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The benefits which will result from the attainment of these objects, in the equalization of local and general taxation—in fixing the boundaries and value of property— in forwarding the construction of railroads, &c., are incalculable.
The survey is conducted by officers of the Royal Engineers, who have under their direction upwards of 1000 civilians, and a great number of soldiers from the corps of Royal Sappers and Miners. This force is employed variously as engravers, draughtsmen, clerks, surveyors, computers, accountants, levellers, and mechanics. The officers are gentlemen of the highest scientific attainments. A large proportion of the civilians are individuals of superior talent, especially those engaged as artists and computers, and the soldiers engaged on the survey are, generally speaking, clever men, and far superior in education, conduct, and position to the soldiers of the line.
The method adopted in the Trigonometrical Survey of the country is as follows:—Two or three lines, each ten or twelve miles in length, are measured with the utmost mathematical precision: from these lines a series of very large triangles are spread over the country, the angles of which are observed by the most perfect mathematical instrument now in use (the great theodolite), and the sides obtained by computation. Each of these triangles is subdivided into smaller ones by means of lesser theodolites, and again each of these triangles is divided into still smaller ones, and their areas ascertained. The country is thus covered, as it were, with a net work of small triangles, and from these the areas of every county, parish, &c., are exactly determined, as well as the latitude and longitude of every prominent object, and its height above the level of the sea. These triangles are then filled in with every detail, and from them maps are constructed and engraved.
Portions of the survey force are in different parts of the country. The northern counties of York, Lancashire,
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