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CEG2723 : Digital Data Acquisition

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Henny Mills
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To provide an understanding of how digital survey data is gathered in the field and subsequently analysed and processed using wholly digital techniques to provide accurate plans and models.

To introduce and develop current practice in digital surveying and contemporary geomatics techniques.

To examine the range of specialist equipment available for digital survey.

To give experience in organisation and in working as a member of a team on a substantial exercise and to demonstrate the problems in handling, on a day-to-day basis, large quantity of digital data.

The module builds upon the field survey techniques introduced at Stage 1 in module CEG1703 - Surveying.

This module builds on the basic surveying theory and practice taught in module CEG1703. It moves theory forward through introduction to electronic surveying equipment, algorithms and data flowlines. Aspects of professional practice and project management are introduced. Theory and practice are combined through the module long project that builds into a portfolio of assessed materials.

To advance knowledge and skills in digital data acquisition which are applied for Surveying and Mapping to show which forms of digital data can be obtained but how different accuracies and detail of data can be obtained.

Outline Of Syllabus

Review of Plane Surveying; Introduction to the digital data flowline; Modern control establishment techniques;
Total Stations: design, operation, error correction, on-board processing;
Digital Field Survey Data Capture: hardware/software, data logging and transfer; Sequencing of information capture: control and detail, onward transfer;
Digital Terrain Modelling: definitions, data collection techniques, types, creation and usage; Surface Modelling: volume computations, sections, grid based, triangular based methods, triangulation techniques;
Triangulation Techniques: radial sweep, Delaunay triangulation;
Current developments in Survey instrumentation;
Automated survey instruments – Robotic total stations;
Monitoring techniques – GPS, total station, precise levelling; and applications Surveying underground;
Inertial measurements. Indoor surveying methods

Through undertaking a survey of a current building and its environs to the accuracy, level of detail acceptable to a professional geospatial engineer, students will increase their theoretical understanding and practise of modern digital survey methodologies. The survey results will be required in more than one digital format in both 2D and (to a limited extent) 3D. Throughout the project, there will be opportunities to compare and contrast different techniques as addressed in the lectures. Students will work in teams undertaking the exercise throughout the Semester. The teams will be responsible for all planning and scheduling etc. There will be a regular series of 'drop-ins'. There will be an expectation for regular reports both written and oral.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture211:0021:00Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion34:0012:00Coursework submissions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical23:006:004:00 Computer based practical on compus
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00Presentation on work, PiP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching19:009:00Weekly support sessions for project work, PiP
Guided Independent StudyProject work83:0024:00Group project processing
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork93:0027:00Fieldwork on campus, PiP
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1001:00100:00Individual study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce theory and concepts which are then practised through a group fieldwork project and computer based classes using specialist software and tailored datasets.

During the small group teaching activities the students are asked to give presentations on their project work. Each group will present their work and share their experiences and problems with other groups. This allows the students to learn from the other groups, but also compare their work to other student work and allow them to practise presentation skills.

Alternatives can be offered to students unable to be present-in-person due to the prevailing C-19 circumstances. Lectures and computer based practicals can be moved online. Fieldwork practical can be moved off campus and takes place in small groups and every week in the same groups.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M35LSS volumes practical (approx 8 side A4 including diagrams).
Written exercise1M36Group submission final
Written exercise1M29Group submission 1
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The stated learning outcomes are assessed in the following manner:

1) The coursework assessments set real tasks in digital surveying through a student centred group project and a series of student led learning experiences including presentations, computer practicals and reports. The assessment tests (i) understanding of theory in relation to application to practice; (ii) initiative in selecting and using appropriate methods and techniques; and (iii) competence in specialist software and computational techniques (iv) problem solving skills.

2) An understanding of key concepts of volumetrics and surface modelling is assessed though an individual practical and subsequent report. Individual practical assessments allows for greater differentiation of student ability than group assessment employed in the project.

Reading Lists