If you’ve ever walked across a bridge and wondered how it maintains its shape or wondered how long the pavement you’re walking on will last, or maybe if you just want to know why we have all those poles in the ground as you walk to class, then land surveying is the answer for you.

For a lot of us, surveying is a mystery. It’s not something we use on a day-to-day basis, and therefore our knowledge of it is limited. This article will give you a comprehensive overview of surveys, what a surveyor does, and the different types of surveying that exist today.

What is Land Surveying? 

Surveying comes from the word survey. Survey, as such, means to take a look at something and to evaluate it. That’s why, in their simplest forms, land surveying is one of the oldest sciences that is used to determine the position of different features of the earth on a plane map.

Because of its ability to represent features on a plane map, it has numerous applications in construction, insurance, property evaluation, highway planning, and much more.

The Importance of Surveying

Surveying has been a vital part of construction since the beginning of time. The development of society and technology have changed the way surveys are conducted, but the simple fact that something needs to be measured to build on that area will never change.

Below are some of the reasons why surveying is essential:

  • To prepare a plan and a section of an area covered by the project, you must survey the area. With these maps and sections made, the best alignment for the project, the amount of earthwork needed, and other details can be calculated depending on the nature of the project.
  • The planning of all Civil Engineering projects such as ports, buildings, railways, and sewage works are based on surveying measurements.
  • We need surveying to measure land and its boundaries before any project.
  • The budget and economic feasibility of a project cannot be determined without surveying.
  • Surveying is used to show the topographic map of any land.

What are the Different Types of Services provided by Surveyors?

It is common for contractors and surveyors to work together to provide better services to clients. As such, many different services can be performed by surveyors.

However, all surveying practices roll back to the core disciplines of surveying which are:

Land Surveying

Land surveying includes measuring and determining the boundaries of different properties. This type of surveying is one of the main activities carried out to acquire planning permission and identify locations where buildings or other structures may be built. This involves using a map, chart, lettering, photographs, and other similar means to record the surveyor’s work.

Engineering Surveying

This type of surveying steers towards building and civil construction. Engineering surveyors measure to ensure that construction projects are in line with the approved designs. You will find this type of surveyor on construction sites placing marks.

Mining Surveying

As the name suggests, mining surveyors are involved in the operation, planning, and construction of mines. Depending on the type of mine and ore being harvested, a mining surveyor suggests different approaches to different projects.

A mining surveyor takes volume calculations, sets out drill patterns to avoid mine collapse, manages the land, and other responsibilities.

Hydrographic Surveying

Hydrographic surveying is the art of measuring areas occupied by water. For example, under the sea, rivers, or the adjacent shores. This data is used to make waterways for ships and boats to ensure safe movement.

A hydrographic surveyor is also involved in the construction of docks, harbors, and ports.

Geodetic Surveying

Geodetic surveying is a large-scale type of surveying where people measure the shape and the size of the land while tracking any content movements. This type of surveying helps to monitor things like earthquakes, sea levels, and tracking satellites.

Aerial Surveying

Also known as photogrammetry and remote sensing, this type of surveying measures the world through photographs, infrared, and ultra-violet. Readings usually come from aerial photographs and satellite images.

Topographic Surveying

Topographic surveying shows contours together with the physical features on them. This type of surveying determines the height and location of any element on a given site. Topographic surveys help when designing roads or new buildings and can be carried out by all types of surveyors.

What Surveyors Do

Every day, thousands of people are served by Surveyors. From the moment you wake up to that evening jog around the neighborhood, they’re hard at work. Surveyors are responsible for many of the things that make our lives easier and healthier.

To some, surveyors may be perceived as a bit of an odd bunch. But surveyors are vital cogs in the wheel of our built environment. Working for councils, building companies, surveyor’s offices, indie agencies, and even homeowners themselves, they’re vital to creating the infrastructure needed to allow us to live.

Surveyors typically do the following:

  • Determine the exact location of important features
  • Make maps, reports, and plots
  • Record angles and distances between points
  • Determine where existing boundaries should be
  • Verify and record surveying data regularly
  • Research land titles and records
  • Share findings with the relevant bodies

The surveying profession has more than 100 career roles that can be classified into three main sectors: property, construction and infrastructure, and land.

Careers in Construction and Infrastructure

Construction and infrastructure surveyors are involved in the planning and constructing of most buildings that we use for business or leisure. From skyscrapers to football stadiums, they do it all. Surveyors use science and technology to turn imagination into reality and decide what goes where and why.

Surveying roles in this sector include:

  • Building surveyors
  • Project managements surveyors
  • Building control surveyors
  • Quantity surveyors
  • Infrastructure surveyors

Careers in Property

A property surveyor is a professional who buys and rents homes and office space, buys and sells the property for development and sale, and surveys existing property conditions. Along with appraising the value of construction projects, personal possessions, and other assets, some property surveyors investigate damage to properties that might be eligible for insurance compensation.

Surveying roles in this sector include:

  • Valuation surveyors
  • Property surveyors
  • Facilities management surveyors
  • Management consultancy surveyors

Careers in Land Surveying

Whether you realize it or not, land surveyors are amongst the most important people working in today’s world. With the help of land surveyors, who collect data about the natural environment and use it in planning, the government can work to maintain public safety. Land surveyors guide flood defenses and erosion, so you don’t wake up one day to find your street covered in sand.

Surveying roles in this sector include:

  • Rural surveyors
  • Geomatics surveyors
  • Mineral and waste surveyors
  • Environmental surveyors
  • Planning and development surveyors

Landmark Survey Services

Landmark’s Land Surveying services have helped solve complicated engineering and construction problems since the company’s founding over 50 years ago.

Our Land Surveying Services

  • Boundary Verification and Staking
  • Legal Descriptions & Ownership Research
  • Topographic Surveys
  • Site Improvement Implementation
  • Property Surveys
  • Route Surveys
  • Aerial Control
  • Electronic Data Collection
  • CADD Generated Base Mapping



Latest Technological Improvements

Our survey team is constantly learning about the latest in GPS and Survey technology and implementing that technology into our services.


Land Surveying has been used with Landmark since its founding in 1969, in that time we have gained experience from thousands of varying projects.

High Quality Control

Our in-house Survey team uses its PLS and PE leads to make sure that all surveys are always correct and ready for use.


Landmark’s Land Survey services work closely with the client, our in house multi-disciplinary services, construction, and municipalities to make sure that each survey is incredibly accurate and to create a high level of quality control.