be able to withstand critical scrutiny.

g) Good research is logical: This implies that research is guided
by the rules of logical reasoning and the logical process of
induction and deduction are of great value in carrying out
research. Induction is the process of reasoning from a part
to the whole whereas deduction is the process of reasoning
from some premise to a conclusion which follows from that
very premise. In fact, logical reasoning makes research
more meaningful in the context of decision making.
h) Good research is replicable: This characteristic allows
research results to be verified by replicating the study and
thereby building a sound basis for decisions.
For a process to be called research, it is imperative that it has
the above characteristics.

Whatever may be the types of research works and studies, one

thing that is important is that they all meet on the common
ground of scientific method employed by them. One expects
scientific research to satisfy the following criteria:
1. The purpose of the research should be clearly defined and
common concepts be used.
2. The research procedure used should be described in sufficient
detail to permit another researcher to repeat the research for
further advancement, keeping the continuity of what has already
been attained.
3. The procedural design of the research should be carefully
planned to yield results that are as objective as possible.
4. The researcher should report with complete frankness, flaws in
procedural design and estimate their effects upon the findings.
5. The analysis of data should be sufficiently adequate to reveal
its significance and the methods of analysis used should be
appropriate. The validity and reliability of the data should be
checked carefully.
6. Conclusions should be confined to those justified by the data of
the research and limited to those for which the data provide an
adequate basis.
7. Greater confidence in research is warranted if the researcher is
experienced, has a good reputation in research and is a person of

Research can be classified from three perspectives:
1. Basing on Application of research study
2. Objectives in undertaking the research
3. Inquiry mode employed
1. Application:
From the point of view of application, there are two broad
categories of research:

a) Pure







theories and hypotheses that are intellectually challenging

to the researcher but may or may not have practical
application at the present time or in the future. The
knowledge produced through pure research is sought in
order to add to the existing body of research methods.
b) Applied














understanding of a phenomenon. It can be exploratory, but

is usually descriptive. It is almost always done on the basis
of basic research. Applied research can be carried out by
academic or industrial institutions. Often, an academic
institution such as a university will have a specific applied
research program funded by an industrial partner interested
in that program.
2. Objectives:
From the point of view objectives, a research can be classified as
a) Descriptive research that includes surveys and fact-finding
enquiries of different kinds. The major purpose of descriptive
research is description of the state of affairs as problem,
phenomenon, service or programme, or provides information
about , say, living condition of a community, or describes
attitudes towards an issue as it exists at present. The main
characteristic of this method is that the researcher has no

control over the variables; he can only report what has

happened or what is happening.
b) Correlational research attempts to discover or establish the
existence of a relationship/ interdependence between two or
more aspects of a situation.
c) Explanatory research attempts to clarify why and how there
is a relationship between two or more aspects of a situation
or phenomenon.
d) Exploratory research is undertaken to explore an area where









undertaking a particular research study (feasibility study /

pilot study). In practice most studies are a combination of
the first three categories.
3. Inquiry Mode:
From the process adopted to find answer to research questions
the two approaches are:
a) Structured approach:
The structured approach to inquiry is usually classified as
quantitative research. Here everything that forms the research
process- objectives, design, sample, and the questions that you
plan to ask of respondents- is predetermined. It is more
appropriate to determine the extent of a problem, issue or
phenomenon by quantifying the variation. e.g. how many people

have a particular problem? How many people hold a particular

b) Unstructured approach:
The unstructured approach to inquiry is usually classified as
qualitative research. This approach allows flexibility in all aspects
of the research process. It is more appropriate to explore the
nature of a problem, issue or phenomenon without quantifying it.
Main objective is to describe the variation in a phenomenon,
situation or attitude. E.g. description of an observed situation, the
historical enumeration of events, an account of different opinions
different people have about an issue, description of working
condition in a particular industry.
Both approaches have their place in research. Both have their
strengths and weaknesses.
In many studies you have to combine both qualitative and
quantitative approaches. For example, suppose you have to find
the types of cuisine / accommodation available in a city and the
extent of their popularity.
Types of cuisine are the qualitative aspect of the study as finding
out about them entails description of the culture and cuisine. The
extent of their popularity is the quantitative aspect as it involves
estimating the number of people who visit restaurant serving
such cuisine and calculating the other indicators that reflect the
extent of popularity.


The research process is similar to undertaking a journey. For a
research journey there are two important decisions to make1) What you want to find out about or what research questions
(problems) you want to find answers to;
2) How to go about finding their answers.
There are practical steps through which you must pass in your
research journey in order to find answers to your research
questions. The path to finding answers to your research questions
constitutes research methodology. At each operational step in the
research process you are required to choose from a multiplicity of
methods, procedures and models of research methodology which
will help you to best achieve your objectives. This is where your
knowledge base of research methodology plays a crucial role.
Steps in Research Process are as follows:1. Formulating the Research Problem
2. Extensive Literature Review
3. Hypothesis formulation
4. Preparing the Research Design including Sample Design
5. Collecting the Data
6. Analysis of Data
7. Generalization and Interpretation

8. Preparation of the Report or Presentation of Results-Formal

write ups of conclusions reached.
Step1. Formulating the research problem:
It is the first and most crucial step in the research process and
the main function is to decide what you want to find out about.
The way you formulate a problem determines almost every step
that follows.
1. Study population-They provide you with the information or







organizations, groups, communities

2. Subject area-Information that you need to collect to find
answers to your research questions. You can examine the
professional field of your choice in the context of the four Ps in
order to identify anything that looks interesting.
Considerations in selecting a research problem:
These help to ensure that your study will remain manageable and
that you will remain motivated.
1. Interest: a research endeavour is usually time consuming,
and involves hard work and possibly unforeseen problems. One
should select topic of great interest to sustain the required
2. Magnitude: It is extremely important to select a topic that
you can manage within the time and resources at your disposal.
Narrow the topic down to something manageable, specific and

3. Measurement of concepts: Make sure that you are clear

about the indicators and measurement of concepts (if used) in
your study.
4. Level of expertise: Make sure that you have adequate level
of expertise for the task you are proposing since you need to do
the work yourself.
5. Relevance: Ensure that your study adds to the existing body
of knowledge, bridges current gaps and is useful in policy
formulation. This will help you to sustain interest in the study.
6. Availability of data: Before finalizing the topic, make sure
that data are available.
7. Ethical issues: How ethical issues can affect the study
population and how ethical problems can be overcome should be
thoroughly examined at the problem formulating stage.
Steps in formulation of a research problem:
Working through these steps presupposes a reasonable level of
knowledge in the broad subject area within which the study is to
be undertaken. Without such knowledge it is difficult to clearly
and adequately dissect a subject area.
Step1. Identify a broad field or subject area of interest to you.
2. Dissect the broad area into sub areas.
3. Select what is of most interest to you.
4. Raise research questions.
5. Formulate objectives.
6. Assess your objectives.

7. Double check.
So far we have focused on the basis of your study, the research
problem. But every study in social sciences has a second








information to find answers to your research questions is

obtained. As you narrow the research problem, similarly you need
to decide very specifically who constitutes your study population,
in order to select the appropriate respondents.
Step2. Reviewing the literature:
-Essential preliminary task in order to acquaint yourself with the
available body of knowledge in your area of interest.
-Literature review is integral part of entire research process and
makes valuable contribution to every operational step.
-Reviewing literature can be time-consuming, daunting and
frustrating, but is also rewarding. Its functions are:
a. Bring clarity and focus to your research problem;
The process of reviewing the literature helps you to understand
the subject area better and thus helps you to conceptualise your
research problem clearly and precisely. It also helps you to
understand the relationship between your research problem and
the body of knowledge in the area.
b. Improve your methodology:
A literature review tells you if others have used procedures and
methods similar to the ones that you are proposing, which
procedures and methods have worked well for them, and what

problems they have faced with them. Thus you will be better
positioned to select a methodology that is capable of providing
valid answer to your research questions.
c. Broaden your knowledge base in your research area:
It ensures you to read widely around the subject area in which
you intend to conduct your research study. As you are expected
to be an expert in your area of study, it helps fulfill this
expectation. It also helps you to understand how the findings of
your study fit into the existing body of knowledge.
d. Contextualize your findings:
How do answers to your research questions compare with what
others have found? What contribution have you been able to
make in to the existing body of knowledge? How are your findings
different from those of others? For you to be able to answer these
questions, you need to go back to your literature review. It is
important to place your findings in the context of what is already
known in your field of enquiry. Procedure for reviewing the

Search for existing literature:

To effectively search for literature in your field of enquiry, it is

imperative that you have in mind at least some idea of broad
subject area and of the problem you wish to investigate, in order
to set parameters for your search. Next compile a bibliography for
this broad area. Sources are:
1. Books

2. Journals
BOOKS comprise a central part of any bibliography. Advantagematerial published generally is of good quality and the findings
are integrated with other research to form a coherent body of
knowledge. Disadvantage-material is not completely up to date,
as it can take a few years between the completion of a work and
publication in the form of a book. Search for books in your area of
interest, prepare a final list, locate these books in the libraries or
borrow from other sources. Examine their content, if contents are
not found to be relevant to your topic, delete it from your reading
Journals provide you with the most up-to-date information, even
though there is a gap of two to three years between the
completion of a research project and the publication in a journal.
As with books, you need to prepare a list of journals for
identifying literature relevant to your study. This can be done as
-locate the hard copies of the journal that are appropriate to your
- use the internet
- look at the index of research abstracts in the relevant field to
identify and read the articles. Whichever method you choose, first
identify the journals you want to look at in more detail for your
review of literature. Select the latest issue; examine its content

page to see if there is an article of relevance to your research

topic. If you feel a particular article is of relevance to you, read its
abstract. If you think you are likely to use it, photocopy or
prepare a summary and record it for reference for later use.

Review the literature selected:

After identifying books and articles as useful, the next step is to

start reading them critically to pull together themes and issues
that are associated. If you do not have a theoretical framework of
themes in mind to start with, use separate sheets of paper for
each article or book. Once you develop a rough framework, slot
the findings from the material so far reviewed into that
framework, using a separate sheet of paper for each theme of
that framework. As you read further, go on slotting the
information where it logically belongs under the theme so far
developed. You may need to add more themes as you go. Read
critically with particular reference to the following aspects:
Note whether the knowledge relevant to your theoretical
framework is confirmed beyond doubt.
Note the theories put forward, the criticisms of these and their
basis, the methodologies adopted and the criticisms of them.
Examine to what extent the findings can be generalized to other
Ascertain the areas in which little or nothing is known-the gaps
that exist in the body of knowledge.

Develop a theoretical framework:

As you have limited time it is important to set parameters by

reviewing the literature in relation to some main themes pertinent
to your research topic. As you start reading the literature, you will
realize that it deals with a number of aspects that have a direct
`and indirect bearing on your research topic. Use these aspects
as a basis for developing your theoretical framework. Until you go
through the literature you cannot develop a theoretical framework
and until you have developed a theoretical framework, you
cannot effectively review the literature. Literature pertinent to
your study may deal with two types of information that may be of
universal and more specific( i.e. local trends or specific program)
In writing about such information you should start with the
general information, gradually narrowing down to the specific.

Writing up the literature reviewed:

In order to comply with the first function of literature review such

as to provide theoretical background to your study:
-List the main themes that have emerged while reading literature.
-Convert them into subheadings. These subheadings should be
precise, descriptive of the theme in question, and follow a logical
-Now, under each subheading, record the main findings with
respect to the theme in question, highlighting the reasons for and
against an argument if they exist, and identify gaps and issues.
In order to comply with the second function of literature review
such as contextualising the findings of your study requires you to

very systematically compare your findings with those made by

others. Quote from these studies to show how your findings
contradict, confirm or add to them. It places your findings in the
context of what others have found out. This function is
undertaken when writing about your findings such as after
analysis of your data.
Step3. The formulation of objectives:
Objectives are the goals you set out to attain in your study and
they inform a reader what you want to attain through the study.
It is extremely important to word them clearly and specifically.
Objectives should be listed under two headings:
a) Main objectives (aims)
The main objective is an overall statement of the thrust of
your study. It is also a statement of the main associations
and relationships that you seek to discover or establish.
b) Sub-objectives
The sub-objectives are the specific aspects of the topic that
you want to investigate within the main framework of your
study. They should be numerically listed and wording should
clearly, completely and specifically communicate to your
readers your intention. Each objective should contain only
one aspect of the Study and also use action oriented words
or verbs when writing objectives. The objectives should start
with words such as to determine, to find out, to ascertain,
to measure, to explore etc. The wording of objectives

determines the type of research (descriptive, Correlational

and experimental) and the type of research design you need
to adopt to achieve them for example;1) Descriptive studies:
a. To describe the types of incentives provides by Hotel
XYZ to employees in Mumbai.
b. To find out the opinion of the employees about the








2) Correlational studies:
a. To ascertain the impact of training on employee
b. To compare






programmes on repeat clientele.

3) Hypothesis testing studies:
a. To ascertain if an increase in working hours will
increase the incidence of Drug/alcohol abuse.
b. To







accommodation to employees in Mumbai hotels will

reduce staff turnover.
Research design is the conceptual structure within which research
would be conducted. The function of research design is to provide








expenditure of effort, time and money. The preparation of

research design, appropriate for a particular research problem,

involves the consideration of the following:
1. Objectives of the research study.
2. Method of Data Collection to be adopted
3. Source of informationSample Design
4. Tool for Data collection
5. Data Analysis-- qualitative and quantitative
1. Objectives of the Research Study: Objectives identified to
answer the research questions have to be listed making sure that
they are:
a) Numbered, and
b) Statement begins with an action verb.
2. Methods of Data Collection:
Data refers to ---There are two types of data
Primary Data collected for the first time direct from the field
Secondary Datathose which have already been collected and
analysed by someone else.
Methods of Primary Data Collection
Commonly used in behavioural sciences. It is the gathering of
primary data by investigators own direct observation of relevant



respondent, for example






A hotel chain sends observers posing as guests into its coffee

shop to check on Cleanliness and customer service.
A food service operator sends researchers into competing
restaurants to learn menu items prices, check portion sizes and
consistency and observe point-of purchase merchandising.
A restaurant evaluates possible new locations by checking out







neighborhood conditions.
Observation can yield information which people are normally
unwilling or unable to provide. e.g. Observing numerous plates
containing uneaten portions the same menu items indicates that
food is not satisfactory.
Types of Observation:
1. Structured for descriptive research
2. Unstructuredfor exploratory research
3. Participant Observation
4. Non- participant observation
5. Disguised observation
- feelings, beliefs and attitudes that motivate buying behaviour
infrequent behaviour cannot be observed.
-expensive method
Because of these limitations, researchers often supplement
observation with survey research.

Approach most suited for gathering descriptive information.
Structured Surveys: use formal lists of questions asked of all
respondents in the same way.
Unstructured Surveys: let the interviewer probe respondents and
guide the interview according to their answers.
Survey research may be Direct or Indirect.
Direct Approach: The researcher asks direct questions about
behaviours and thoughts.
e.g. Why dont you eat at Mac Donalds?
Indirect Approach: The researcher might ask: What kind of
people eat at
Mac Donalds?
From the response, the researcher may be able to discover why
the consumer avoids
MacDonalds. It may suggest factors of which the consumer is not
consciously aware.
-can be used to collect many different kinds of information
-Quick and low cost as compared to observation and experimental
-Respondents reluctance to answer questions asked by unknown
interviewers about
things they consider private.

-Busy people may not want to take the time

-may try to help by giving pleasant answers
-unable to answer because they cannot remember or never gave
a thought to what they
do and why
-may answer in order to look smart or well informed.
Information may be collected by
Personal interview
Mail Questionnaires:
-can be used to collect large amounts of information at a low cost
per respondent.








questions on a mail
-no interviewer is involved to bias the respondents answers.
-convenient for respondents who can answer when they have
- good way to reach people who often travel
-not flexible
-take longer to complete than telephone or personal interview

-response rate is often very low

- researcher has no control over who answers.
Telephone Interviewing:
- quick method









understood by the
- depending on respondents answer they can skip some Qs and
probe more on
- allows greater sample control
- response rate tends to be higher than mail
-Cost per respondent higher
-Some people may not want to discuss personal Qs with
-Interviewers manner of speaking may affect the respondents
-Different interviewers may interpret and record response in a
variety of ways
-under time pressure ,data may be entered without actually
Personal Interviewing:
It is very flexible and can be used to collect large amounts of

Trained interviewers are can hold the respondents attention and

are available to
clarify difficult questions.
They can guide interviews, explore issues, and probe as the
situation requires.
Personal interview can be used in any type of questionnaire and
can be conducted
fairly quickly.
Interviewers can also show actual products, advertisements,
packages and observe and
record their reactions and behaviour.
This takes two formsIndividual- Intercept interviewing
Group - Focus Group Interviewing
Intercept interviewing:
Widely used in tourism research.
-allows researcher to reach known people in a short period of
- only method of reaching people whose names and addresses
are unknown
-involves talking to people at homes, offices, on the street, or in
shopping malls.
-interviewer must gain the interviewees cooperation
-time involved may range from a few minutes to several
hours( for longer surveys

compensation may be offered)

--involves the use of judgmental sampling i.e. interviewer has
guidelines as to whom
to intercept, such as 25% under age 20 and 75% over age 60
-Room for error and bias on the part of the interviewer who may
not be able to
correctly judge age, race etc.
-Interviewer may be uncomfortable talking to certain ethnic or
age groups.
Focus Group Interviewing:
It is rapidly becoming one of the major research tool to
understand peoples thoughts
and feelings.
It is usually conducted by inviting six to ten people to gather for a
few hours with a








organization.The meeting is held

in a pleasant place, and refreshments are served to create a
relaxed environment.
The moderator needs objectivity, knowledge of the subject and
industry, and some
understanding of group and consumer behaviour.
The moderator starts with a broad question before moving to
more specific issues,

encouraging open and easy discussion to bring out true feelings

and thoughts.
At the same time, the interviewer focuses the discussion, hence
the name focus group
-often held to help determine the subject areas on which
questions should be asked in
a later, large-scale, structured-direct interview
Comments are recorded through note taking or videotaped and
studied later to
understand consumer buying process.
This method is especially suited for managers of hotels and
restaurants, who have easy
access to their customers.
e.g. Some hotel managers often invite a group of hotel guests
from a particular market
segment to have a free breakfast with them. Managers get the
chance to meet the
guests and discuss what they like about the hotel and what the
hotel could do to make
their stay more enjoyable and comfortable.
The guests appreciate this recognition and the manager gets
valuable information.



discussion meetings over






lunch or dinner.
-Cost: may cost more than telephone survey
-Sampling: group interview studies keep small sample size to
keep time and cost
down, therefore it may be difficult to generalize from the results.
- Interviewer bias.
Also called Empirical Research or Cause and Effect Method, it is a
data-based research, coming up with conclusions which are
capable of being verified with observation or experiment.
Experimental research is appropriate when proof is sought that
certain variables affect other variables in some way. e.g.
Tenderisers (independent variable) affect cooking time and
texture of meat(dependent variable) .
- The effect of substituting one ingredient in whole or in part for
another such as soya flour to flour for making high protein bread.
-Develop recipes to use products.
Such research is characterized by the experimenters control over
the variables under study and the deliberate manipulation of one
of them to study its effects.
In such a research, it is necessary to get at facts first hand, at
their source, and actively go about doing certain things to
stimulate the production of desired information.

-Researcher must provide self with a working hypothesis or guess

as to the probable results.
- Then work to get enough facts (data) to prove or disprove the
-He then sets up experimental designs which he thinks will
manipulate the persons or the materials concerned so as to bring
forth the desired information.
Evidence gathered through experimental or empirical studies
today is considered to be the most powerful support possible for a
given hypothesis. Lowe, Belle; 1958, Experimental Cookery, John
Willey & Sons, New York, pp 34-46
Researchers usually draw conclusions about large groups by
taking a sample of population. A Sample is a segment of the
population selected to represent the population as a whole.
Ideally, the sample should be representative and allow the
researcher to make accurate estimates of the thoughts and
behaviour of the larger population.
Designing the sample calls for three decisions:
1. Who will be surveyed? (The Sample)
The researcher must determine what type of information is
needed and who is most likely to have it.
2. How many people will be surveyed? (Sample Size)

Large samples give more reliable results than small samples.

However it is not necessary to sample the entire target
3. How should the sample be chosen? (Sampling)
Sample members may be chosen at random from the entire
population (probability sample)
The researcher might select people who are easier to obtain
information from (non probability sample)
The needs of the research project will determine which method is
most effective.
Types of Samples
This kind of sample every individual have equal chance to
Probability samples
Simple random sample:

Every member of the population has a

known and equal chance of being selected.




Population is divided into mutually

exclusive groups such as age groups and random samples are

drawn from each group.
Cluster (area) sample:

The population is divided into mutually

exclusive groups such as blocks, and the researcher draws a

sample of the group to interview.
Non probability samples
This is the kind of sampling in which

Convenience sample:

The researcher selects the easiest population

members from which to obtain information.

Judgment sample:

The researcher uses his/her judgement to select

population members who are good prospects for accurate

Quota sample:

The researcher finds and interviews a prescribed

number of people in each of several categories.

The construction of a research instrument or tool for data
collection is the most important aspect of a research project
because anything you say by way of findings or conclusions is
based upon the type of information you collect, and the data you
collect is entirely dependent upon the questions that you ask of
your respondents. The famous saying about computers- garbage
in garbage out- is also applicable for data collection. The
research tool provides the input into a study and therefore the
quality and validity of the output (the findings), are solely
dependent on it.
Guidelines to Construct a Research Tool:
The underlying principle behind the guidelines suggested below is
to ensure the validity of your instrument by making sure that
your questions relate to the objectives of your study.
Step I: Clearly define and individually list all the specific
objectives or research Questions for your study.

Step II: For each objective or research questions, list all the
associated questions that you want to answer through your study.
Step III: Take each research question listed in step II and list the
information required to answer it.
Step IV: Formulate question(s) to obtain this information.
The Questionnaire:
Structured surveys/ interviews employ the use of a questionnaire.
A questionnaire consists of a set of questions presented to a
respondent for answers. The respondents read the questions,
interpret what is expected and then write down the answers









researcher asks the questions (and if necessary, explains them)

and records the respondents reply on the interview schedule.
Because there are many ways to ask questions, the questionnaire
is very flexible. Questionnaire should be developed and tested
carefully before being used on a large scale.
There are three basic types of questionnaire:
Closed ended
Combination of both
Significances of research
Research proposal
Problems encountered by researchers in Tanzania.


An important factor influencing the productivity of our planet's
various nature of their soils. Soils are vital for the existence of many forms
of life that have evolved on our planet. For example, soils provide vascular
plants with a medium for growth and supply these organisms with most of
their nutritional requirements. Further, the nutrient status of ecosystems
soils not only limits consumer type organisms further down the Soil itself is
very complex. It would be very wrong to think of soils as just a collection of
fine mineral particles. Soil also contains air, water, dead organic matter, and
va living organisms. The formation of a soil is influenced by organisms,
climate, topography, parent material, and time. The following items describe
some important features of a soil that help to distinguish it from mineral

Soil Components
4; 5%; 5%
3; 25%; 25%

1; 25%; 25%

2; 45%; 45%

Mineral particles


0rganic mater


Most soils contain four basic components: mineral particles,

water, air, and organic matter. Organic matter can be further sub- divided
into 80% of humus, 10% of roots and 10% of living organisms. The values
given above are for an average soil.
Organic Activity in soil.
A mass of mineral particles alone do not constitute a true soil. True soils are
influenced, modified and supplemented by living organisms. Plants and
animals aid in the development of a soil through the addition of organic
matter. Fungi and bacteria decompose this organic matter into a semisoluble chemical substance known as humus. The large soil organisms
earthworms, beetles, and termites, vertically redistribute this humus within
the mineral matters found beneath the surface of a soil.
Humus is the biochemical substance that makes the upper layers of the soil
become dark. It is coloured dark brown to black. Humus is difficult to see in
isolation because it binds with larger mineral and organic particles. Humus
provides soil with a number of very important benefits:

1. It enhances a soil's ability to hold and store moisture.

2. It reduces the eluviation of soluble nutrients from the soil profile.
3. It is the primary source of carbon and nitrogen required by

plants for their nutrition.

4. It improves soil structure which is necessary for plant growth.
Organic activity is usually profuse in the near surface layers of a soil. For instance,
one cubic centimeter of soil can be the home to more than 1,000,000 bacteria. A
hectare of pasture land in a humid mid-latitude climate can contain more than a
million earthworms and several million insects. Earthworms and insects are
extremely important because of their ability to mix and aerate (ventilate) soil.
Higher porosity, because of mixing and aeration, increases the movement of air and
water from the soil surface to deeper layers where roots reside. Increasing air and
water availability to roots has a significant positive effect on plant productivity.
Earthworms and insects also produce most of the humus found in a soil through the
incomplete digestion of organic matter.
Translocation in soils.
When water moves downward into the soil, it causes both mechanical and chemical
translocations of material. The complete chemical removal of substances from the
soil profile is known as leaching. Leached substances often end up in the
groundwater zone and then travel by groundwater flow into water bodies like rivers,
lakes, and oceans. Eluviation refers to the movement of fine mineral particles (like
clay) or dissolved substances out of an upper layer in a soil profile. The deposition
of fine mineral particles or dissolved substances in a lower soil layer is called
Soil Texture
The texture of a soil refers to the size distribution of the mineral particles found in a
representative sample of soil. Particles are normally grouped into three main
classes: sand, silt, and clay. The following table describes the classification of soil
particles according to size.
Table 1: Particle size ranges for sand, silt, and clay.
Type of Mineral Particle

Size Range


2.0 0.06 millimetres

0.06 0.002 millimetre
Less than 0.002 millimetres

Clay is probably the most important type of mineral particle found in a soil. Despite
their small size, clay particles have a very large surface area relative to their
volume. This large surface is highly reactive and has the ability to attract and hold
positions. These nutrients are available to plant roots for nutrition. Clay particles
are also somewhat flexible and plastic because of their lattice particles to absorb
water and other substances into their structure.
Soil pH
Soils support a number of inorganic and organic chemical reactions. Many of these
reactions are dependent on some particular soil chemical properties. One of the
most important chemical properties influencing reactions in a soil is pH. Soil pH is
the primarily controlled by the concentration of free hydrogen ions in the soil
matrix. Soils with a relative large concentration of hydrogen ions tend to be acidic.
Alkaline soils have a relatively low concentration of hydrogen ions. Hydrogen ions
are made available to the soil matrix by the dissociation of water, by the activity of
plant root and by many chemical weathering reactions.







Figure 2: The pH scale. A value of 7.0 is considered neutral. Values higher than 7.0
are increasingly alkaline or basic. Values lower than 7.0 are increasingly acidic. The
illustration above also describes the pH of some common substances.
Soil fertility is directly influenced by pH through the solubility of many nutrients. At
a pH lower than 5.5, many nutrients become very soluble and are leached from soil
profile. At high pH, nutrients become insoluble and plants cannot readily extract
them. Maximum soil fertility occurs in the range 6.0 to 7.2.
Soil Colour
Soils tend to have distinct variations in both vertically and horizontally. The
colouring of soils occurs because of a variety of factors. Soils of the humid tropics
are generally red or yellow because of the oxidation of iron or aluminium
respectively. In the temperate grasslands, large additions of humus cause soils to
be black. The heavy leaching of iron causes coniferous forest soils to be gray. High
water tables in soils cause the reduction of iron, and these soils tend to have
greenish and gray- blue hues.

Organic matter colours the soil black. The

combination of iron oxides and organic content gives many soil types a brown
colour. Other colouring materials sometimes present include white calcium
carbonate, black manganese oxides, and black carbon compounds.

Soil Profiles
Most soils have a distinct profile or sequence of horizontal layers.
Generally these layers form horizons which result from the
processes of chemical weathering, eluviation, illuviation and
organic decomposition. Up to five layers can be present in a







Figure 3: Typical layers found in a soil profile.

The O horizon is the topmost layer of most soils. It is composed
mainly of plant various levels of decomposition and A horizon is
found below the O layer. This layer is composed primarily of
The A horizon has two important characteristics: it is the layer in
which humus and other
organic materials are mixed with mineral particles, and it is a
zone of translocation from

which eluviation has removed finer particles and soluble s

deposited at a lower layer. Thus the A horizon is dark in color and
usually light in texture and
porous. The A horizon is commonly differentiated into a darker
upper horizon or organic
accumulation, and a lower horizon showi
The B horizon is a mineral soil layer which is strongly influenced
Consequently, this layer receives material eluviated from the A
horizon. The B horizon also
has a higher bulk density than the A horizon due to its
enrichment of clay particles. The B
horizon may be colored by oxides of iron and
from the A horizon.
or sequence of horizontal layers. Generally, these
weathering, eluviation, illuviation, and
. O, A, B
substances, both of which may be
showing loss of material by eluviation.
aluminium or by calcium carbonate illuviated
Page 4
, organic

B, C, and R
litter at
neral particles.
ubstances, illuviation.
The C horizon is composed of weathered quite variable with
particles ranging in size from clay to not been significantly
influenced by the modification. The final layer in a typical soil
profile is called the of unweather bedrock.
Soil Pedogenesis
Introduction Pedogenesis can be defined as the process of soil
development. Late in the 19th century, scientists Hilgard in the
United States and the Russian Dukuchaev both suggested
independently that pedogenesis was principally controlled by
climate and vegetation. This idea was based on the observation
that comparable soils developed in spatially separate areas when
their climate and vegetation were similar. In the 1940s, Hans
Jenny extended these ideas based on the observations of many
subsequent studies examining the processes involved in the
formation of soils. Jenny believed that the kinds of soils that
develop in a particular area are largely determined by five





and---------------------------Figure 4: The development of a soil is influenced by five







material, and climate and parent material. The texture of this

material can be boulders. The C horizon has also pedogenic

processes, translocation, and/or organic R horizon. This soil layer
simply consists s climate; living organisms; time.
Climate plays a very important role in the genesis of a soil. On
the global scale, there is an obvious correlation between major
soil types and the Kppen climatic classification systems major
climatic types. At regional and local scales, climate becomes less
important in soil formation. Instead, pedogenesis is more
influenced by factors like parent material, topography, vegetation,
and time. The two most important climatic variables influencing
soil formation are temperature and moisture. Temperature has a
direct influence on the weathering of bedrock to produce mineral
particles. Rates of bedrock weathering generally increase with
higher temperatures. Temperature also influences the activity of
soil microorganisms, the frequency and magnitude of soil
chemical reactions, and the rate of plant growth. Moisture levels
in most soils are primarily controlled by the addition of water via
precipitation minus the losses due to evapotranspiration. If








evapotranspiration, moisture levels in a soil tend to be high.

If the water loss due to evapotranspiration exceeds inputs from
precipitation, moisture levels in a soil tend to be low. High
moisture availability in a soil promotes the weathering of bedrock
and sediments, chemical reactions, and plant growth. The

availability of moisture also has an influence on soil pH and the

decomposition of organic matter.
Living Organisms have a role in a number of processes involved
in pedogenesis including organic matter accumulation, profile
mixing, and biogeochemical nutrient cycling. Under equilibrium
conditions, vegetation and soil are closely linked with each other
through nutrient cycling. The cycling of nitrogen and carbon in
soils is almost completely controlled by the presence of animals
and plants. Through litterfall and the process of decomposition,
organisms add humus and nutrients to the soil which influences
soil structure and fertility.
Surface vegetation also protects the upper layers of a soil from
erosion by way of binding the soils surface and reducing the
speed of moving wind and water across the ground surface.
Parent Material refers to the rock and mineral materials from
which the soils develop.
These materials can be derived from residual sediment due to the
weathering of bedrock or from sediment transported into an area
by way of the erosive forces of wind, water, or ice.
Pedogenesis is often faster on transported sediments because the
weathering of parent material usually takes a long period of time.
The influence of parent material on pedogenesis is usually related
to soil texture, soil chemistry, and nutrient cycling.

Topography generally modifies the development of soil on a local









topography's effect on microclimate and drainage.

Soils developing on moderate to gentle slopes are often better
drained than soils found at the bottom of valleys. Good drainage
enhances an number of pedogenic processes of illuviation and
eluviation that are responsible for the development of soil
horizons. Under conditions of poor drainage, soils tend to be
immature. Steep topographic gradients inhibit the development of
soils because of erosion. Erosion can retard the development
through the continued removal of surface sediments. Soil
microclimate is also influenced by topography. In the
Northern Hemisphere, south facing slopes tend to be warmer and
drier than north facing slopes. This difference results in the soils
of the two areas being different in terms of depth, texture,
biological activity, and soil profile development.
Time influences the temporal consequences of all of the factors
described above. Many soil processes become steady state
overtime when a soil reaches maturity. Pedogenic processes in





active modification


negative and positive feedback mechanisms in attempt to achieve

Principal Pedogenic Processes

A large number of processes are responsible for the formation of

soils. This fact is evident by the large number of different types of
soils that have been classified by soil scientists.
However, at the macro-scale we can suggest that there are five
main principal pedogenic processes acting on soils. These
processes are laterization, podzolization, calcification, salinization,
and gleization.
Laterization is a pedogenic process common to soils found in
tropical and subtropical
environments. High temperatures and heavy precipitation result
in the rapid weathering of
rocks and minerals. Movements of large amounts of water
through the soil cause eluviation and leaching to occur. Almost all
of the byproducts of weathering, very simple small compounds or
nutrient ions, are translocated out of the soil profile by leaching if
not taken up by plants for nutrition. The two exceptions to this
process are iron and aluminum compounds.
Iron oxides give tropical soils their unique reddish coloring. Heavy
leaching also causes these soils to have an acidic pH because of
the net loss of base cations. Podzolization is associated with
humid cold mid-latitude climates and coniferous vegetation.







precipitation create a soil solution that is strongly acidic. This

acidic soil solution enhances the processes of eluviation and
leaching causing the removal of soluble base cations and

aluminum and iron compounds from the A horizon. This process

creates a sub-layer in the A horizon that is white to gray in color
and composed of silica sand.
Calcification occurs when evapotranspiration exceeds precipitation
causing the upward movement of dissolved alkaline salts from the
groundwater. At the same time, the movement of rain water
causes a downward movement of the salts. The net result is the
deposition of the translocated cations in the B horizon. In some
cases, these deposits can form a hard layer called caliche. The
most common substance involved in this process is calcium
carbonate. Calcification is common in the prairie grasslands.
Salinization is a process that functions in the similar way to
calcification. It differs from calcification in that the salt deposits
occur at or very near the soil surface. Salinization also takes
place in much drier climates.
Gleization is a pedogenic process associated with poor drainage.
This process involves the accumulations of organic matter in the
upper layers of the soil. In lower horizons, mineral layers are
stained blue-gray because of the chemical reduction of iron.
Soil Classification
Soil Classification Systems have been developed to provide
scientists and resource managers with generalized information
about the nature of a soil found in a particular location. In
general, environments that share comparable soil forming factors









classification possible.
Over the past century, various soil classifications have been
devised in the United States and other countries. As the
knowledge of soil characteristics and processes has become more
sophisticated. Several different systems have been developed in
United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Russia, France and
Australia. Moreover, United Nations organisations agencies have
their own classification schemes. As a matter of example we will
discuss about United States Soil Classification System.
United States Soil Classification System
The first formal system of soil classification was introduced in the
United States by Curtis F. Marbut in the 1930s. This system,
however, had some serious limitations, and by the early 1950s








development of a new method of soil classification. The process

of development of the new system took nearly a decade to
complete. By 1960, the review process was completed and the
Seventh Approximation Soil Classification System was introduced.








numerous minor modifications and is now under the control of

Natural Resources








Department of Agriculture. The current version of the system has

six levels of classification in its hierarchical structure. The major

divisions in this classification system, from general to specific,

are: orders, suborders, great groups, subgroups, families, and
series. At its lowest level of organization, the U.S. system of soil






The most general category of the NRCS Soil Classification System
recognizes eleven distinct soil orders: oxisols, aridsols, mollisols,






histosols, and andisols.
















temperature. The profiles of oxisols contain mixtures of quartz,

kaolin clay, iron and aluminum oxides, and organic matter. For
the most part they have a nearly featureless soil profile without
clearly marked horizons. The abundance of iron and aluminum









weathering and heavy leaching. Many oxisols contain laterite

layers because of a seasonally fluctuating water table.
Aridsols are soils that develop in very dry environments. The
main characteristic of this soil is poor and shallow soil horizon
development. Aridsols also tend to be light colored because of
limited humus additions from vegetation. The hot climate under
which these soils develop tends to restrict vegetation growth.
Because of limited rain and high temperatures soil water tends to
migrate in these soils in an upward direction. This condition

causes the deposition of salts carried by the water at or near the

ground surface because of evaporation. This soil process is of
course called salinization.
Mollisols are soils common to grassland environments. In the
United States most of the natural grasslands have been converted
into agricultural fields for crop growth. Mollisols have a dark
colored surface horizon, tend to be base rich, and are quite
fertile. The dark color of the A horizon is the result of humus
enrichment from the decomposition of litterfall.








Alfisols form under forest vegetation where the parent material
has undergone significant weathering. These soils are quite
widespread in their distribution and are found from southern







characteristics of this soil type are the illuviation of clay in the B

horizon, moderate to high concentrations of base cations, and
light colored surface horizons.
Ultisols are soils common to the southeastern United States. This
region receives high amounts of precipitation because of summer
thunderstorms and the winter dominance of the mid-latitude
cyclone. Warm temperatures and the abundant availability of
moisture enhances the weathering process and increases the rate
of leaching in these soils. Enhanced weathering causes mineral
alteration and the dominance of iron and aluminum oxides. The

presence of the iron oxides causes the A horizon of these soils to

be stained red. Leaching causes these soils to have low quantities
of base cations.
Spodsols are soils that develop under coniferous vegetation and
as a result are modified by podzolization. Parent materials of
these soils tend to be rich in sand. The litter of the coniferous
vegetation is low in base cations and contributes to acid
accumulations in the soil.
In these soils, mixtures of organic matter and aluminum, with or
without iron, accumulate in the B horizon. The A horizon of these
soils normally has an eluvial layer that has the color of more or
less quartz sand. Most spodosols have little silicate clay and only
small quantities of humus in their A horizon.
Entisols are immature soils that lack the vertical development of
horizons. These soils are often associated with recently deposited
sediments from wind, water, or ice erosion. Given more time,
these soils will develop into another soil type.
Inceptisols are young soils that are more developed than entisols.
These soils are found in arctic tundra environments, glacial
deposits, and relatively recent deposits of stream alluvium.






development of eluviation in the A horizon and illuviation in the B

horizon, and evidence of the beginning of weathering processes
on parent material sediments.

Vertisols are heavy clay soils that show significant expansion and
contraction due to the presence or absence of moisture. Vertisols
are common in areas that have shale parent material and heavy
precipitation. The location of these soils in the United States is
primarily found in Texas where they are used to grow cotton.
Histosols are organic soils that form in areas of poor drainage.
Their profile consists of thick accumulations of organic matter at
various stages of decomposition.
Andisols develop from volcanic parent materials. Volcanic deposits








accumulation of allophane and oxides of iron and aluminum in

developing soils.
Seminar Question
What can you learn about a soil from its colour?

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