In the field, surveyors followed strict procedural guidelines to carry out a survey. Sandford Fleming drew up a handbook explaining these rules. Surveying involved taking horizontal linear measurements using a sliding scale, and vertical measures using a surveyor’s rod, whose gradations were viewed with a Surveyor’s chain. Angles were measured with a theodolite.
Today, extremely precise measurements are made with complex electronic instruments, sometimes involving laser beams.
During the New France period, land was divided into seigneuries, each of which was divided into long strips.
However, at the time when Sandford Fleming was surveying the country, the territory was being divided into townships – a system established by the British after 1763.