Real-Time Construction Staking

by Don K. Nasland, P.E., (M.ASCE), Senior Vice President; Nasland Engineering, San Diego, CA,
David Paul Johnson, California licensed land surveyor and Western Region technical support representative; Trimble, Sunnyvale, CA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1996, Vol. 66, Issue 6, Pg. 46-49

Document Type: Feature article


Surveying has changed from a profession in which one learned skills on the job and could even become licensed without a degree. Now firms are turning to high tech equipment using geographic positioning systems and real time kinematic equipment. The author describes the evolution of attitudes and acceptance of new technology within his firm and illustrates successful use of such equipment at a construction staking project in a remote mountainous area of California. The equipment allowed them to do the job faster and with fewer people. They were able to cover 1200 to 2200 m per day of open space layout as compared to an estimated 500 to 1200 m per day with conventional equipment. The history of geographic positioning is also offered. The U.S. Department of Defense initiated a satellite network in 1978, and since that time, civilian use has increased. Radio receivers link the satellites to surveyors and government licenses are required to use high-powered radios for this purpose.

Subject Headings: Satellites | Licensure and certification | Construction equipment | Surveys (non-geomatic) | Project management | Mountains | Kinematics

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