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Course Outlines

SURV 1104

Basic Surveying with Total Stations

School School of Construction and the Environment
Program Geomatics
Course Credits 2.5
Minimum Passing Grade 50%
Start Date September 11, 2021
End Date October 16, 2021
Total Hours 30
Total Weeks 5
Hours/Weeks 6
Delivery Type Lecture/Lab
CRN 31313

Acknowledgement of Territories

The British Columbia Institute of Technology acknowledges that our campuses are located on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish Nations of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam).

Instructor Details

Name Alan Weston
E-mail Instructor to provide
Location SW2-315
Office Hours Instructor to provide

Course Description

Students will perform total station instrument setups, checks and calibration for both infrared and reflectorless technology. Students will also carry out angle and distance measurement procedures, direct and remote elevation determination, traversing procedures, topographic/detail surveys and construction layout. The course will cover both onboard digital and manual data collection and on-board data processing in a variety of industry standard scenarios. An overview of coordinates and coordinate systems will also be given. A portion of this course is available on-line.

Course Learning Outcomes/Competencies

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Define survey terminology.
  • Describe the components of the total station.
  • Set up a total station over a point.
  • Calibrate a total station for distance measurement.
  • Calibrate a total station for angle measurement.
  • Adjust total station operational settings for a variety of scenarios.
  • Measure horizontal angles.
  • Measure zenith angles.
  • Measure slope distances.
  • Measure reflectorless and infra red distance measurements.
  • Collect manual and digital field data.
  • Carry out a closed traverse using a total station.
  • Carry out a 3D topographic survey using a total station.
  • Use on-board station software for survey analysis.
  • Layout a point.
  • Measure areas.

Learning Resources

  • Scientific Calculator.
  • Field book - 3 ring #30 - available from BCIT bookstore.
  • 1 package loose leaf field paper (“Rite in the Rain - Level”) available from BCIT bookstore.
  • Mechanical pencil - 0.5 mm or equivalent with 2H lead.
  • Super Sharpie black medium point permanent marker.
  • Clear plastic straight edge (6).
  • Clear plastic bag to keep paper dry in the rain.
  • Pocket tape - 3m (metric).
  • Suitable foot wear - ankle support required.
  • Small stapler.
  • Golf tees (approx. 20).
  • WCB approved safety vest.

Evaluation Criteria

Criteria % Comments


70includes 5 field labs
Final Examination30Field & Written components
All assignments/Labs have equal weight

BCIT Policy

Any student who needs special assistance in the event of a medical emergency or building evacuation (either because of a disability or for any other reason) should promptly inform their course instructor(s) and Accessibility Services of their personal circumstances.

Human Rights, Harassment and Discrimination:
The BCIT community is made up of individuals from every ability, background, experience and identity, each contributing uniquely to the richness and diversity of the BCIT community as a whole. In recognition of this, and the intrinsic value of our diversity, BCIT seeks to foster a climate of collaboration, understanding and mutual respect between all members of the community and ensure an inclusive accessible working and learning environment where everyone can succeed.

Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion is a supportive resource for both students and employees of BCIT, to foster a respectful learning and working environment. Any student who feels that they are experiencing discrimination or harassment (personal or human rights-related) can confidentially access this resource for advice and support. Please see Policy 7507 – Harassment and Discrimination and accompanying procedure.

Students should make themselves aware of additional Education, Administration, Safety and other BCIT policies listed at

Guidelines for School of Construction and the Environment

Students must successfully complete a course within a maximum of three (3) attempts at the course. Students with two attempts in a single course will be allowed to repeat the course only upon special written permission from the Associate Dean. Students who have not successfully completed a course within three attempts will not be eligible to graduate from their respective program.


I verify that the content of this course outline is current.
Alan Weston, Instructor
July 27, 2021

I verify that this course outline has been reviewed.
Donna Conroy, Program Head
July 28, 2021

I verify that this course outline has been reviewed and complies with BCIT policy.
Steven Kuan, Associate Dean
August 05, 2021

Note: Should changes be required to the content of this course outline, students will be given reasonable notice.