Ingleborough in winter Bellarmine
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Burton-in-Lonsdale project
Surveying training

Image enhancing
Grave survey
Burton-in-Lonsdale Churchyard
Surveying training
The training led by Jeff Price took beginners through the routine of setting up a Total Station, with its associated hardware and software, and carrying out basic surveying tasks. Although the Burton-in-Lonsdale project was essentially a historical one, the techniques learned equally apply to an archaeological context.
Burton-in-Lonsdale's 'Very Old and Separate Churchyard' is ideal for training. It has steep slopes in a variety of directions. It also has trees, bushes and gravestones which get in the way of lines of sight. These difficulties allowed Jeff and the trainees to cover a number of techniques in a relatively small environment and in a short space of time. Surveying the churchyard
We looked at the constraints of placing the Total Station in an 'ideal' starting location. We chose appropriate 'fixed points' to allow relocation (or 'resectioning') of the equipment - in order to survey points not visible at the start. We used extension ranging poles when the slope (or the trees, or the bushes, or the gravestones) gave problems with lines of sight.

We could have used the Total Station alone to carry out the survey. It gives distance and angle readings from the device to a reflector held by a colleague on a point to be surveyed. These readings can be turned into a map using 3D trigonometry, Pythagoras' theorem and a lot of careful thinking. Fortunately, we have addition equipment to do these chores for us.
Surveying the churchyard
A hand-held computer runs software which does the 3D calculations for us. The program builds up a map on screen, showing the surveyed points, allowing us to efficiently collate the work and download it at a later date.

This process gives a highly-accurate version of 'tape and offset' surveying, over large distances, and at high speed (once the trainees got the hang of it).

In addition, the starting location and a Northerly orientation can be entered manually at the start of the survey (with the help of GPS coordinates). This allows the resulting survey to be placed accurately onto a real-world map.
Surveying the churchyard

The image to the right shows how raw data from the survey can be collated and displayed with the help of free 2D drawing software.

This level of detail is inappropriate to the audience for this particular project, i.e. those trying to locate a particular grave site, so the image was edited to appear as below.
sample output
churchyard map

The IAG owes a vote of thanks to Jeff Price for giving his time and energy to helping other members learn new skills.
email: ingleborougharchaeologygroup@gmail.com