a. Land Surveys. A land survey is conducted to establish the exact location, boundaries, or
subdivision of a tract of land in a specified area. This type of work is sometimes referred to as cadastral
surveying. When this work is primarily done within city limits, it is referred to as city surveying. At
present, land surveys generally consist of the following chores:
Establishing markers or monuments to define and thereby preserve the boundaries of land
belonging to an individual, a corporation, or the government.
Relocating markers or monuments legally established by original surveys. This requires
examining previous surveying records and retracing what was done. When some markers
or monuments are missing, they are reestablished by following recognized procedures
and using whatever information is available.
Rerunning old land-surveying lines to determine their lengths and directions. As a result
of the high cost of land, old lines are remeasured to get more precise measurements.
Subdividing land into parcels of predetermined sizes and shape.
Calculating areas, distances, and directions and preparing a land map to portray surveying
data so that it can be used as a permanent record.
Writing a technical description for deeds.
b. Topographic Surveys. A topographic survey is conducted to gather surveying data about
natural and man-made land features, as well as elevations. From this information a three-dimensional
map may be prepared. The topographic map may be prepared in the office after collecting the field data
or done right away in the field by plane table. The work usually consists of the following:
Establishing horizontal and vertical control that will serve as the framework of the
Determining the horizontal location and elevation (usually called "side shots") of ground
points to provide enough data for plotting when the map is prepared.
Locating natural and man-made features.
Computing distances, angles, and elevations.
Drawing the topographic map.
c. Engineering or Construction Surveys. An engineering or a construction survey is conducted
obtain data for the various phases of construction activity.
It includes a