Systematic Errors

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Systematic errors occur when something causes a constant and consistent error throughout the survey. Some examples of systematic error are: the tape has stretched and is 2 cm too long, the compass has five degree clockwise bias, or the surveyor read percent grade instead of degrees from the inclinometer. The key to systematic errors is that they are constant and consistent. If you understand what has caused the systematic error, you can remove it from each shot with simple math. For example, if the compass has a five-degree clockwise bias, you simply subtract five degrees from each azimuth.