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Elementary Surveying

Laboratory Exercise No. 1

Problem: PACING

Objectives: a) To determine individual pace factor.

b) To measure distance by pacing.


A. Instruments & Accessories: Range Poles, Steel Tape, Markers (hubs, paint, chalk, or crayons)
B. Procedures:
1. Determining Pace Factor
a) Select a straight and level course and on both ends establish markers at least 90 meters
apart. Designate these end points as A and B.
b) Walk over the course at a natural pace or gait starting with either heel or toe over point
A and count the number of paces to reach point B.
c) For succeeding trials, walk from B to A, then A to B, until 8 trials are completed, and the
number of paces recorded accordingly.
d) Refer to the accompanying sample format for the recording of observed field data.

Trial Line Taped Distance Number of Mean No. of Paces Factor

(m) Paces Paces (m/pace)
1 AB
2 BA
3 AB
4 BA
5 AB
6 BA
7 AB
8 BA

2. Measuring Distance by Pacing

a.) Define or establish the end points of another level course whose length is to be
determined by pacing.
b.) For the first trial, walk over the course from C to D at a natural pace and record the
number of paces. Then, walk from D to C and again record the number of paces.
c.) Repeat the above procedure until all eight are completed.
d.) After the field data is recorded, make an actual taping of the course CD to determine the
taped distance.
e.) Refer to the accompanying sample format to the recording of observed field data.
Trial Line No. of Paces Mean Paced Taped Relative
Distance Distance Precision
1 CD
2 DC
3 CD
4 DC
5 CD
6 DC
7 CD
8 DC

C. Computations:
1. Computing Pace Factor (PF).
a.) Get the sum of the number of paces for the five trials performed on course AB then
compute the mean number of paces.
b.) Divide the known or taped length of course AB by the mean number of paces for AB to
determine the pace factor.
2. Computing Paced Distance (PD).
a.) Get the sum of the number of paces for the eight trials performed on course CD and
compute the mean number of paces.
b.) Multiply the mean number of paces for CD by the pace factor to obtain the paced
3. Computing Relative Precision (RP).
a.) Determine the difference between the taped distance of CD and the paced distance of
b.) Divide the difference by the taped distance of CD and reduce the numerator to unity to
determine the relative precision.
D. Remarks, Hints & Precautions:
1. The ends of assigned courses should be marked with either hubs, marking pins, or by chalk
marks if on pavement.
2. Range Poles are set or held behind the end points to serve as guides or markers during
actual pacing.
3. A steel taped should be used in laying out or in measuring the actual lengths of courses
assigned for pacing.
4. When taping, two measurement s should be made for any line and the mean recorded as
its actual length.
5. The length of a single step is termed a pace. It may be measured from heel to heel or from
toe to toe. Also, each two paces or a double step is called a stride.

Figure 1 Length of a pace.

6. Pacing consists of counting the number of steps in a required distance and is best done by
walking with natural steps.
7. Pacing is used only when approximate results are satisfactory such as for estimating
distances used for sketching and in reconnaissance surveys. Pacing is also used as a means of
checking distances measured by more accurate methods.
8. To keep one on the line while pacing, it is a good practice to fix one’s eyes on a distant object
on the range behind the pole at the farther end of the line being paced.
9. A partial pace at the end of the line should be figured out to the nearest one-fourth pace.
10. The accepted precision for measuring distance by pacing usually varies from 1/200 to1/500.
11. Reject measurements that vary from the mean by more than three percent.
12. If the computed relative precision of the set of measurements is greater than one part in
two hundred, the measurements should be repeated.