Land Surveying

Traditionally, land surveying has been defined as an art and science of determining and establishing relative  points above, on, or below the earth’s surface. It is a profession that utilizes various techniques in accurately measuring and mapping the three-dimensional or terrestrial points, distances, and angles by applying mathematics and using technologically advanced equipment to gather and process the information needed. Land surveying is usually done to determine boundaries to establish ownership or for other purposes as required by the government.

A Land Surveyor's job is generally divided into 5 tasks:

1. Research and analysis
2. Data gathering and field work
3. Data processing and computation
4. Data representation or mapping
5. Setting monuments/markers or stakeout


There are many forms of land survey, each with a different purpose, and these are:

ALTA (American Land Title Association) Land Survey – This survey is needed for the purpose of a fulfilling the requirements of a title company and lender with survey maps and location data. This type of survey is usually done for commercial properties.

As-Built Survey – A type of survey done for the purpose of documentation, evaluation, and payment of a finished constructed project.

Boundary Survey – This is a type of land survey that involves identifying and verifying the precise and correct boundaries of adjoining properties.

Commercial Development – Development of land for business or industrial purposes.

Construction Survey – Construction surveying involves staking out structures and controlling the horizontal or vertical positions of improvements in construction projects such as roads, buildings, pipelines, walls, and utilities.

Court Exhibit Survey – This type of survey is used for presentation of visual exhibit in a courtroom. It shows legal descriptions and survey maps of properties, existing monuments or markers found on the properties, and physical features of the land.

Deformation Survey – This type of survey determines the changes in shape or movement of an object or a structure.

Dimensional Survey – A survey done on a non-level surface, usually performed in gas or off-shore industries.

Foundation Survey – This survey is for the purpose of collecting information on the position of a foundation to make sure that the foundation is constructed on the precise location and at the elevation indicated on the project plan.

Hydrographic Survey – This type of survey is generally used to map the bed and shoreline of a body water.

Location survey – A type of land survey required for loan applications or zoning permits. It is similar to boundary survey but with supplementary data regarding the location of interior developments or improvements.

Mining Survey – This type of survey involves digging of mine shafts and calculating volumes of rock.

Mortgage Survey – A type of survey required for a mortgage loan. It shows any possible encroachments on the property or building setback restrictions, as well as determine any flood zones near the property.

Municipal Development – The development of municipalities or communities for boosting the local economy as well as providing jobs.

Perimeter Survey – A type of land survey which plots a strip along boundaries to document boundary locations and their positions.

Property Survey – Property surveys helps determine the position of boundaries as well as the current structural condition of a property.

Residential Development – A real estate improvement for residential purposes such as individual houses and flats to large apartment buildings.

Right of Way Survey – This type of survey shows and maps the limits of a property on an established baseline, to be acquired for the proposed or improvements of existing roads, highways, or other public utilities.

Site Planning Survey – A type of land survey that combines topographic and boundary surveys to prepare a site plan for construction or improvements.

Structural Survey – A type of survey that gives detailed report on the current condition and stability of a structure or building to determine if repairs and necessary maintenance are needed.

Subdivision Survey – This type of survey, also known as subdivision platting, is used to divide a large property into smaller parcels, lots, estates, or tracts of land.

Topographic Survey – This type of survey measures elevations or contours of a property, natural or man-made, and employs aerial photography and ground field methods to locate topographic features such as water courses, roads, hills, ditches, utilities, and contours.

Zoning Location Survey – This type of land survey illustrates or describe the proposed or current improvements with respect to, and in compliance with, municipal requirements.

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