Surveying has been used for as long as time itself. In ancient Egypt, the Egyptian surveyors would use simple geometry and a ‘rope-stretcher’ to establish boundaries of the site.
In recent years, it has become a profession of utmost significance and a lot more. The International Federation of Surveyors defines a surveyor as:
A professional with academic qualifications and technical expertise who interprets land and its related geographic information, which they then use in the planning processes of various projects on land as well as the sea including any structures on it. Read more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surveying.
This occupation has always had a significant role in the expansion of the human environment since the beginning of written history. The meticulous preparation and execution of most forms of construction have always required land surveyors in any scenario. It is an important tool for research in many other scientific disciplines.
Surveyors work with different elements, namely:
- regression analysis
- programming languages
The main surveying instruments that are used around the world are namely the: measuring tape theodolite, total station, GPS (Global Positioning System), 3D scanners, level, and rods. Most of which screw onto a tripod when in use, looks similar to a tripod for a camera and nowadays even drones come in handy for aerial imagery.
Equipment that is used range from all of the below:
- total stations
- robotic total stations
- GNSS receivers
- 3D scanners
- digital levels
- handheld tablets
- subsurface locators
- surveying software
All these pieces of helpful equipment, aid in the measurement of distances (both horizontal and vertical observations) and angles used to determine the position of structures. For a more in-depth list of instruments used by surveyors click here.
There are different types of Land surveyors, which one do you need?
To determine what kind of land surveyor, you need can be a tricky decision, seeing as there are different ones for different reasons. Here is a guide to help you out:
ALTA (for American Land Title Association) and ACSM (American Congress on Surveying and Mapping) Survey
Often used to fulfill the requirements of a purchaser or a lending institution. It is one of the most inclusive types of land surveys used and it covers all the features and characteristics of a property.
As the name says, it is the surveying of boundaries of a structure like property and can include physical monumentation. The surveyor usually hired to identify and authenticate the appropriate land boundary.
Also, another common type of surveyor, who works on structures such as roads, buildings and walls etc which are common infrastructure. They look at characteristics such as the risk of angles of the slope(s) as one of the many jobs.
Site Planning Survey
This category of survey combines both the ‘boundary’ surveyor, as well as the Topographic surveyor, who is given the task of surveying a whole range of aspects such as stores and playgrounds, designing house lots, streets and highways, subdivisions and also commercial & industrial sites. So a more holistic approach.
The surveys that fall under this category are usually handled by a professional civil engineer or a civil engineering firm. Their task is to locate topographic features that include, roads, water courses, utilities, ditches, embankments and contours. Mostly done through aerial photography methods (possibly using drones) and ground field methods i.e. surveying using all the above instruments.
Finding the right fit
There are very few companies that cater for all of the above type of surveyors. Not to mention highly-skilled experts that have been doing this for a long enough time, especially in Long Island. It may be hard to find a Long Island land surveyor that offers you the expert service of thorough research before starting any project. Let alone any companies that cater for all industries under one umbrella. Finding the right one is crucial to a successful project completion and exceptional long-term commitment.
Look for companies that offer not only Land surveying and Mapping but also a diverse range of services like construction layouts, site planning, flood mapping, and 3D scanning and modeling using the latest technology and to top it all, that have a FEMA Certification, would be that diamond in the rough.
In addition, look at the list of clientele they have worked for and the niches they are open to, are they reputable companies i.e. been around for over 10 years at least? Does the surveying company have any core values like they treat you well or handle your projects in a professional manner? Find out if they are members of any reputable associations like the society of civil engineers or society of professional land surveyors. Once you have ticked all the boxes, you can’t go wrong.