Survey Standards

Standards, specifications and guidelines for the practice of surveying have changed greatly during the transition from terrestrial to satellite based measuring systems. Table 1 provides a list of selected standards documents prepared by geodetic agencies in various Canadian jurisdictions over the past 50 years.  While terrestrial measurements are now being made with automated total stations and digital spirit levels, standards from the 1980’s on observing methodologies for different orders of levelling, triangulation and trilateration surveys are still available and relevant.  With the advent of GPS, a number of new standards documents have been created by different agencies to support the exchange of GNSS data and products that enable geodetic quality positioning.

Table 1 Summary of standards, guidelines, and recommendation documents from federal and provincial agencies

Agency Documents Year
DFO Hydrographic Survey Management Guidelines

Canadian Hydrographic Service Fisheries and Oceans Canada

NRCan/CGS Guidelines for RTK/RTN GNSS Surveying in Canada

NRCan Surveyor General Branch

AB Standards, specifications & guidelines for GPS surveys of Alberta survey control 2010
BC British Columbia Specifications and Guidelines for Control Surveys using GPS Technology. 2010
Province of British Columbia Standards, Specifications and Guidelines for Resource Surveys Using GPS Technology 2008
Province of British Columbia Guidelines for RTK GPS Surveys 2009
Specifications and Guidelines for Control Surveys using Conventional Survey Technology 2009
NB Standards Manual for New Brunswick Land Surveyors 1998
New Brunswick Control Monument Database Information 2002
NS Best Practices for GNSS NRTK Service Providers Operating in Nova Scotia 2016
ON Ontario Specification for GPS Control Surveys ( 2004
PEI PEI Survey Monuments 2005