Trimble Supports Sino American Survey Competition to Highlight International Surveying Skills

Surveying teams from China and the United States gathered this week for an international surveying competition outside of our nation’s capital.

The competition, which brings together teams of 18 surveyors from each country Nov. 13-16 in Northern Virginia, is organized by the Beijing Municipal Federation of Trade Unions in China, the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) in the U.S., and the America and China International Foundation.

The surveying teams will compete both in the field and through a written test. The field exercise, originally planned on the National Mall to culminate in measuring a point at the top of the Washington Monument, was moved due to inclement weather to the National Geodetic Survey’s Corbin Training Center in Woodford, Va.

According to Qiang Fu, market manager, Trimble is supporting the event together with its local dealer, Keystone Precision Instrument, by supplying all of the competition’s necessary equipment, along with a first-day tutorial for all participants. The Trimble S7 Robotic Total Station, Trimble TSC7 Controller, Trimble R10-2 Integrated GNSS System and Trimble DiNi Level are just a few of the instruments participants will utilize throughout the competition.

“Every year, the Beijing Municipal Federation of Trade Unions sponsors competitions for various trade professions to build relationships and understanding between China and other countries,” Fu said. “This year, they decided to involve geospatial surveyors in the United States.”

For the competition, groups of three surveyors from each country’s team will work on the field component and use their skills to determine a point known only to the judges.

In consideration of the differentials between the various types of surveying conducted in both the U.S. and China, the underlying basis of this week’s competition focuses on surveying activities common to both teams, according to details from the NSPS. The written portion of the competition consists of 100 short-answer questions previously agreed upon by Chinese and U.S. delegation leaders. 

Also helping with the event from Trimble are Chip Berniard (technical sales NE USA/Canada) and Hughes Chen (software support). Chris Guagliardo (support specialist and certified trainer) is assisting from Keystone Precision Instrument.

Below are brief descriptions of three “field” surveying aspects of the competition. Note: there is no particular order in which each team must accomplish them:

  1. Leveling - The most accurate methodology for the determination of the difference in height between two points. The procedure requires a leveling instrument and, generally, two graduated level staffs. A team of three surveyors will choose what it considers to be the most efficient way to perform these measurements. The three survey control marks selected in the area of the competition have very accurate data published for them and will be used as the starting and ending points from which each team will determine the height for their new point. 
  1. Traverse - This measurement process requires the use of a total station and at least one range pole with a glass reflector. The traverse technique will allow each team to determine the horizontal coordinates – latitude and longitude and UTM values – for their new point by measuring angles and distances from the three survey control marks. They each have high accuracy horizontal positions already published.
  1. GNSS - These measurements will showcase each team’s ability to utilize the network of Global Navigation Satellites to independently determine the latitude, longitude and ellipsoid height of their new point. The teams will be provided with at least two methods to accurately perform positioning with a GNSS receiver to validate the horizontal coordinates as previously determined by traverse and height as performed by the leveling. Each team will have a dual frequency GNSS receiver and be provided with access to the Trimble regional real-time network, as well as the option of checking those values by submitting their GNSS observations to the National Geodetic Survey's Online Positioning User Service (OPUS).

Be sure to visit our blog next week to find out the results from the competition.


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Trimble Geospatial

Trimble Geospatial provides Land Surveying, GIS, Scanning, Mobile Mapping, Remote Sensing, Photogrammetry and Forensics professionals with industry leading hardware and software solutions.