The Annual Ritual – Calibration

In the realm of land surveying, precision is paramount.

Our journey towards accuracy is deeply rooted in the historical unreliability of distance measurements before the 1870s.  The NSW government took a pioneering step by establishing a baseline at Sydney Observatory in the 1880s followed by a replacement baseline in the basement of the Department of Lands’ head office in Bridge Street, Sydney in the 1890s.  This marked the birth of standardised measuring practices, a tradition that endures today.

As technology evolved, electronic distance measuring equipment (EDM) became commonplace.  Recognising the need for continued precision, the state government implemented EDM pillar baselines across major cities in NSW.  Surveyors were obliged to adhere to these benchmarks, ensuring a seamless transition from traditional measuring bands to modern electronic laser and robotic instruments as used in surveying today.

The impact of this compliance is far-reaching.  A member of the public can confidently utilise a survey plan to design critical infrastructure such as houses, hospitals, bridges and railways, secure in the knowledge that these structures will seamlessly integrate with the land parcel.

Standardised equipment empowers surveyors to mark locations for crucial structures, fostering compatibility among components sourced from different angles.

The reliance on standardised distances extends beyond the realm of construction.  Accurate areas outlined in survey plans serve as the foundation for land taxes.  Land values, determined by these standardised measures, influence tax rates and borrowing capacities from lending bodies.

In the intricate dance of our modern society, adherence to accepted standards is non-negotiable for sustaining a first-world economy.  Calibration, an annual ritual, becomes the linchpin in this pursuit of precision. It also becomes a habit. No one in our office thinks that calibration is unnecessary, yet we’ve met many who think it is a burden and not needed often thinking the annual maintenance check-up is enough.

At Hanlons, we think differently. We believe our survey instruments are not just tools but guardians of reliability, forming the bedrock upon which all our critical infrastructure, taxes and economic stability rest.

May calibration long continue.  For in its meticulous repetition, lies the assurances of a future built on accuracy and excellence.



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Mitchel Hanlon Consulting Pty Ltd ABN 51104693736