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Geodetic Surveying Stations


Surveying and ordnance are means and methods for governments to map and survey a territory and its elevations, and to know what is positioned where. Ordnance surveying was first commissioned for military purposes, presumably as early as in the 18th century. Nowadays, I expect that navigation, surveying and mapping are primarily undertaken by positioning systems based on satellite technology such as GPS.

In Spain the landscape is dotted with some 8,000 Vértices Geodésicos (Geodetic Surveying Stations) like in most other countries in the world. These stations or posts are also known as trigonometrical stations or triangulation pillars. Of all the Spanish surveying posts I estimate that some 150 can be found in Mallorca. The number of 150 is my guess. Please do not hold me to this figure; I have not single-handedly counted the posts. In the Felanitx area there are nine geodetic stations – three principal and six secondary ones – like the one shown in my photo (above) in the Sa Punta area of Portocolom (estación no. 72544, 3° 16′ 23.98730″, 39° 24′ 59.40500″). This Sa Punta triangulation pillar was erected in 1984 using as its base the remains of an antique coastal watch tower.

In Spain the Vértices Geodésicos come equipped with a metal plate such as the one in my photo (below). Please do not remove these plaques for souvenir purposes; the law will penally pursue such infringements.


The photos were taken near Portocolom, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: June 18th, 2009. The time was 17:51:34 and 17:48:12, respectively.

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