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Whether you realize it or not, you now already have some of the mathematical and technical tools in hand to begin analyzing and designing your own spatial networks. You already know enough to begin writing your own applications that can adjust measurements of distances, azimuths, angles, and more. And you know enough to set up the math models and fundamental analyses for the components of basic surveys such as trilaterations, intersections, resections, traverses, and more. You might just need to practice a little.

(You probably even know enough to model measurements such as those taken in three dimensions (3D), those from Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSSs), and those taken in different coordinate frames requiring a model of the transformation between them. But we’ll get to all of that in time.)

Here, we’re going to do things in small enough steps that you can feel confident as you take them. And so you don’t miss a single concept along the way. I don’t want you to have to skip ahead or copy from a book or PowerPoint slide without really understanding what you’ve copied. I don’t want you to land a job that has you scrambling to look something up when you first encounter it in the manual of the network adjustment software package. I want you to come at those things – extrapolating where you have to -but from a rock solid base knowledge of your own.

All that said, this set of self-assessment questions is about helping you bridge from what you’ve already covered so you can take the steps required to deal with distances, azimuths, horizontal angles, trilateration, and intersections. We’ll stick to those concepts for now and to a two dimensional (2D) planar coordinate system because that’s where a lot of key survey know-how still lives today and because it’ll keep our equations from being too long so we can focus on the important stuff while we’re learning it.

Get these first situations under your belt and you’ll be in great shape for the rest of what’s promised above.


Make sure you read this first

If you’re in my class then I want you to put your answers to the questions in this module into a single document. I don’t mind if you hand write and scan it, or type it out – do what works best for you. Just get it into PDF format in the end.

I want you to use the same document for all of the self-assessment questions you do before the due date for this set of questions, i.e. you will be asked to hand your work in together on different occasions in the course, requiring a different PDF file each time. This means you should keep things well organized with clear headings so you (and your TA) can figure out which solutions refer to which questions. Good self-assessment documents use headings and some even provide the links, e.g. the URL for this and subsequent pages. This helps you keep track and go back and forth quickly between the problems and solutions if you need to, e.g. on an open-book quiz.


Check out my notes

Here are my own notes for Section 1: Review of some fundamentals and some notation

Here are my own notes for Section 2: Our first networks and the key observation equations


Then jump right in

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