Surveying can be a big part of civil engineering. Most of us have probably had to take a surveying class in college, but it isn't "Engineering" in a strict sense, and can be a separate field. A quick browse through the list of current SE sites doesn't reveal any obvious place to ask a surveying question.

I'm thinking about questions pertaining to:

  • Distance/angle/elevation measurement with surveying equipment
  • Questions about surveying equipment (total stations, gps, etc.)
  • Surveying techniques and best practices.

    However, I think we should draw the line at strictly geometrical or mathematical questions.

    Should surveying be considered on-topic?

    Edit: I realize now my question wasn't very clear. I want surveying to be on topic, but a purlry math based question should go to the math SE.

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      $\begingroup$ Why do you think we should draw the line? What are the negative consequences of making surveying questions on topic since they are such a large part of civil engineering? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 22:04
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      $\begingroup$ Im pro surveying questions. I realize my stance wasnt clear there. $\endgroup$
      – cKrug
      Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 22:32
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      $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of meta.engineering.stackexchange.com/questions/6/…. Although I'm too cowardly to actually cast a close vote as such. :-) $\endgroup$
      – user16
      Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 1:04

    3 Answers 3


    Given that surveying is part of Civil Engineering, I would vote to allow those types of questions.

    Later on, if we find the site's scope is too broad, then we can narrow the scope down. But until then, we ought to welcome high quality, engineering related questions.


    Looking at your edit- I think I see your point. When it comes to questions about surveying, there are those that deal with the act of surveying and interpreting those results; and potentially those more rooted in fundamental geometry.

    In a way this meta-question follows what's going on with the following question, where it's (arguably) much more a problem of statistics than engineering: https://engineering.stackexchange.com/questions/136/principal-component-regression-with-an-additional-factor

    Although, as GlenH7 says, and is coming out of the discussion about our scope, I think we should be very weary of pre-emptively turning down questions based on their fields.

    • $\begingroup$ n.b. as a civil engineer; I think that surveying is very much part of engineering! $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 14:02

    I would consider a practical "engineering" type question on surveying (or most other topics) as one that deals with actual machines and/or equipment.

    Whereas a theoretical or mathematical question would deal strictly with mathematical theorems or equations, without reference to tangible objects.

    • $\begingroup$ There are two kinds of engineering: civil and military. Civil has many fields of specialisms such as structural, mechanical, electrical, hydrological, environmental, land surveying, and atmospheric. I vote to include surveying $\endgroup$
      – Rhodie
      Commented Oct 20, 2022 at 9:56

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