FORMAT. Notes must be kept in the regular
field notebook and not on scraps of paper for later
transcription. Separate surveys should be recorded
on separate pages or in different books. The front
cover of the field notebook should be marked with
the name of the project, its general location, the
types of measurements recorded, the designation
of the survey unit, and other pertinent informa-
tion. The inside front cover should contain
instructions for the return of the notebook, if lost.
The right-hand pages should be reserved as an
index of the field notes, a list of party personnel
and their duties, a list of the instruments used,
dates and reasons for any instrument changes
during the course of the survey, and a sketch and
description of the project.
Throughout the remainder of the notebook,
the beginning and ending of each days work
should be clearly indicated. Where pertinent,
the weather, including temperature and wind
velocities, should also be recorded. To minimize
recording errors, someone other than the recorder
should check and initial all data entered in the
RECORDING. Field note recording takes
three general forms: tabulation, sketches, and
descriptions. Two, or even all three, forms may
be combined, when necessary, to make a complete
In TABULATION, the numerical measure-
ments are recorded in columns according to a
prescribed plan. Spaces are also reserved to permit
SKETCHES add much to clarify field notes
and should be used liberally when applicable.
They may be drawn to an approximate scale, or
important details may be exaggerated for clarity.
A small ruler or triangle is an aid in making
sketches. Measurements should be added directly
on the sketch or keyed in some way to the tabular
data. An important requirement of a sketch is
legibility. See that the sketch is drawn clearly and
large enough to be understandable.
Tabulation, with or without added sketches,
can also be supplemented with DESCRIPTIONS.
The description may be only one or two words
to clarify t he recorded measurements. It may also
be quite a narration if it is to be used at some
future time, possibly years later, to locate a survey
ERASURES ARE NOT PERMITTED IN
FIELD NOTEBOOKS. Individual numbers or
lines recorded incorrectly are to be lined out and
the correct values inserted. Pages that are to be
rejected are crossed out neatly and referenced to
the substituted pages. THIS PROCEDURE IS
MANDATORY since the field notebook is the
book of record and is often used as legal evidence.
Standard abbreviations, signs, and symbols
are used in field notebooks. If there is any doubt
as to their meaning, an explanation must be given
in the form of notes or legends.
OFFICE WORK in surveying consists of
converting the field measurements into a usable
format. The conversion of computed, often
mathematical, values may be required immedi-
ately to continue the work, or it may be delayed
until a series of field measurements is completed.
Although these operations are performed in the
field during lapses between measurements, they
can also be considered office work. Such opera-
tions are normally done to save time. Special
equipment, such as calculators, conversion tables,
and some drafting equipment, are used in most
In office work, converting field measurements
(also called reducing) involves the process of
computing, adjusting, and applying a standard
rule to numerical values.
In any field survey operation, measurements
are derived by the application of some form of
mathematical computation. It may be simple
addition of several full lengths and a partial tape
length to record a total linear distance between
two points. It maybe the addition or subtraction
of differences in elevation to determine the height
of instrument or the elevation during leveling.
Then again, it maybe checking of angles to ensure
that the allowable error is not exceeded.
Office computing converts these distances,
elevations, and angles into a more usable form.
The finished measurements may end up as a
computed volume of dirt to be moved for a
highway cut or fill, an area of land needed for
a SEABEE construction project, or a new position
of a point from which other measurements can
In general, office computing reduces the field
notes to either a tabular or graphic form
for a permanent record or for continuation of