DOB: 4th July 1790 Gwernvale, Crickhowel in Wales.

Death: 1st December 1866, Hyde Park in London

About George Everest

George Everest received a military education from a young age. At the age of 16, he joined the East India Company. Everest became the assistant to Lieutenant-Colonel William Lambton on the Great Trigonometric Survey (a project which surveyed the entire Indian subcontinent).

Everest was responsible for surveying the meridian arc (the curve between two points on the Earth’s surface which have the same longitude) from the southernmost point of India to Nepal. The distance to be measured was spread across 1500 miles and took 35 years to complete.

In 1830, Everest was named Surveyor General of India, which was in addition to his title of superintendent of the Great Trigonometrical Survey, retiring in 1843 to return to England.

Adaptions to survey equipment

During his time in India, Everest made improvements to several pieces of surveying equipment, due to his pursuit of accuracy. When Everest came home to England in 1925, after being suspended for being gravely ill, he spent time with Troughton and Simms (survey instrument makers) to work on his improvements. Some of the adaptions consisted of an additional 36” theodolite, a new zenith sector and small theodolites.

Theodolite like the one used by George Everest. Image:


Peak XV (Mount Everest)

Previously known as Peak XV, Mount Everest wasn’t always known by this name. Everest’s protégé, Andrew Scott Waugh, put forward Everest’s name in 1856. Choosing a name from the multiple native languages proved difficult, so Everest’s name was used as a compromise.

Everest protested Mount Everest being named after him, as he did not discover the mountain, nor had he surveyed it. Everest believed his name wasn’t easy to write or pronounce in Hindi (the native language of the Himalayas).

Mount Everest at Dusk. Image: Adobe Stock

A recent survey of Mouth Everest

The height of Mount Everest has been widely debated since it was first discovered. Nepal and China have disagreed for several years over the true height of Mount Everest. Taken from the 1955 India Survey it was believed to stand at 8,848 metres. It was surveyed in 2020, in a joint effort between Nepal and China, and it now stands at 8,848.96 metres. The height of Mount Everest is now 96cm taller than believed 65 years ago.

It is believed the Himalayas are growing approximately 5 millimetres a year, due to the new height.

At Powers, we would revel in surveying a vast country like India, but we’re happy to start smaller.

Do you require any topographical surveys? Contact us by email at or ring 01928 734473, one of our team is always on hand to help.