Land Surveying for the Layman 1

I've been involved with land surveying at Robert A. Nowicki & Associates for nearly two years now. Before then, I'd never heard of land surveying, let alone any of the other important services carried out by a professional land surveyor. It's a whole lot more complicated than I would have thought, and now that I know some of the ins and outs of the trade I find it's my duty to demystify some of the things involved with land surveying. In fact, most people don't even know what a surveyor does or why they need a survey in the first place. In this series of blogs, I'll try to explain some of the key ideas involved with land surveying, and why they're important.


What Exactly Does a Land Surveyor Do?

Wikipedia defines land surveying as "the technique, profession, and science of determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional positions of points and the distances and angles between them."

At it's most basic, this means that a land surveyor's job is to locate things, and report their position relative to other established objects. When it comes to the average residential survey (AKA a single family home) these objects, more often than not, are property corners laid out during the subdivision's division, where lot lines and sizes are determined before housing is constructed. These property corners can be iron pipes, iron rods, or even crosses cut into the pavement. They are essential for knowing where your property begins and where it ends. Using these established objects, we can determine angles and distances from our known object to locate new objects, such as a house or a newly constructed fence. In addition to locating new objects, property corners determine the property lines. Knowing exactly where your property lines are is essential when starting a new project.

When it's all said and done, we take all the data and interpret it in such a way that the data is legible. In it's most basic state, the data is a collection of numbers and dots with no real order to them. However, when combined with field notes and our state of the art equipment, we are able to connect these dots into a full fledged picture to put on a survey.

So that's how we get a survey to you, at it's very most basic. Next time we'll talk about the different types of surveys, and which one you'll need to order to get the best possible results for your next project.