SrvSurvey is an independent third-party application for use with Elite Dangerous by Frontier Developments. It provides on-screen assistance when a player is near a planet in the SRV, on foot or in ships. It has 3 main functions:

The application works by analyzing journal files written by the game when played on a PC, tracking the location of the player at the time of various events. It uses this information to render overlay windows atop the game, updated in real-time as the player moves about. For the most part the application is fully automatic, players need to start the application and then just play the game. It will remain hidden until triggered by events from the game.


Srv Survey is distributed two ways:

Srv Survey is not related to EDMC (Elite Dangerous Market Connector) and is not installed as one of its plugins.

General usage:

Srv Survey uses various overlay windows that will appear automatically at suitable times, like when arriving at Guardian Ruins or when scanning for biological signals, and will close automatically when no longer useful. These can be disabled individually in settings if specific ones are not wanted.

The main window of Srv Survey is not really the interesting part but provides access to the features below. It otherwise shows a brief summary of your game status and can be safely ignored. It is worth looking in Settings once in a while as there are further abilities in there not enabled by default.


On the main window:

Organic scanning:

When approaching a planet or moon with biological signals, a summary panel will appear top center. This shows the count, the names of biological organisms detected and how many have been analyzed. Items in orange have been scanned, items in blue have not been scanned.

Upon the first scan with the Genetic Sampler tool, the summary changes to show the name of the current biological signal, filled circles for how many scans have been completed and most importantly, how far a player needs to travel for the next sample with sufficient genetic diversity. image

Upon landing, disembarking or launching the SRV a second panel will appear on the right side. This shows distances and directions from prior scans, your ship and your SRV. The circles will change color once you have travelled away far enough from a scan. image

Surveying Guardian Ruins

The goal for surveying Guardian Ruins is to measure site and Relic Tower headings, plus record which specific Items and Relic Towers are present or missing. Srv Survey triggers from in-game actions to capture survey data so you do not need to put down your game controller, hotas, etc. This works by toggling cockpit mode or switching between fire-groups.

IMPORTANT: It is necessary that you have 3 fire-groups defined for your Ship or SRV. It does not matter what devices they control, simply that they exist.

WARNING: It is highly recommended to keep the landing gear down whilst surveying. Accidentally hitting boost so close the ground is usually a terminal and expensive mistake.

Measuring Site headings:

If not already known the heading of a Guardian ruins can be measured by aligning your ship with the specific buttress shown per site: image

To help align your ship with precision Srv Survey will overlay an aiming grid in the center of your screen. Align the inner vertical bars with the back of the buttress and the outer bars with the front of the buttress, using parallax check the left and right sides are equally spaced. You may need to shift your ship left or right a little to make them line up evenly.

Once in position toggle cockpit mode twice, one second apart, and Srv Survey will record the current heading and remove the aiming grid. image

Surveying which Items are present or missing:

To record which Items or Relic towers are present or missing move your ship or SRV (always the green circle in the center of the map) close to each blue icon, getting close enough for a blue circle to appear around it. The expected type and name will be shown at the bottom of the map. Some items are quite close together requiring care to ensure you’re recording the right one. image

Srv Survey knows the location from journal files only as fast as Elite Dangerous updates them, which can be slow according to documentation …

The latitude or longitude need to change by 0.02 degrees to trigger an update when flying, or by 0.0005 degrees when in the SRV

… which is unfortunate when surveying. Toggling ship functions like ship lights or night vision will force Elite Dangerous to update those files and Srv Survey will then update accordingly.

Switch fire-group depending on if the Relic Tower or Item is present, missing or empty and toggle cockpit mode twice, one second apart. The exact timing depends on how quickly Elite Dangerous updates journal files, so the text (toggle cockpit mode once to set) will turn blue when the first toggle is detected and orange again after 2 seconds. image

Change the fire-group as follows.

When choosing fire-group C it is highly recommended to relog at that location to confirm the Item really is missing. Empty puddles are uncommon and it is common for the item in question simply to roll off before you arrive. If there is no Item immediately visible after logging back in - the puddle really is empty.

The map icons change color based on their status. Relic Towers icons are larger, Items smaller.

The top of the map shows the count of how many Relic Towers and Item locations still need to be surveyed, which will change to orange when the survey is complete.

As the game allows us to scan Relic Towers with a Composition Scanner, a Relic Tower will be marked as present if scanned this way.


You can load past surveys in the Ruins map off of the main window.

Measuring Relic Tower headings:

The heading of a Relic Tower is the direction both double large triangle sides are pointing, hence we can measure that heading by directly facing the side with a single large left facing triangle: image

Srv Survey will show an aiming assistance overlay if you switch to the Profile Analyzer.

When you are satisfied you are aiming correctly - toggle suit shields twice, one second apart, to record your current heading as the Relic Tower heading. Your current heading will be visible this whole time in the top overlay and the recorded heading will be shown once it is known: image

Finding ruins and reviewing surveys

From the main window Ruins map button you can view any of your previous surveys, or see the template of all items for each type of ruins. image

From the button All Guardian Ruins you can see a table of all 507 known Guardian Ruins, sorted by distance from your current location or any other known star system.

The table can be sorted by clicking column headers, and filtered by arbitrary text, site types or which sites you have visited: image

Double click a row to view the map for that specific site. Right click a row to copy the system name to the clipboard.

Targetting lat/long co-ordinates

Use the Set target on the main window to set target lat/long co-ordinates:


When you are close to a landable body an overlay will appear showing distance and the heading to that target location. The arrow points relative to the current ship heading: up is straight ahead, turn left if the arrow is to the left, etc. The arrow fills with yellow as you approach your target, suggesting when to engage orbital glide.


Spherical searching

On occasion there is need or desire to visit all systems within soem distance of a given system. Use the button Sphere limit on the main window to establish a central system and distance:


Once active an overlay will appear top right in the Gal Map measuring distances from that central system to the targetted system, green if within the distance or red if not:


Note: Elite Dangerous only writes the next system to journal files, hence Srv Survey can only measure distance to 1st system in a route. If you target a system 2 or more jumps away, Srv Survey will only know about the 1st jump.

Screenshot conversions:

Whilst similar abilities are available in other companion apps for Elite Dangerous, Srv Survey optimizes the process for Guardian sites by:

Message commands

Some aspects of Srv Survey can be controlled by sending a local message in game, with a few abilities only possible through such commands. This is the complete list of all commands and when they can be used:

Valid on any planet or moon:

.target here Use your current location lat/long as the target location. Target lat/long guidance overlay will appear. See more info above.

.target off Hide the target lat/long guidance overlay.

.target on Show the target lat/long guidance overlay.

Valid at Guardian Ruins

.note <stuff> Append “stuff” to your notes for this site. Notes can be seen in the table of all ruins and edited in the map viewer.

z <number> Change the map zoom level to the given number, there is no dot prefix. Valid ranges are “0.2” through “4.0”. Best values are zoom out:”0.5”, zoom in: “2”, zoom middle: “1”.

.site [ alpha | beta | gamma ] Set the current site type as given.

.heading Either: Invoke site heading mode with the aiming grid. Or if already in site heading mode: sets your current heading as the site heading.

.heading <number> Set site heading with the given number.

.tower Set Relic Tower heading using your current heading.

.tower <number> Set Relic Tower heading with the given number.

.empty Record the currently selected Item location as an empty puddle.

.aerial Invoke aerial assistance mode, for when taking aerial screenshots of the whole site.

.map Restore map mode, after using aerial assistance.

.aim Show the aiming assistance overlay depending on …

Valid at any time

.kill Immediately closes Srv Survey.