Documentation should include enough information for a user to understand the measurements and assess their quality. It should be stand-alone requiring minimal explanation on the part of the responsible surveyor: data might be used by a third party (such as a CAD technician, design engineer, etc) or long after the original surveyor is gone. To that end, field notes must be:
- Complete - All measurement and support information is recorded.
- Accurate - Field notes should be a true and complete record of the field work performed.
- Understandable - A knowledgeable user should be able to understand the notes and interpret the data.
- Unaltered - While recording mistakes are possible, original data must not be purposely obscured or unjustifiably modified.