Mapping America is Never-Ending Task for USGS

by Morris M. Thompson, (F.ASCE), Research Engr.; U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Va.,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1979, Vol. 49, Issue 2, Pg. 77-81


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract:

For its first topographic surveys, begun in 1879, USGS measured distances by counting revolutions of a wheel, ran traverses by chain and compass, and used a barometer to determine elevations. Between 1886 and 1908, inventions including the telescopic alidade led to improved plane-table surveying and mapping to increase speed and accuracy. Beginning in 1934 the mapping of the entire Tennessee River basin using aerial photography led to the gradual replacement of plane-table mapping in the field by photogrammetric mapping in the office. And present-day photogrammetry may soon go the way of the plane table, because high-technology methods, including inertial survey and satellite surveying, are just over the horizon.



Subject Headings: Mapping | Federal government | Topographic surveys | Photogrammetry | Aerial photography | Distance measurement | North America | Tennessee | United States

Services: Buy this book/Buy this article

 

Return to search