Tacheometry or tachemetry or telemetry is a system of rapid surveying, by which the horizontal and vertical positions of points on the earth’s surface relative to each other are determined without using a chain or tape, or a separate leveling instrument.

It is best adapted to obstacles because of the steep and damaged ground, deep ravines, stretches of water, or swamp, which makes chaining difficult or unattainable.

Following are the objects of tachometric surveying as follows:

  • Prepare contour maps or plans.
  • Effectively used in hydrographic surveying.
  • It is used in location surveys for roads, railways, reservoirs, etc.
  • Also, used to test more accurate measurements.

Principle of Tacheometry:

The principle of tachometry is to enable horizontal and vertical distances to be computed from readings on a stadia rod and thus eliminate the chaining operation.

The observations required for the absolute location of a point say P with reference to the instrument station 0,

(1) The bearing of the line OP.

(2) The angle of elevation or depression recorded on the vertical circle of the device.

(3) The readings of three diaphragm hairs on a stadia rod in P seen through a telescope, i.e. top, middle, and bottom. Middle child reading is known as an axial child reading or central child reading.

Methods of Tacheometry:

1.Fixed hair method:

In this method, the distance between the two varieties is determined, while readings are taken on staff to suit in line with all three studios.

A difference of readings is obtained between the top and bottom hair readings, known as staff intercepts.

It may be noted that staff intercept varies with the distance over which the employee is held, then the horizontal distance from the equipment to the staff station is calculated.

In modern instrument stadia, hairs are fixed as they give more accurate result as compared to movable hair.

2.Subtense Method:

This tacheometry method is almost similar to the stadia method besides stadia interval is variable.

An appropriate arrangement is made to separate the distance between the stadia hair to set them towards the two targets on the staff placed at the level under observation.

Thus in this case, the staff intercept, i.e., the gap between the 2 targets, stays fixed whereas the stadia interval, i.e., the distance between the stadia hair, is variable.

In the case of fixed hair method, inclined areas may also be taken.

3.Stadia Method:

As the ‘stadia method’ is probably the most extensively used process in the discipline of tachometric survey.

The stadia method follows the principle that the ratio of perpendicular to the bottom of a triangle in the identical isosceles is constant.

Advantages of tacheometry:

  1. The method is more rapid, although less precise than chaining.
  2. They are more effective where rivers, valleys, broken boundaries, hard slopes, and undulations are difficult to chase.
  3. For the preparation of contour maps, it is essential to measure horizontal and vertical distances.
  4. It is used for survey roads, railways.
  5. It is also used for hydrographic surveying.
  6. Also, checks distance measured by tape, chain, and dumpy levels.
  7. It is used where accuracy is just not required.
  8. This saves money and time.

Disadvantages of tacheometry:

  1. In a rough country, both horizontal and vertical measurements are tedious and chaining is inaccurate, hard, and slow.
  2. This method is usually the fastest and best for figure detection and typographic detailing.

Uses of tachometer:

  • When obstacles like rivers, broken ground, water spills, tachometers give speed and accuracy of work.
  • This method is the fastest and best in filling details in the topographic survey.
Also read: Contour Interval, Chain Surveying & Total Station


Tacheometry is a method of measuring both the horizontal distance and vertical elevation of a degree in the distance without the usage of sophisticated technology such as electronic distance measurement (EDM) or satellite transmission.

Hello, I'm Rahul Patil founder of Constructionor.com, I had studied B.E. Civil. This blog provides authentic information regarding civil structures, equipment, materials, tests & much more.

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