This paper reviews briefly the important techniques used for site selection and for explorations including the use of pedological, geological, and topographic maps—the role of aerial photographic interpretation techniques—and the importance of seismic, electrical resistivity, and ordinary drilling procedures in the collection of subsurface data. The paper contains a selected group of references for the guidance of those not entirely familiar with the details of these involved procedures including some limitations and ramifications of each. The outstanding contributions of ASTM through Committee D-18 on Soils for Engineering Purposes as well as the role of the Highway Research Board's Department of Soils, and some of the Committees of the American Association of State Highway Officials are indicated. In the production of plans for a new structure—an airport, a bridge, a building, a highway, a dam, a sanitary disposal plant—there should be no priority higher than that of explorations to develop information for selection of the best site available and to obtain data on the properties of the foundation materials for the proposed structure so that an adequate and efficient design can be made.
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