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An Introduction to Survey Methods and Techniques

COURSE NO: A03-009
An Introduction to Survey Methods and Techniques
Course Highlights

This online engineering course provides an overview of past and present instruments and methods used to perform topographic surveys of sites, facilities or infrastructure. Prior to the advent of total stations, GPS, LIDAR, and data collector systems, transit and plane table topographic surveying methods and instruments were once a standard.


Transit and plane table topographic surveying methods and instruments are rarely used today, other than perhaps for small surveys when a total station or RTK system is not available. However, the basic field considerations regarding detail and accuracy have not changed, and field observing methods with total stations or RTK are not significantly different from the older survey techniques briefly described in this course.


This 3 PDH online course is intended for civil engineers and professional land surveyors interested in learning about methods and techniques for land surveys.
Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Learning about transit tape topographic surveys
  • Understanding how to approach transit-stadia topographic surveys
  • Knowing when to employ transit/theodolite and electronic distance measurement (EDM) instruments
  • Understanding the history of plane table surveying and how it is used today
  • Learning about the development of total stations and how they are used
  • Understanding how real-time kinematic GPS systems are used today
Course Document
In this course, you need to review the document titled, “An Introduction to Survey Methods and Techniques”.
To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
An Introduction to Survey Methods and Techniques (2.7 MB)
Course Quiz
Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of fifteen (15) questions to earn 3 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on the entire document.
The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: