Geoff Lawton mentions using a Farmers' Level as an essential tool for a quick survey of the site's levels but I can't find any information online about them or where I can get one. Anyone know where they are available or if they are known under another name?
Here is a pic of Geoff demonstrating one to students in Jordan
James Graham wrote:Handheld Level Sight might be more appropriate terminology for North America.
Thanks James, that lead me to what appears to be 2 types of eye level.
The basic type is a Surveyors Hand Level, also known as Sight Level which presumably (needs confirmation) has a bubble at the end to make it more than a basic telescope.
Then there is a more advanced version that is known as a Topographic Abney Level and that includes a protractor. "By using trigonometry the user of a Topographic Abney Level can determine height, volume, and grade."
Since a permaculturewater survey will use dumpy levels or laser levels (or good old A frames), I'm not clear if the extra functionality of an Abney level is needed over a Hand level for a quick view of the levels of a landscape. Any thoughts and recommendations of good models would be very helpful.
A 'transit level' will give you more function and a high degree of accuracy. These can cost into the hundreds.
The Abney Level is essentially a clinometer, also called an inclinometer. They measure angles of incline. You can make one in a couple of minutes with some simple parts, and give you accuracy close enough for gubmint work. Add in a tape measure and a little bit of trigonometry, there are all sorts of things you can measure and calculate.