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Topography Survey – Explore the Natural and Artificial Land Features of the Area

The planning phase of construction and developmental projects consists of different stages, and one of its most important aspects is the topographic survey.

The planning phase of construction and developmental projects consists of different stages, and one of its most important aspects is the topographic survey. Designed to determine the land’s geographical condition, the topographic survey will be crucial in identifying the map and contours of the land. The contours and maps from the survey are used as the project’s base map regardless of the type of structure being built or developed. Topographic surveys can reveal the artificial and natural features of a land in a given area, and this information may help ensure the integrity of different structures, such as bridges, roads, commercial structures, and residential buildings.

A topographic survey is conducted above and below ground level to fully examine the area and materials, such as walkways, soil density, trees, manholes, utility poles, walls, and wells. All of these materials will contribute to the survey’s outcome. During the survey, various characteristics and details about the land are collected to determine its value, life, and strength. It is important to hire a seasoned and licensed land surveyor who uses the right tools and equipment to conduct a topographic survey. That way, only accurate measurements on the breadth, length, height, elevation, curves, and dimensions of the land can be calculated and determined, and you can refer to precise information that can help you with your decision-making.

Land surveying specialists typically follow certain steps to ensure the highest-quality results. First, they establish the vertical and horizontal control for the survey’s framework, then they determine enough elevation and horizontal location of ground points to make sure that there is sufficient plotting data for the map’s preparation. From there, they move on to locating man-made and natural features that may be necessary to the survey’s purpose. Distances, volumes, elevations, and angles of earthwork are computed before the topographic maps are drawn and finalized.

The results of a topographic survey are useful in analyzing the configuration of the cultural and natural features of the land. Hence, it is typically used in engineering, geology, forestry, land promotion, and architecture. Government agencies rely on topographic surveys, too, as they hire experienced and licensed land surveying companies to conduct them. 

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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