Anyone thinking of taking the Fundamental Survey Exam (FS) is going to find a lot of value in this reference guide as it is comprehensive, detailed, and very easy to read even for this non-surveying guy. I did some survey work back in the day so I had to brush up on my trig a little but, otherwise, found this guide to be very easy to read even for beginners. The information also seems fairly universal given not all survey work is the same.
Despite the hefty price, I would highly recommend this guide to anyone studying for the FS or wanted to see what's involved with being a surveyor. (Posted on 3/19/2015)
First off, this is a thorough and well laid out book. It's chocked full of math problems and examples and starts from the bare basics and quickly moves on to the complicated concepts in a well laid out methodical fashion. Let me tell you what I found in the hopes that it'll help you decide whether this book is for you. It's softbound (I received a softbound copy but that might be that's because its an evaluation copy -- the product page clearly reads hardbound) so to me it has has the feel of a study guide or even a textbook.
WHAT THIS IS (to me)
- It's a great test preparation book -- it covers all the concepts very well and is very up to date technologically
- It's a great "reference" if you're going to be sitting at home planning and preparing for a certain type of work
WHAT THIS IS NOT (to me)
- It's not really a field reference guide in my opinion (and in its defense, I don't think it's meant to be one) --- a field reference to me is a spiral bound, thick paged, tabbed book that has a lot of shortcuts and laid out in a fashion to really help you get your work done fast -- This book is not that, it feels like a workbook with lots of text and a lot of math problems ranging from simple to the standard math that surveyors use (the cover is full color but the inside is black and white) It is thorough and well laid out but its meant to be comprehensive and detailed and it has sample problems etc -- so its mean to help you prepare (for the test or for a real job but not so much in the field). You can use it as a reference but I wouldn't go out to the job site unprepared and expect this to help you quickly get things done with this thing....I'd study the night before, refer to it, and if I have a particular question on the field site, you know where to go can go and look it up - and in that sense it's a great reference manual.
I will say that I think the book's title is accurate -- It's a reference manual for surveyers (and it's also a test preparation guide). Just make sure you know what you're buying this for and you should be great.
SHOULD YOU GET THIS OR CHEAPER OLDER EDITION
- Technology in this field is changing quite rapidly so I wouldn't short change yourself a few bucks if you need a solid up to date reference manual. I'd get the new one. Many of the basic concepts are the same but as you move on to more advanced stuff there is some difference.
I thought it was a great and up to date manual. (Posted on 2/19/2015)
This is the most up-to-date version of this text. For instance, the section on aerial mapping has been expanding from the earlier editions. Therefore, if you have one of those earlier editions, it may be well worth the investment to upgrade to this newest version. (This is especially true for university libraries updating their reference section and for professors using this text as a supplement to their classes).
While seemingly a hefty price, this text is invaluable to those preparing for the Fundamental (FS) Surveying Exam. This massive text is, by all means, comprehensive. Now, this is also suitable for those studying for the Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS) exam. Still, the author does caution that "it may not be suitable as a stand-alone guide for all portions of the PS" (intro). So, if this is your current situation, be certain to supplement your studies with other texts also.
What I like about the text is that it not only prepares one for the exam itself, but demystifies the process (which can radically diminish the anxiety that accompanies these exams). If you have not spoken with others who have taken this exam, try to invest time in the introduction. You will learn that your exam will be unique to you (i.e. the test-taker next to you will NOT have the same exam that you have), that you are permitted to review problems BUT not permitted to jump ahead to specific problems, and the interface contains a pop-up scientific calculator. By reading this section, there will be fewer surprises. You will, most assuredly, feel more confident in entering the exam. (Still, as a professor, I have had to take many such exams ... and, I know for a fact that it will also help to speak with some folks who have already been through the process. So, if possible, try to do that. Getting honest feedback from several people is optimal.)
This immaculately edited, intensely researched text can help you polish areas in which you feel slightly deficient and, equally as valuable, it will confirm the areas in which you excel. In sum, it will be a boon to you.
If you are taking the FS exam, invest in this text. You will not regret it. (Posted on 2/19/2015)