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Notes on the History of Land Surveying

Land surveying is one of the oldest professions in the world.
Ever since man has decided that a portion of land should belong to a tribe, the need for surveying began.
Land surveying is fascinating.
The methods used seek to decide which part of land belongs to whom, hopefully ending arguments once and for all.
In a nutshell, surveying is a process using mathematical means to survey land.
The first accounts of surveying land dates back to ancient Egypt.
Experts have found evidences that the ancient Egyptians used basic geometry to redraw the lines of boundary when the Nile River overflowed.
An Egyptian land register dating back to 3000 BC was also found.
Following the Egyptians, the Romans - also one of the most powerful civilizations of the ancient world - practiced land surveying.
They took it one step further and made "land surveyor" an official position within the Empire.
They were called agrimensores, also known as Corpus Agrimensorum Romanorum.
Although they used very simple tools, they were very thorough with their jobs and would create straight lines and correct angles with the use of these tools.
After the lines were measured, they would create shallow ditches to mark the lines.
In fact, some of the furrows they made still exist today.
One of the recorded land surveying of the "modern" times is that of William the Conqueror who wrote the Domesday Book in 1086.
This book is actually a list of names of land owners, the amount of land they owned and other information about the land.
While it was an amazing amount of information during this time, the pieces of information were not 100% correct.
The locations were not accurate and the maps were not made to scale.
One of history's greatest icons was also an avid surveyor - Napoleon Bonaparte.
The interest in surveying land was actually just a product of his want to conquer the world.
Napoleon Bonaparte founded a registry called the cadastre.
This includes a registry of properties of a county, ownership details, locations and as much information about the land's value.
Yes, Napoleon Bonaparte can be considered a land surveyor - and a very smart man.
The techniques used for land surveying have also evolved over the centuries.
A long time ago, people would use anything that could help them determine the distance from one point to another.
This means using chains with links and even ropes.
Of course, this didn't give accurate results but they didn't have the technology we now have back then.
Today, land surveyors have the best technologies to help them with their job.
There is GPS, or Global Positioning System, which is one of the most accurate technologies being used today.
Total stations are also very important to a land surveyor, which employs the use of an EDM or Electronic Distance Measurement device along with a theodolite that allows for more precise angle and distance measurements.

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