Land Surveying Equipment

Wondering what land surveying equipment you need to carry out a land survey? In this article, we’re looking at all of the most common items of surveying tools and equipment.

The interesting thing about land surveying is that as a discipline, its principles have remained the same for thousands of years.

After all, the end result is still the same. Land surveyors make precise measurements to determine property and land boundaries.

Technology, however, has advanced a great deal over the years. Today, there are a number of state-of-the-art tools available to land surveyors that make their jobs quicker, easier, and even more accurate.

Here is a look at some of the essential items of land surveying equipment used today:

Theodolites

Theodolites are the camera-like devices you will have seen surveyors looking through on top of a tripod. Land surveyors use them to measure horizontal and vertical angles and are essentially rotating telescopes.

Sometimes land surveyors will also use devices called transits. These serve the same purpose. However, a theodolite is generally seen as being the more accurate of the two devices.

A theodolite is capable of measuring angles to an accuracy of one-tenth of a second angle and is one of the essential pieces of land surveying equipment.

Measuring Instruments

Surveying centers around measuring, so it’ll come as no surprise that a land surveyor will have various measuring devices in their tool kit.

This may include measuring wheels, tape measures, rulers, laser levels, chains, and various other laser devices. The type of device used usually comes down to the personal preference of a surveyor and the exact requirements.

Compasses

We all know compasses as handy tools for finding direction. They’re also essential pieces of equipment for surveyors that are working in unfamiliar territory or traveling far into an open space.

In addition to this, compasses help surveyors to measure the distance between two points. As well as measuring horizontal angles and comparing the distance between different angles.

Survey Markers

Survey markers are objects that can physically mark out points in the ground. Generally, the three most common objects are pins, flags, and stakes.

By sticking a stake into the ground, it helps people visually see where their property boundaries are. It’s also used as a temporary measure by surveyors to mark out the territory they’re working in.

Grade Rods

A grade rod, also known as a leveling rod, is a long stick-like tool that is placed in the ground and used to determine the differences in elevation.

The most common types are made from aluminum and have adjustable telescoping sections to increase or reduce the length. Land surveyors use them in combination with optical and laser levels.

Levels

Surveyor’s levels are tools that measure the height of distant points in relation to a benchmark. Essentially, enabling a surveyor to determine the difference in elevation between two points.

There are a number of different types of levels that serve different purposes. The generic term for an optical level is a “dumpy” level. There are also laser, digital, automatic, and tilting levels.

Land Surveying Equipment Theodolites

Magnetic Locators

Magnetic locators are used to find underground objects with ferrous metal content. This usually means locating underground pipes, manholes and utility covers, and other structural materials that need to be included in drawings or mapped.

The interesting thing is that they work by using the earth’s magnetic field. Magnetic locators do not emit signals. Moreover, they measure the magnetic field distortion that is present around a metal object.

Safety Equipment

Land surveyors have to work in all kinds of weather conditions, on a wide range of different terrains and sites and are almost always working outdoors.

For these reasons, safety is one of the main concerns. In addition, land surveyors should always wear reflective or high visibility clothing, especially when on building sites or among traffic.

As well as the appropriate safety headwear and other equipment depending on their working conditions.

Prisms

Surveyors use surveying prisms to measure the change in the position of any objects that are believed to be moving.

Prisms work by reflecting an Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM) beam back to the source object. This enables surveyors to accurately measure how far if at all, an object has moved.

GPS (Global Positioning System)

GPS is one of the most impactful pieces of land surveying equipment in recent years.

By using GPS, surveyors can capture highly accurate data and cover large areas in a matter of minutes sometimes. This is not possible with any of the other surveying tools.

GPS works by transmitting signals to and from a system of 30+ navigation satellites circling the earth. By bouncing these signals between satellites and a receiver, surveyors are able to accurately locate exactly where the receiver is.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

GIS is software that enables surveyors to create a digital map of an area they are surveying using the other data points they’ve collected.

This makes it a lot easier to see an area visually and work with the data. Surveyors can use a GIS-generated map to get deeper insights into the measurements they’ve collected and share the data.

Summary

As you can see, land surveying requires a wide range of tools – both analog and digital.

With the need to make precise measurements, land surveyors cannot do their work without some of the specific tools covered above.

At Accurate Land Surveyors, all of our land surveyors are highly skilled and qualified specialists in their field. There is no type of land survey we cannot perform, as you can see by looking at our services page here.

We use the latest in state-of-the-art computer and communication systems and proprietary custom-designed software. This enables our technicians to perform their work to the highest degree of accuracy and in the quickest possible time.

If you have any land surveying needs and want the services of professional land surveyors, call us today to find out more about your services and request a sample survey.

Types of Land Surveying

Here at Accurate Land Surveyors, we have been carrying out various types of land surveying requests for the residents and businesses of South Florida for more than 30 years.

At this point, with more than 100,000 survey’s behind us there’s no type of land survey we haven’t seen.

In this article, we’re going to go over some of the most common types of land surveying techniques and surveys.

This information will help you better understand if you need a survey. As well as what type of survey you need, and what’s involved in carrying out land surveys.

Surveys for New Constructions and Remodelling

There are several certificates and/or surveys that may be required if you’re planning new constructions, additions, or remodeling projects on your land.

Some of the surveys we commonly perform for these projects are:

It’s hard to say which type of survey you may need to satisfy your local planning permission. This is something you need to discuss with your local office, and there are different laws for commercial and residential work.

Once you have been advised on which survey or surveys you need, our technicians will be happy to explain what’s required from our side and talk you through the process.

Surveys for Property Purchases and Refinancing

Some of the surveys commonly required when purchasing and refinancing a home are:

Boundary Surveys

A boundary survey is required to formally define and draw up the legal boundaries of a property. This is one of the most common types of survey and is used for a number of reasons.

This survey is typically required by banks and lenders to substantiate the value of a property or piece of land. It’s also a way to settle neighborly disputes over boundaries between two properties.

After carrying out a boundary survey, a surveying technician will create a drawing showing you exactly where your property boundaries are for future reference.

Location Surveys

Location surveys are similar to boundary surveys. Both of these types of surveys mark out the property lines, improvements, and highlight any building violations that relate to property borders and neighbors.

The main difference, however, is that a location survey shows the property lines and clearly marks on a drawing the location of any and all improvements.

This type of survey is typical when the location of interior improvements needs to be added to building plans.

Subdivision Surveys

Subdivision surveys are used to divide larger pieces of land into smaller subdivisions. Generally, landowners looking to split up their land into lots, estates, or parcels of land commonly use Subdivision Surveys.

This survey is also useful for planning streets, drainage, and utility easements for commercial purposes. The subdivision ordinance gives standards for designating commercial and rental lots that will have to adhere to.

Site Planning Surveys

Site planning surveys are often neccesary when applying for development permits. This type of survey is designed to verify site information, satisfying the requirements of a development permit.

This form of survey combines the elements of topographic and boundary surveys for site planning. A technician will draw up the plans and provide you with all the information you need for your permit.

Property Surveys for Boundary Disputes

Property Surveys for Boundary Disputes

Unfortunately, boundary disputes are all too common. It’s rarely the fault of either neighbor, however. Typically, boundary lines don’t have clear and obvious markers for people to see in most cases.

If you or your neighbor wants to make some changes to your land, you need to be sure it doesn’t affect the other’s property. The only way to be sure is to have a property survey carried out.

A surveying technician will measure the exact land boundaries, and add visible markers to the land adjoining both of your properties.

You will be able to clearly see where your boundaries are. They will also draw up a document outlining your boundaries.

You can use this in the future should any more disputes arise and present this as a legal document of proof.

Liquor License Surveys

Coming under the header of land surveys are liquor licenses. If you are operating a business that intends to sell liquor, you need to submit a liquor license survey.

The exact requirements will vary depending on the criteria of your local municipality. It does require a land surveyor to carry out the survey, however.

Typically, you will have to submit a drawing showing the location of your business in relation to surrounding properties.

This is to look at how close your business is to other businesses selling alcohol, religious buildings, schools, and other public services and buildings that may be impacted by the alcohol trade.

What Do Land Surveying Technicians Do?

Surveying Technicians are qualified land surveyors that plan and perform land surveys.

The role of a land surveyor covers a lot of tasks. In summary, however, they make precise measurements to determine exactly where land and property borders are.

Land surveyors also draw up plans for new constructions. Identifying improvements and changes to a property, marking out legal property lines, and detailing a number of other things related to property boundaries.

To perform their role, surveyors use a range of state-of-the-art location tracking tools. This includes Global Positioning System (GPS), and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). As well as some other electronic devices that use satellites to make precision measurements.

Summary

Whether you need to settle a neighborly dispute over land or fulfill the requirements of a loan application or mortgage. If you need a land survey performed you will need the expertise of a qualified surveying technician.

We have a team of highly qualified technicians equipped with the latest technology and a wealth of experience in all types of land surveying.

Few surveying companies have been operating in the South Florida area as long as we have or carried out as many surveys.

Contact us today and we’ll be happy to come out and take a look at your job and advise you what the best course of action is.