Balls of London

Surveying spheres_1

Walking down one of the roads off Kingsway, Holborn the other lunchtime, I thought I’d walked on a film set from The Prisoner as I spotted lots of mini-Rovers everywhere!

Surveying spheres_3

They were all around from windowsills, in doorways and plonked by those little patches of soil you get around trees. Was I losing my mind at 1.30 on a Wednesday afternoon? Or was I being watched by some advanced surveillance device, making sure I would be back at my desk on time rather than nipping off home early for an afternoon of gardening?

Surveying spheres_2

Needless to say I was wrong on both counts as I spotted a Surveyor’s tripod nearby with a couple of rods propped up against a wall.  There was also a chap in a high vis waistcoat laying another ball on a windowsill and I just had to ask him what they were all about.

Turns out they are called Reference Spheres used by Surveyors who use Tacheometry to determine their positioning. And now you know. Me, I’d rather they were Mini-Rovers! P

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