Laboratory tests are well recognized as highly appropriate for defining the engineering properties of geomaterials, in terms of constitutive law parameters for modeling geotechnical engineering problems. The strong development of advanced techniques, both in equipment and in data interpretation, has increased the confidence in laboratory testing, while on the other hand the limitations due to the quality of soil sampling with depth and the spatial representativeness of the samples are less consensual. Still, the development of new methods for assuring high quality samples is increasing, together with sampling quality assessment by non-destructive methods using vibration wave velocities. Interpretation methods of in situ tests for ground characterization has also evolved significantly, increasing the reliability of these methods. Their versatility to cover large areas on site and the fact that these tests are, in principle, performed at the actual state (physical and stress) conditions, as well as the improvements in the correlations between field tests and hydraulic and geomechanical parameters, allows joining the quality of data and theoretical approaches, namely through critical state soil mechanics. Current techniques are usually associated either with very low stress-strain levels, such as in geophysical surveys, or with very high stress-strain levels, near failure, as in dynamic penetration tests. This practice means that the complete range of stress-strain response is rarely covered in the investigation. Exceptions can be made when using the pressuremeter test, especially the self-boring technique, although time-consuming and expensive. New research trends are making use of a single technology for characterization at different scales (e.g. element, layer and global characteristics), which is the case of the use of high-resolution fiber optic distributed sensing technology for in situ moduli profiling and in laboratory element testing.