What Is Surveying?
Surveying is making measurements to establish or determine relative points on, beneath, or above the surface of the earth. Surveying is done for the purpose of map making, engineering, and construction projects.
SURVEYING INVOLVES BOTH FIELD WORK AND OFFICE WORK.
SOME OF THE ACTIVITIES INVOLVED IN SURVEYING INCLUDE:
- Conducting high-precision measurements for worldwide control networks, industrial applications, and scientific studies
- Conducting hydrographic surveys for marine and coastal infrastructure development
- Determining facts about the size, shape, and gravity field of the earth
- Determining the position of the boundaries of public or private land, including national and international boundaries
- Development and re-development of property, whether urban or rural
- Establishing and administering land and geographic information systems (LIS/GIS) and the integration of the data within those systems
- Mapping the earth above and below sea level
- Positioning and monitoring of physical features
- Providing geospatial information necessary for the construction of private and public works
- Structures and engineering works
Surveyors provide information to help guide the work of engineers, developers, and architects.
A surveyor utilizes mathematics, as well as specialized technology and equipment, to establish measurements and land size. They work on projects ranging from major construction, land subdivision, tunnel building, and mine exploration.
The 6 Main Disciplines Of Surveying
Land surveying determines property boundaries and is used as the foundation for all property transactions such as buying, selling, mortgaging, and leasing.
Engineering surveying is done at the construction-industry level and ensures that structures are built in the appropriate locations and according to design. Examples of these structures include buildings, roads, bridges, tunnels, and various other forms of infrastructure.
These surveys are used in mining operations. Mining surveyors are typically both above and underground taking measurements.
Hydrographic surveying involves both underwater and from-the-shore measurements. Measurements made by hydrographic surveyors are used to design infrastructure such as docks and to ensure that ships have enough clearance from the sea bed.
Although this sounds like a job that might require education in deep-sea diving, sonar imaging surveys provide adequate pictures of the seabed without requiring submersion.
Geodetic surveyors take very specific and precise measurements to establish the size and shape of the world and record the movement of continents. These measurements are used in tracking satellites, checking sea level rise, and monitoring earthquakes.
PHOTOGRAMMETRY AND REMOTE SENSING:
Photogrammetry and remote sensing surveys take photographic measurements of the world, and sometimes use other wavelength bands like ultraviolet or infrared. Photogrammetry and remote sensing are both used to map large areas and establish changes in the world over time.
Surveys Are An Integral Part Of Site Development and Planning
Land surveys provide critical information during the site development and planning stages of a project. Land surveying companies utilize new and traditional methods for measuring and locating elevations, natural features, man-made structures, boundaries, and angles. These measurements guide fundamental decisions about engineering and foundations.
The 7 Different Types Of Land Surveys
ALTA/ACSM surveys provide a title company or lender with the data and location needed to issue an American Land Title Association or Extended Coverage Title Insurance policy. It is one of the most extensive surveys because it details all features of the property.
A Boundary survey involves both record and field research. Resultant measurements and calculations establish boundary lines as required by state laws.
Construction surveys require canvassing infrastructure located on the property such as roads, buildings, and utilities. This information provides construction teams with directions on how to move forward with building plans.
A Location survey is used for zoning permits or loan applications and is similar to a Boundary survey.
A Site Planning survey is typically a requirement for development permit applications. It includes information from Boundary and Topographic surveys. This data is used for designing house lots, stores, playgrounds, highways, streets, and commercial or industrial sites.
A Subdivision survey is used to split up a large piece of land into smaller plats. It is also used to design streets and drainage systems.
Topographic surveys identify both natural and man-made features found on the land. Some of these features include trees, streams, fences, buildings, and utilities. A Topographic survey uses aerial photography along with ground field methods.
How The Land Survey Process Works
Before a land survey can happen, the consumer needs to have access to the property deed. Once that is obtained, a surveyor should be selected. A surveyor will begin by reaching out to local agencies to determine the boundaries of the property. Upon reviewing associated documents, the surveyor can develop a strategy and start their field work.
Depending on the size of the property, the field work for a land survey may take a significant amount of time. Field work involves measuring existing section corners, division of lines, and evidence of any other boundary lines (like fences). The land survey concludes with a report delineating property lines and includes drawings that illustrate the surveying and mapping.
Top 5 Reasons To Get A Land Survey
- Building a new business
- Buying a home
- Dividing up a larger piece of land into smaller sections
- Planning a construction project
- Removing a structure
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