(in scientific research) The collection of raw data, in the field.
C. Fremont and Howard Stansbury (1806-1863) furnished a general knowledge of the hydrographic features and geological lacustrine history of the Great Basin, and this knowledge was rounded out by the field work of the U.S. Geological Survey from 1879 to 1883, under the direction of Grove Karl Gilbert.
Holmes, Archaeological Studies among the Ancient Cities of Mexico (Chicago, 1895); Walter Hough, Archaeological Field Work in N.-E.
This difference is due in part to the greater scope and complexity of the American census, and in part to the fact that in the United States the field work is done by well-paid enumerators, while in England it is done in most cases by the heads of families, who are not paid.
It was, in spite of the new ideas, an austere life, of the kind called contemplative, given up to prayer, the reading of the Scriptures and heavy field-work.
Its original use was the determination of geographical latitudes in the field work of geodetic operations; more recently it has been extensively employed for the determination S of variation of latitude, at fixed stations, under the auspices of the International Geodetic Bureau, and for the astronomical determination of the constant of aberration.