Guide to Compass Surveying | Open and Closed Traverse

Compass Survey | Guide to Surveying and Levelling

Compass Survey is also known as Angular Surveying.

The branch of surveying in which the position of the object is located by angular measurements taken by the compass is known as “Compass Surveying”.

Purpose of Compass Surveying

When the area to be surveyed is relatively large, then the area cannot be divided into triangles.

For example:

Towns, colonies etc.

When the survey work is to be completed quickly

When the area is full of obstacles which prevent chaining.

Compass Surveying is unsuitable in areas having magnetic rock, iron core, power lines etc which attracts a magnet.


A traverse is formed by joining the points on the ground by means of series of connected straight line.

There are two types:

  1. Open traverse
  2. Closed traverse

Open traverse

Traverse which do not return to its starting station or it closes on any other station is known as open traverse.

Closed Traverse

When the traverse returns to its starting station, it is known as closed traverse.

2 thoughts on “Guide to Compass Surveying | Open and Closed Traverse”

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  2. can you describe compass surveying with respect to meridian azimuth, quadrant bearing, magnetic meridian, needle declination, variation in magnetic declination and local attraction

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