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The direction of a line is usually defined by the horizontal angle it makes with a fixed reference line or

4 Types of Meridian
1. True Meridian – also known as astronomic or geographic meridian. This line passes through the
geographic north and south poles of the earth and the observer’s position.

2. Magnetic Meridian – a fixed line of reference which lies parallel with the magnetic lines of force of the
earth. Its direction is defined by a freely suspended magnetic needle of a compass held at the observer’s
position. Magnetic meridians are not parallel to the true meridians since they converge at a magnetic pole
which is located some distance away from the true geographic poles.

3. Grid Meridian – a fixed line of reference parallel to the central meridian of a system of plane rectangular
coordinates. One central meridian, which coincides with a true meridian, is usually selected and all other
meridians are made parallel to this meridian. The use of grid meridians is applicable only to plane surveys of
limited extent. In such types of survey it is assumed that all measurements are all projected to a horizontal
plane and that all meridians are parallel straight lines.

4. Assumed Meridians – an arbitrarily chosen fixed line of reference which is taken for convenience. This
meridian is usually the direction from a survey station to an adjoining station or some well-defined and
permanent point. It is used only on plane surveys of limited extent since they are difficult or may be
impossible to re-establish if the original reference points are lost or obliterated.

Units of Angular Measurements

1.The Degree – The sexagesimal system is used in which the circumference of a circle is divided into 360
parts or degrees. The angle of one degree is defined as the angle which requires of the rotation needed to
obtain one complete revolution. The basic unit is the degree, which is further subdivided into 60 minutes,
and the minute is subdivided into 60 seconds. The ᵒ, ‘ and ‘’ are used to denote degrees, minutes and seconds,

2. The Grad – The grad is the unit of measure in the centesimal system. In this system the circumference of a
circle is divided into 400 parts called grads. The grad is subdivided into 100 centesimal minutes and a
centesimal minute is further subdivided into seconds. The symbol g, c and cc are used to denote grads,
centesimal minutes, and centesimal seconds, respectively. It will be noted that 200 grads is equal to 180

3. The Mil – The circumference is divided into 6400 parts called mils, or 1600 mils is equal to 90 degrees. It is
commonly used in military operations as in fire direction of artillery units.

4. The Radian – The radian is another measure of angle used frequently for a host of calculations. One radian
is defined as the angle subtended at the center of a circle by an arc length exactly equal to the radius of the
180 𝑝𝑖
circle. One radian equals or approximately 57.2958 degrees and, one degree equals or approximately
𝑝𝑖 180
0.0174533 radians. The radian is sometimes referred to as the natural unit of angle because there is no
arbitrary number in its definition. It is used in computations such as determining the length of circular arcs
and where high speed electronic digital computers are used.

Designation of North Points

1. True North – north point of the true meridian. In maps and sketches, it is portrayed in the direction of the
actual location of the earth’s north geographic pole and is always shown along a vertical line. It is symbolized
by a star, an asterisk, or the letter TN.

2. Magnetic North – a north point that is established by means of a magnetized compass needle when there
are no local attractions affecting it. At any point on the earth’s surface its direction is indicated by the
direction of the magnetic lines of force passing through the point at a particular time. Magnetic north may be
located either east or west of true north. The point is usually symbolized by a half arrowhead or the letter

3. Grid North – a north point which is established by lines on a map which are parallel to a selected central
meridian. It may coincide with lines directed towards true north. Grid north may be symbolized by a full
arrowhead or the letter GN or Y.

4. Assumed North – is used to portray the location of any arbitrarily chosen north point. It may be
symbolized by a small blackened circle or the letter AN.

Conversion of an Angle
1. Convert the angle 238ᵒ25’50’’ into its equivalent in decimal degrees.
2. Convert to degrees, minutes and seconds the decimal angle 325.7541667 degrees.
3. Convert 270ᵒ into its equivalent value in grads, mils and radians.
4. Convert 350 grads into its equivalent value in degrees, mils and radians.
5. Convert 1600 mils into its equivalent value in grads, degrees and radians.
6. Convert 4 radians into its equivalent value in degrees, grads and mils.

The direction of line is defined as the horizontal angle the line makes with an established line of reference.

Kinds of Angles
1. Interior Angles – The angle between adjacent lines in a closed polygon. These angle may be measured
clockwise and counterclockwise.
Sum of Interior angle for closed polygon = (n – 2) 180°
n = number of sides

2. Deflection Angles – The angle between a line and the prolongation of the preceding line. It may turn to the
right (clockwise) or to the left (counterclockwise) and it is necessary to append the letters R or L to the
numerical value to define the direction in which the angle has been turned. Right deflections (positive) are
considered to have signs opposite to left deflections (negative).

3. Angles to the Right – Angles to the right are measured clockwise from the preceding line to the succeeding
4. Bearings – The bearing of the line is the acute horizontal angle between the reference meridian and the
line. A quadrantal system is used to specify bearings such that a line may fall under one of the following
quadrants: NE, SE, NW, and SW.

5. Forward and Back Bearing – Using the quadrantal system any line in the surface of the earth may be
defined by two directions which differ from each other by exactly 180 degrees. When the bearing of a line is
observed in the direction in which the survey progresses, it is referred to as a forward bearing, if the bearing
of the same line is observed in an opposite direction it is called the back bearing.

6. Azimuths – The azimuth of a line is its direction as given by the angle between the meridian and the line
measured in clockwise direction from either the north or south branch of the meridian.

7. Forward and Back Azimuth

Rule 1: If the forward azimuth of the line is greater than 180 deg., subtract 180 deg. to obtain the back
Rule 2: When the forward azimuth of the line is less than 180 deg., add 180 deg. to determine the back

1. Compute the angles AOB and COD from the following set of lines whose magnetic bearings are given:
a. OA, N 39°25’ E and OB, N 75°50’ E
b. OC, N 34°14’ E and OD, N 53°22’ W

2. Convert the following bearings to equivalent azimuths

a. AB, N 25°25’ W
b. BC, Due East

3. Convert the following azimuths to equivalent bearings:

a. AZIMS of line AB = 230°30’
b. AZIMN of line BC = 112°46′

The magnetic poles are not points but oval areas located about 2,000 km away from the actual location of the
geographic poles of the earth. The horizontal angle and direction by which the needle of a compass deflects
from the true meridian at any particular locality is called the magnetic declination. Deflection of the needle
may be eastward or westward of the true meridian. At any location on the earth’s surface magnetic bearings
(or azimuths) may easily be converted to true bearings (or azimuths) and vice-versa, if the declination is

1. The magnetic declination in a locality is 2° 30’ E. Determine the true bearing and true azimuths reckoned
from north and south of the following lines whose magnetic bearings are given.
a. AB, N 25° 40′ E
b. AC, S 50° 12’ E
c. AD, S 62° 18’ W

2. A field is in the form of a regular pentagon. If the true bearing of side AB is N 30 °30’ E, determine the true
azimuth from south of the following sides of the field: AB, BC, and CD. Assume that the corners of the field are
labeled in clockwise direction.
La Putt, Juny Pilapil. Elementary Surveying 3rd Edition