Land surveying has existed ever since the birth of civilization. The Egyptians were the first ones to conduct accurate land surveying as showcased by the marvelous architecture of the Great Pyramid of Giza. They used their advanced knowledge in geometry as their main technique in land surveying.
It was then eventually adopted by the Babylonians and later developed by the Greeks and Romans. The Romans were the first to consider land surveying as a profession. It was considered a noble profession, and a very important one.
Unfortunately, many people nowadays take it for granted. According to a survey by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, only 9,000 out of 65,000 surveyors, photogrammetrists, and cartographers are 34 years old and below. This shows the trend of the lowering number of people taking licensure exams.
A lot of people are still unaware of land surveying and its contributions to our society. Here we will discuss how it is still significant today.
What is Land Surveying?
Land surveying is the profession and the science of measuring land areas on the earth’s surface. It involves measuring directions, angles, and distances using fundamental knowledge and techniques in geometry, physics, trigonometry, and engineering.
There are currently 7 major types of land surveying for different purposes. These are:
- ALTA/ACSM Survey (American Land Title Association / American Congress on Surveying and Mapping)
- Boundary Survey
- Construction Survey
- Location Survey
- Site Planning Survey
- Subdivision Survey
- Topographic Survey
Importance of Land Surveying
Land surveying plays a very important role in our society’s development. It gives us information about numerous things such as land boundaries, size, landscape condition, tree locations, sidewalks, and a lot more.
Different types of survey serve different purposes. But here are the benefits of land surveying:
Optimization of land development
Land surveying is crucial to land development. It is integral to the creation of public roads and highways, railways, public or private facilities, infrastructures, and private subdivisions. No modern infrastructure can be built properly without the help of land surveying.
It allows for the optimal construction of roadworks – finding the best possible routes in terms of the time consumed and safety. This is done through studying past engineering works in the area together with its current geological condition. Data from land surveying tell surveyors the possible obstructions they might face which allow them to come up with the best solution.
Similarly, the construction of public infrastructures like electric posts, water pipes, and drainages rely on the data gathered through land surveying. This allows for the efficient design and construction of streets and homes, especially in subdivision settings.
This also goes for privately-owned lands. It gives architects and engineers the data to optimize the design of your home and home expansion such as installing fences, extending your backyard, or adding a pool.
Finding and mapping underground resources
Current technologies in land surveying allow surveyors to examine potential mining locations without the added risks. Modern equipment designed for this type of surveying, such as portable XRF analyzers, are able to locate concentrations of ores in land formations using geochemical data.
This method of searching for potential mining locations minimizes human effort and consequently, potential risks. It also gathers data on the structure of land masses (dimensions of the mine and its tunnels) to better evaluate whether it has a safe enough working condition for workers.
Land surveying also helps in environmental planning. Mining corporations conduct environmental planning to avoid or at the least minimize the negative impact of their mining activities on surrounding areas and on our environment.
Determination of correct boundaries
Perhaps its most significant contribution to the common person is that it prevents unnecessary property conflicts and possible lawsuits. Land surveying is not only useful for land and resource development, but it is also helpful for resolving and preventing land property conflicts.
You can officially examine the boundaries of your land and whether it is properly labeled in accordance with any existing titles.
Information regarding your land also helps architects and engineers better utilize the space in building your desired infrastructure and any future modifications (i.e. installing fences, adding a pool or a garage, etc.). It also allows you to comfortably do certain modifications because you are confident that you are not overstepping your boundaries or breaking any laws.
This is very important in terms of real estate. Land may become more expensive or cheaper depending on several factors such as the demand, its present and future use, location, size, and overall topography. The last 3 factors can easily be evaluated through land surveying and better decisions can be made based on information acquired through land surveying.
Having a proper land survey allows you to correctly assess and resolve conflicts with your neighbors. You will know whether you are extending past your lot or not and whether their installment of a new pool is not in conflict with your land property.
It is advisable to get a land survey before making important land decisions. The expenses are estimated to be around $300 to $745 (https://costfigures.com/land-survey-cost/). This may seem to be a significant amount of money but weighing in its benefits will show that it is really worth it.
It is better to prevent the possibility of lawsuits because it can potentially cost more when you turn out to be on the wrong side of the argument.