Sources of Errors in Surveying | Civil Engineering





Sources of Errors in Surveying

In this article, we will discuss three major types of errors that are found to be very common in Surveying.

Types of Errors

Types of Errors

Types of Errors

  1. Instrumental errors
  2. Personal errors
  3. Natural errors

Instrumental errors

Error may arise due to imperfection or faulty adjustment of the instrument with which measurement is being taken.

For example:

A tape may be too long or an angle measuring instrument maybe out of adjustment. Such errors are known as Instrumental erros.

Personal Error

Error may also arise due to want of perfection of human sight in observing and of touch in manipulating instruments.

For example:

An error maybe taking the level readings or reading an angle on a circle of theodolite. Such errors are known as Personal errors.

Natural errors

Errors may also be due to variations in natural phenomena such as temperature, humidity, wind, refraction and magnetic declination. If it is not properly observed while taking measurements, the results will be incorrect.



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  1. #1 by Jacob Mgogosi on February 21, 2012 - 5:44 am

    Waoh! I was looking for errors in surveying but wherever I tried to find,feedback was not good and well organized materials like yours.Really now i understand well the errors in surveying.Thank you in advance.Mgogosi.Jacob,Tumaini University,SEKUco.

  2. #2 by japheth on June 12, 2012 - 10:32 am

    This note have been helpful. Thanks

  3. #3 by emeka on April 14, 2013 - 9:28 pm

    Very simplified….understandable
    Keep up the good work.

  4. #4 by Evans on July 7, 2015 - 6:35 pm

    The note is self explanatory and concise. It is helpful.

  5. #5 by Timothy Kayang on May 9, 2016 - 6:37 pm

    Nice work keep it up. thanks

  6. #6 by Maweje Timothy on October 12, 2016 - 1:49 am

    Hv liked the arrangement so good and straight to point

  7. #7 by jon on October 17, 2016 - 5:10 am

    I’m facing a difficult situation in the Philippines. The tie line for my property is some 21 kilometers long. The bearing is specified to the nearest minute, while the length of the tie line is specified to the nearest centimeter. This results in an uncertainty of +/- 0.5 cm in the direction of the tie line, and an uncertainty of +/- 3 meters normal to the tie line. Where does this situation fit into your discussion of surveying errors?

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