What are the benefits of Traditional vs Modern surveying techniques?

Whilst there’s certainly been huge developments in the technology and equipment used for surveying, the practice of surveying itself has been around for as long as we’ve been building! From the Pyramids to the first roads, where construction is involved, so is measuring and surveying.

At TruMetric we often use a combination of both traditional methods and modern when conducting surveys, depending on the type of survey required and the level of detail needed. Our range of techniques allows us to enhance the services we are able to provide, meaning there’s an option for every type of project.


What are traditional surveying methods?

Traditional methods are used for making linear measurements of an area or building or for levelling. These conventional surveying methods usually comprise of digital aided manual measurements. These techniques produce analogue results and involve more manual input.

– Theodolites
– ‘Dumpy Level’
– Measuring Wheel
– Tape Measure


What are modern surveying methods?

Modern surveying methods often incorporate some form of digital device and GPS systems to allow us to calculate a range of measurements including angles, levels and distances. Tools such as UAVs (or Drones) can be used to reach otherwise inaccessible areas and provide a viewpoint which we wouldn’t be able to survey using traditional methods. These include;

– Total Stations
– Laser Scanners
– GPS Equipment
– Drones/UAVs


What are the differences between these methods?

Surveying methods are continuously developing, with new instruments and techniques emerging to enable us to provide even higher levels of detail and reference points, allowing for the resulting data to be utilised in a variety of ways which can be tailored to each project. – Accuracy and Precision – More modern techniques allow us to create highly accurate and detailed reports of a building or land, which can then be used to create 3D Point Clouds, drawings, elevations and more.

– Information Gathering – using a combination of methods allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the built environment and may reveal information which isn’t visible to the naked eye.
– Speed – Traditional methods of surveying often use manual equipment which can be cumbersome and slow to use and record the results. Using modern, digital methods can increase the speed in which a survey can be completed.
– Cost – Depending on the requirements of your survey, traditional methods may be more suitable for the level of detail required and as such can be a more budget friendly option.

However, modern methods can record such a vast amount of data that you may be able to foresee potential risks or avoid future costly mistakes which may not be uncovered using a basic surveying approach.

Whatever your project, TruMetric can advise on the right survey for you, discussing in detail what your end goals are and how you wish to use the data produced. If you’d like more information on our various surveying methods and how you can utilise the data produced, please get in touch here and we’ll be happy to discuss your requirements in more detail.