Topographical Surveys

On construction sites, the first person on site is a land surveyor to determine the boundaries of the property and the extents of the buildable areas. The next step is to collect data on existing topography, utilities, and other existing site features which may have an impact on the final design of the site. With years of experience the construction and land development industries, Foresight Land Surveying delivers our clients highly accurate survey data which is critical to a successful project outcome.

What Is A Topographic Land Survey?

You can think about a topographic survey like a painting framed and hung on the wall. The boundary survey is the frame. This tells us the shape and area of the parcel. Each boundary survey performed by Foresight Land Surveying determines the extents of and physical improvements which are situated on the property, but a topographic survey goes into even more depth to paint the actual picture. A topographic survey shows literally “the lay of the land”. Elevation data is collected and used to create contours which show hills and valleys, the slope of the land, and other important features such as creeks, rivers, drainage swales, treelines, which may have a potential impact on final site design. Where boundary surveys concentrate on horizontal measurements, topographic surveys concentrate on elevations. The data is collected in the field by means of high-accuracy survey-grade GPS units, conventional and robotic total stations, sUAS (small unmanned aerial systems or “drones”), levels, or a combination of all of them. Once the 3 dimensional data is collected, it is sent to the office to be processed and analyzed in a sophisticated computer program (AutoCAD) electronic drawings. These files can be used and shared with engineers, architects and other design professionals who need the data to design the site. The topographic map is also printed and signed by the professional who was responsible for the project and included within the final set of construction plans.

When Is A Topographic Survey Needed?

There are many reasons our clients ask us to perform topographic land surveys. Some want to determine the best way to subdivide their land in order to get the most intelligent use and enjoyment from the land. Without seeing the features a topographic survey would show, it would be impossible to find the best future building sites for homes. Others are doing large scale developments and want to make the most of the natural land. Water courses and slopes are extremely important factors to consider when determining the placement of roads and lots. The use of “Open Spaces” or “Green Spaces” is also an important feature of many subdivisions. These are areas that are left untouched by the construction process in order to create a more natural feel to the neighborhood and provide areas f recreation to its residents. Other clients might need to know what buildings exist and their elevations and relation to public streets and underground utilities. This is important when a site is being cleared of its existing building or buildings to make way for the construction of new buildings. Drainage is also important factor to consider. How does water move when it rains? These are just a few reasons our clients order a topographic survey.