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CODE 84520
SEMESTER 2° Semester
Propedeuticità in ingresso
Per sostenere l'esame di questo insegnamento è necessario aver sostenuto i seguenti esami:


The course provides the basic tools needed for the spatial knowledge of the territory, through main survey methods for the local area, the reference systems and the technical maps. Statistical methods provide the basis to check the campaigns' quality and to analise the obtained results. The course provides an educational approach to engineering issues in a broad sense.



The course aims to provide the basic tools necessary for spatial knowledge of the territory by introducing the student to the so-called topographic issues expressed in the local area such as, for example, detailed surveys and positioning of technological networks, to be carried out with traditional techniques and GPS / GNSS, in order to provide a first direct contact with the operational reality. The different phases dealt with, ranging from the design and execution of the survey, to its elaboration and cartographic representation, are completed by the application of statistical tools necessary for the critical analysis of the measurement campaigns carried out. The course represents a training approach to engineering issues in a broad sense, starting from the organizational aspects to arrive at the interpretative ones of the results obtained.


The student will acquire the basic tools of land surveying in the local area and the treatment of observations for analysis and control of the measuring campaigns carried out.

Basic concepts for any survey procedure, such as the reference frame and the cartography where insert our local survey.

Elements of observations processing provide the basis to control the entire survey procedure, identifying measurement schemes more appropriate in accordance with the required precision.
The course has a training approach to engineering issues in a broad sense, from the organizational aspects to the results interpretation.


Teaching will also develop the following soft skills and competencies (soft-skills):
- teamwork with a collaborative and constructive attitude;

- strategic thinking and critical thinking;

- effective communication and argumentative skills,


which will enable the relevant Open badges to be obtained:
- functional literacy competency - advanced level    

- personal competence - advanced level    

- social competence - advanced level    

- learning to learn skills - advanced level    

- competence in project creation - advanced level



Lectures (40 hours) and practice (20 hours) related to the campaign survey, to the calculation and framing in the cartography.

The instrumental and numerical exercises are particularly useful in learning instrumental operating practices discussed in class, to the processing of measurement campaigns and to the acquisition of the necessary sensitivity for its analysis. Both exercises are needed to compile the technical report that is preparatory for the written tests and is an integral part of the oral exam.

The course is held in Italian but they are available bibliographic references in English; the technical report and the examination can be conducted in English.

Students who have a valid certification of physical or learning disability recorded at the University and who wish to discuss possible accommodations or other circumstances relating to lectures, teachings and examinations should contact both the lecturer and Prof. Federico Scarpa (, the Polytechnic School disability contact person.

Working students are advised to contact the lecturer at the beginning of the teaching in order to agree on teaching and examination arrangements that, while respecting the teaching objectives, take into account individual learning methods.


Main methods of survey available today: analysis and characteristics (advantages and limitations) of the main methods of detection, i.e. traditional, satellite GNSS/GPS, photogrammetry, remote sensing and laser scanning.


Reference and coordinate systems: need of the reference systems, definitions, types of orientation and possible realizations with particular attention to the reference systems of main interest in Italy; models and issues in the transformations between different coordinate and reference systems.


Traditional survey methodologies

Optical level: observable, component parts and grinding conditions, check and possible set up of the instrument. Operating modes and main effects on the geometric leveling measurements from the middle and mutual.

Total Station: observable (azimuth directions, azimuth angles, azimuth, zenith angles), component parts and grinding conditions, check and possible set up of the instrument. Operating modes and main effects on the measurements of azimuth and zenith angles' directions, distance measurement (traditional and electronic way), with observable and operating principles, operating methods.


Satellite GNSS/GPS survey methodology: system overview and principles of operation, description of the signal, observable and equations of observation, planning of a survey campaign, survey methods with an introduction to the post processing, to the principles of the so-called Network Real Time Kinematic (NRTK), insertion of a survey in a reference system and in cartography.


Elements of observations processing: concepts of errors, statistical and random variables, the concept of average, variance and their descriptive meaning. Transformation of random variables: the approximate transformation of the mean and variance for variables to more dimensions, linear or not. Concepts of redundancy of measurements and their compensation using least squares estimation criterion, reminders of matrix algebra for the solution of linear systems. Applications to the principal topographical problems with numerical exercises.


Techniques of metric survey of territory: main schemes of single and redundant measures for the plano/altimetric survey of territory and initial checks of consistency of the observations; obtainable precisions; main scopes of work and possible approximations.


Elements of cartography: the main cartography projections and their characteristics, the national cartography, the cartography of Liguria region.


The exercises include in field survey experiences with traditional methods (level and total station) and satellite GNSS / GPS real-time (so-called Network Real Time Kinematic). Exercises in the classroom are aimed to acquire the basic tools to assess the quality of the measures, processing the survey campaigns, familiarize yourself with the coordinates and their measurement on existing maps.


Lecture notes and material provided by the teacher to the students (in italian language) using AulaWeb.

Texts for consultation  (in English):
Blachut T. J., Chrzanowski A., Saastamoinen J. H.: Urban Surveying and Mapping. Springer – Verlag, 1979, ISBN 978-1-4612-6147-6
Hofmann-Wellenhof B., Lichtenegger H, Collins J.: Global Positioning System - Theory and Practice. Springer&Verlag, Vienna
Leick A.: GPS Satellite Surveying, John Wiley & Sons Inc., New Jersey, USA, ISBN 0-471-05930-7
Mikhail E. M.: Observations and Least Squares. University Press of America, Lanham, MD, 1976.




Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy



The learning tests will be carried out either by means of self-assessment tools carried out during the course and, at the end of the course, by written (numerical) and an oral test.

The written test will deal generally with 4 exercises, one on compensation using least squares estimation criterion, two on linear application of variance propagation, one on nonlinear variance propagation.
The oral test will consist in a presentation and critical discussion of the technical report, prepared in small groups, on the exercises performed during the course. Moreover the knowledge of theoretical bases, mainly on reference systems, cartography and cartographic projections and survey methodologies.



The written test will verify the ability to interpret a problem to reach its solution, with particular attention to the setting of the procedure, the numerical solution and the level of approximation to be adopted.

The oral test will verify in particular the understanding of the overall geomatic approach and the capacity for critical sense to be applied to the technical report they have prepared and presented.

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals
Quality education
Quality education
Gender equality
Gender equality
Reduce inequality
Reduce inequality
Sustainable cities and communities
Sustainable cities and communities
Life on land
Life on land
Partnerships for the goals
Partnerships for the goals


 PRO3 - Soft skills - Alfabetica avanzato 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Alfabetica avanzato 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Personale avanzato 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Personale avanzato 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Sociale avanzato 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Sociale avanzato 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Imparare a imparare avanzato 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Imparare a imparare avanzato 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Creazione progettuale avanzato 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Creazione progettuale avanzato 1 - A