Types of Land Measuring Instruments and Their Functions

When you take measurements on a plot of land, you need a tool that is able to support these activities in order to get the accuracy of the calculations. You can use the calculation results for many purposes, such as mapping surveys on the earth’s surface.

Broadly speaking, the relief shape on the earth’s surface is clearly uneven. Therefore, it is only natural that you need a suitable land measuring instrument to calculate and at the same time know the size of each angle and distance.

Here are some of the commonly used land measuring instruments, from the simplest methods to the latest technology.

Simple Land Measuring Instruments

A simple land measuring instrument has a less complicated design and can be used pretty easily. Usually, this type of land measuring instrument can only be used to measure one kind of measurement. Here are some of the said instruments you need to know:

1. Meter


The first type of simple land measuring instrument is a meter. In addition to measuring the length of a plot of land, this tool is also often used to measure the distance above the ground. The meter is also known as a rolling meter which is shaped like a ribbon with a certain length.

2. Compass

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Although it is more often used to determine the wind directions, a compass can also be used as a land measuring instrument according to the right direction. You can do this by positioning the compass horizontally, then let the compass needle move and show the direction.

3. Clinometer

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The last type of simple land measuring instrument is the clinometer. This tool can measure the elevation angle which is then used as calculation material in order to obtain height data for a certain object.

Optical Land Measuring Instrument

As the name suggests, this type of optical land measuring instrument is usually equipped with optical equipment. Thus, the calculation results will be more accurate and detailed, when compared to those obtained by using simple land measuring instruments.

Basically, this type of optical land measuring instrument consists of several components that are deliberately collected in a specific tool so that it has the ability to measure more than one measurement. Here are some types of optical land measuring instruments that you may need.

1. Theodolite

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This land measuring instrument is used to measure the height of land, based on the existing flat and right angles. Theodolite consists of three different types, namely electro-optical, repetition, and reteration. Usually, theodolite is used to help determine right angles, map positions, altitude, or observe the motion of the sun.

2. Level

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Apart from theodolite, another type of optical land measuring instrument is a level. Generally, this one tool is used to measure the difference in the height of an object that is located between two or more points that are close to each other.

Digital Land Measuring Instrument

From the name alone, you must already know that this type of land measuring instrument relies on an electronic system from modern technology. Here are several land measuring instruments with digital methods.

1. Global Positioning System (GPS)

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GPS is a system consisting of a constellation of radio navigation satellites. In addition, it contains a ground control segment that functions to manage satellite operation and use with a dedicated receiver. GPS generally uses satellite data to meet the requirements of a position. The results given are quite interesting, which is in the form of a 3D image of the earth’s surface.

In the past, some people thought that GPS only functioned for military purposes. But in reality, GPS is also able to assist mapping or geodetic survey activities and all geophysical research activities. Starting from the study of the atmosphere, geodynamics, meteorology, and so on.

But unfortunately, GPS also has weaknesses that make it unable to always be a mainstay. One of them is the limited function if it is used in areas that do not have the ability to receive GPS signals by the antenna of the receiver. For example, under a tunnel, in space, or underwater.

2. Total Station

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Total station

Actually, this type of digital land measuring instrument comes from the development of theodolite that has been discussed above. However, the total station has an additional object in the form of measuring distances and angles digitally due to the help of a reflector that acts as a target as well as a substitute for measuring signs.

Basically, the total station is used to calculate the coordinates, distance, direction, and height difference of any object digitally. In order to make it easier to use, this tool must be connected to a computer device.

3. Soil Moist pH Analyzer

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Soil moist pH analyzer

This type of digital land measuring instrument is very useful for farmers and plant lovers. The reason is that the soil moist pH analyzer can measure temperature as well as soil moisture in order to determine the condition of the soil and its fertility.

Soil moist pH analyzer can measure sunlight up to nine levels, soil moisture up to five levels, and soil pH up to twelve levels. Through this information, you will certainly be able to maintain soil fertility because the data generated is very accurate. Interestingly, you don’t have to bother watering the soil every day, which saves more time.

So, those are several types of land measuring instruments that have different functions according to their respective needs. Which tool do you need at the moment?