Surveyors use mathematics—especially geometry and trigonometry—because they need to measure angles and distances on the ground. They then interpret the data, accurately plotting such information as boundaries and locations of structures on a map. These maps are then used for personal or legal means, such as a survey of a person’s lot showing ownership boundaries in order to obtain a mortgage. The traditional method of surveying is called plane surveying, which does not take into consideration the curvature of the Earth because, for most small projects, this curvature doesn’t really matter. When it does, especially for projects measuring greater distances, the method used is called geodetic surveying.

Geometry and trigonometry are essential mathematical disciplines that surveyors must understand to measure property boundaries accurately.