6 Interesting Facts About Leveling & Levels

It’s easy to understand why leveling is an important task. From small tasks such as installing shelves to huge undertakings such as the construction of skyscrapers, keeping things level is crucial. Here’s a quick list featuring some fun facts about leveling and some leveling equipment.

1. Leveling & Surveying Go Hand In Hand
There are several branches that fall under the category of surveying, and leveling is one of them. The object of leveling tasks is to determine the elevation of a specific point as it relates to a specific surface, such as sea level or another bench mark. Leveling also relates to the establishment of a specific surface, or datum.

2. You Can Use Barometric Pressure For Leveling
For leveling tasks that fall under the guise of surveying, you actually can use barometric pressure to determine the difference in elevation between two distinct points. For this type of leveling, a surveyor would use a device such as an altimeter or a barometer. Of course, while this is an interesting way to determine these mathematical differences, it is not precisely accurate as barometric pressure changes throughout the day. Thus, this type of leveling is rarely used and often is used as a quick first measurement when more precise calculation will be made in the future.

3. Trigonometry Also Can Be Used For Leveling
There are several distinct types of leveling, including differential, barometric and trigonometric. Differential is the most commonly used method simply because it produces the most accurate results and involves the use of highly precise equipment. Barometric, as discussed above, is rarely used as it is not accurate enough for most applications. Trigonometric leveling, as the name suggests, involves the use of trigonometry. For this type of leveling, we often use tools such as a theodolite, a precise tool which measures angles in the horizontal and vertical planes.

4. Determining Sea Level Is A Complex Process
Earlier in this article, we mentioned that sea level is often used as datum or a bench mark. After all, as we drive along the roadways, we see town and city signs that often include that destination’s elevation in regard to sea level. But how is sea level determined? After all, the water levels change with tides, climate change and other factors.

According to the National Geographic Society, scientists will measure sea levels in a given area once per hour. This data is collected and after 19 years of data has been collected, this information is used to determine the local mean sea level. These scientists also take into consideration any land movement that occurs during this 19-year period. So, the next time you use a level to determine elevation in regard to sea level, consider how much work goes into setting that bench mark.

5. Spirit Levels Are Used By Homeowners & Professionals
A spirit level, which also can be called a bubble level, is the type of level with which most people are quite familiar. These levels date back to the 17th century and are used by carpenters, contractors, masons and homeowners alike to complete a range of tasks. At Warren Knight, we sell precision frame spirit levels that can be used to measure horizontal and vertical surfaces and shapes.

6. Spirit Levels Are Components In Many Instruments
There are many instruments out there that include a spirit level, and an Abney level is one of these instruments. These levels often are used by surveyors, as they are lightweight and easy to take in to the field. They include a sighting tube and a protractor, and our Abney level includes four scales to allow the user to obtain one or more slope readings including degrees, topographic arc, chain age correction and percent of grade.

At Warren Knight, we sell a wide variety of leveling equipment, including electronic digital clinometers, digital protractors, level meters, spirit levels, a telemetric alignment system and much more. If you don’t see exactly what you need, contact us today, and we may be able to provide you with a custom design that fits your needs and budget.

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