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Significance of Topographic Surveys

Topographical surveys are conducted to help builders, engineers, and other professionals understand the form, shape, geographical position, and level of the earth. Data from these surveys can be used for contouring the land and identifying the map, making them essential during any construction or developmental project's planning phase. The contours and maps created during topographic surveys will be used as the project's base map regardless of the type of construction involved. Some examples of projects where a topographic survey may be needed include residential buildings, bridges and roads, commercial structures, and other developmental structure.

The Process:

A topographic survey is conducted below and above ground level. The materials and the area to be examined include utility poles, walkways, walls, and wells, manholes in the land, soil density, and trees. Every feature on the land will contribute to the survey. Professional land surveyors follow these steps to ensure an accurate topographic survey:

  • Establish a vertical and horizontal control to serve as the survey's framework.
  • Determine enough elevation and horizontal location of ground points. That way, when the map is prepared, data will be enough for plotting.
  • Find man-made and natural features on the land. These may be required depending on the topographic survey's purpose.
  • Compute angles, elevations, volumes, and distances of the earthwork.
  • Draw the topographic maps.

Uses of Topographic Surveys:

Survey results are useful to professionals like land promoters, geologists, architects, foresters, and engineers. Government institutions and agencies may require topographic surveys when validating the status and ownership of a land. Topographic maps can be helpful and serve as references when making the land's geographical map. In any case, hiring a professional land surveying firm should be considered when topographic surveys must be conducted.

The survey provides all the details about the land. It lets you know of the land's value, life, and strength. Measurements like the curves, elevation, dimensions, breadth, and length of the land are calculated in a topographic survey, and the data is useful when contouring and mapping. Likewise, the data can be helpful when finding the configuration of the cultural and natural features of the land.

Topographic surveys may be useful to archaeologists, too. A good example of this is a situation in England where archaeologists must examine findings before construction. The survey helped them find a medieval manor house. Moreover, topographic surveys can be performed for safety reasons. If existing underground records are outdated, incomplete, or vague, the survey can be conducted using state-of-the-art laser scanning equipment to update and create up-to-date data and information about the land before beginning any construction project.

About the Author:

Armando Dupont, a professional land surveyor, started his career in surveying in 1977 and has extensive experience in managing personnel and projects. His experience includes: topographic mapping, boundary surveys and analysis, construction and control surveying, preparation of tract and parcel maps, earth work calculation and quantities, targeting and control for photogrammetric, and land title surveys in accordance with the American Land Title Association and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping. Mr. DuPont founded Calvada Surveying, Inc. in 1989 and is a licensed Professional Land Surveyor in the State of California.

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Calvada Surveying, Inc
411 Jenks Circle, Ste 205, Corona, CA 92880.
Phone: (951) 280-9960
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