What is Field Survey?
Collection and gathering of information at the local level by conducting primary surveys is called field survey. The primary surveys are also called field surveys. They are an essential component of geographic enquiry. It is a basic procedure to understand the earth as a home of humankind. It is carried out through observation, sketching, measurement, interviews, etc.
Why is Field Survey Required?
- Geography is a field science, thus, a geographical enquiry always needed to be supplemented through well –planned field surveys.
- These surveys enhance our understanding about patterns of spatial distributions, their associations and relationships at the local level.
- Further, the field surveys facilitate the collection of local level information that is not available through secondary sources.
- Field surveys are required so that the problem under investigation is studied in depth as per the predefined objectives.
- It helps in comprehending the situation and processes in totality and at the place of their occurrence.
Field Survey Procedure Steps
- Step 1. Defining the Problem: First the problem to be studied is defined precisely by statements indicating the nature of the problem. The problem is the title and sub-title of the topic of the survey.
- Step 2. Objectives: Objectives and purposes of the survey are outlined and in accordance to these, suitable tools of acquisition of data and methods of analysis will be chosen.
- Step 3. Scope: Scope of survey is the geographical area studied, time period of enquiry and if required themes of studies to be covered are defined.
- Step 4. Tools and Techniques of information collection: Various types of tools are required to collect information. These include:
- Recorded and Published Data: from government agencies are collected and these provide base information about the problem. For example: Election Office can provide information about households, persons. Similarly, physical features like relief, drainage, vegetation, land use, etc. can be traced out from the topographical maps.
- Field Observation is very necessary to find the characteristics and associations of geographic phenomena. Sketching and photography are helpful tools.
- Measurement: Some of field surveys demand on site measurement of objects and events. It involves use of appropriate equipments.
- Interviewing: In all field surveys, personal interviews are needed to gather information about social issues through recording the experiences and knowledge of each individual.
- Step 5. Compilation and Computation: Information collected is organized for their meaningful interpretation and analysis to achieve the set objectives. Notes, field sketches, photographs, case studies, etc. are first organised according to subthemes of the study. Similarly, questionnaire and schedule based information are tabulated on the spreadsheet.
- Step 6. Cartographic Applications: Maps and diagrams are used for giving visual impressions of variations in the phenomena.
- Sep 7. Presentations: The field study report is prepared in concise form and it contains all the details of the procedures followed, methods, tools and techniques employed. At the end of the report, the summary of the investigation is provided.