Some of us in our daily lives utilize protractors, rulers, and tape measures, among other smaller measuring instruments. These tools are great for little projects, but what if we need to plan a major project, such as a bridge, dam, road, or house?

This is where land surveying tools come in. They work in a similar yet more complex way to the little tools you use in your daily life.

So, if you’ve ever wondered how land surveying is done, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide. We’ll check out all the fancy little equipment land surveyors use and how they carry out their job.

What Is Land Surveying?

Land Surveying is the science of obtaining large measurements.

You’ve undoubtedly seen people by the side of the road with sophisticated equipment mounted on a tripod peering through it. A survey is the first step in almost any civil engineering project.

It is done to establish the legal borders between land portions. Contractors also use surveying to figure out where current infrastructure is located and the terrain and slopes of the land.

Where Did It All Begin?

We have always had a propensity as humans towards constructing massive structures. As a result, surveying is a profession steeped in tradition.

Early geometry fanatics set down the angles and alignments during the building of every wonder of the ancient world. The Great Trigonometrical Survey of India, for example, used surveying to generate accurate maps of the continents. It took over 70 years to finish this project!

Land Surveying Equipment 

A theodolite is a surveying instrument that surveyors use to measure the vertical and horizontal angles between locations. You may use trigonometry to triangulate the position of any point by combining those angles with distances from a chain or tape measure.

Total stations, or modern theodolites, can measure angles and distance. They include inbuilt computers to do the computations and store the data for later use.

It’s a total station when you observe a surveyor gazing through a weird telescope. What they are doing is are sighting a reflector to record the position of a point. And surveyors must adjust these readings for changes in the earth’s gravity, refraction by the atmosphere, and the globe’s curvature over vast distances. 

Types of Land Survey

There are various types of land surveys to consider. You may need to determine your property lines. Or it could be you wish to split aspects of your land. 

Whatever the case, a land survey company can help you with all your real estate requirements. Now let’s look at the different land survey types.

Cadastral Surveys

Cadastral surveying is a form of land survey that determines your property’s borders and measurements. It allows developers and landowners to understand what they’re working with and identify land ownership in legal terms.

It establishes new boundaries and recognizes those that already exist. Setting this type of survey up early may save a lot of time and money later on if there are any community resistance or boundary issues.

Hydrographic Surveys

Hydrographic surveying is the process of mapping and measuring the ocean and rivers. You can also use them to measure creeks and any other type of waterway.

These survey types assist landowners, developers, and investors with essential stormwater, navigation, and hydraulic information.

Topographic Surveys

A topographic surveyor conducts land surveys to identify all-natural and artificial structures in a given region.

Identifying existing streams, trees, hedges, and sloping ground, for example, can assist architects and engineers in working around such natural barriers. Existing buildings are an example of artificial structures. Engineers will have to account for these buildings in their designs.

Mining Surveys

Mining surveyors expand on their previous abilities with extra information necessary for working underground as an extension of land surveying.

They offer mining firms crucial information regarding tunnel and mine sizes. This has a significant influence on industry safety. Surveyors can also apply their knowledge of mapping below ground to the search for underground riches.

Environmental Planning Surveys

The relevance of environmental surveyors is evident now that climate change is affecting the globe and every element of our ecosystem.

These professionals involve themselves in research initiatives. They research different environments and generate environmental impact reports and statements. Developers may cooperate with environmental planners to ensure that their designs have the most negligible environmental effect feasible.

Surveyors can give you the information you need about your property so you can make better decisions regarding energy, water, and waste management.

Aerial Surveys

What happens if you need to survey vast spaces?

Surveyors use airplanes and drones to examine urban infrastructure, industry, and mining when proportions get too big for groundwork. They can also survey agriculture, defense, environmental compliance, and even advertising for large-scale projects.

Land Survey Cost

In Australia, the cost of land surveying could range anywhere from $80 to $200 per hour. Surveyors determine the total cost of the service by the site’s shape, size, and location.

The cost of a land survey might increase if the property is in the mountains or if the site is unusually shaped. The cost of a property survey will also vary depending on the travel time of the professional surveyor.

Please note that all prices are estimates from what we’ve seen through online research. A residential survey might cost more or less, depending on the market and what public documents are accessible. Thus, research different land surveyors to find a quote that suits your particular needs.

Land Surveying Explained

So now you should have a much better grasp of what land surveying is all about. As you can see, there are specific types that deliver mixed results for different purposes. Make sure to research whether the land surveyor you’re looking at has a good reputation for the type of surveying you need.

Did you find this article useful? If so, please check out our blog for more helpful tips and advice.