(1) Tabulations. Tabulations are the numerical measurements that are recorded in columns
according to a prescribed plan. Spaces are also reserved to permit necessary computations. Tabulations,
with or without added sketches, can also be supplemented with descriptions.
(2) Sketches. Sketches add much to clarify field notes and should be used liberally when
applicable. They may be drawn to an approximate scale, or important details may be exaggerated for
clarity. A small ruler or triangle is an aid in making sketches. Measurements should be added directly
on the sketch or keyed in some way to the tabular data. A very important requirement of a sketch is
legibility. See that the sketch is drawn clearly and large enough to be understandable.
(3) Descriptions. Descriptions may only be one or two words to clarify recorded
measurements or may be a lengthy narration if it is to be used at some future time, possibly years later,
to locate a surveying monument.
(4) Combinations. Two, or even all three, of the methods can be combined, when necessary,
to make a complete record.
b. Field Notebook. A field notebook is a permanently bound book for recording measurements
as they are made in the field. Several types are available to record the different kinds of surveying
measurements. The front cover of a field notebook should be marked with the name of the project its
general location, the types of measurements recorded, the designation of the surveying unit, and other
pertinent information as specified by the engineering officer. The inside front cover should contain
instructions for the return of the notebook, if lost. The right-hand pages should be reserved for an index
of the field notes, a list of party personnel and their duties, a list of the instruments used (plus the dates
and the reasons for any instrument being changed during the course of the survey), and a sketch and
description of the project. Throughout the remainder of the notebook, the beginning and ending of each
day's work should be clearly indicated. When pertinent, the weather, including temperature and wind
velocities, should also be recorded. To minimize recording errors, all data entered in the notebook must
be checked and initialed by someone other than the recorder.
(1) Legibility. All field notes should be lettered legibly. A mechanical pencil or a number 3
or 4 hard-lead pencil, using sufficient pressure, will ensure a permanent record. Numerals and decimal
points should be legible and permit only one interpretation. Notes must be kept in the field notebook
and not on scraps of paper for later transcription. Separate surveys should be recorded on separate pages
or in different books.
(2) Erasures. Erasures are not permitted in field notebooks. Individual numbers or lines
recorded incorrectly are lined out and the correct values added. Pages that are to be rejected are crossed
out neatly and referenced to the substituted page. This procedure is mandatory since the field notebook
is the book of record and is often used as legal evidence.
(3) Abbreviations. Standard abbreviations, signs, and symbols are used in field notebooks.
If there is any doubt as to their meaning, an explanation must be given in the form of notes or legends.