Topographic Land Surveys

One of the primary obstacles to improving a piece of land is the terrain itself. Forest cover, steep changes in elevation, and even bodies of water can all affect how much of the land is easily accessible for improvement. Collecting info about these natural features can help sales and construction proceed smoothly.

Topographic surveys are how this information is collected. A topographic land survey should note both the natural and manmade features of the property, including how the land is contoured. Once the survey is complete, the information is visualized as a map or other format usable by architects, engineers, contractors, developers, and other professionals.

McClure offers professional topographic land surveys with accurate renderings of your property’s terrain.

What Is a Topographic Survey?

A topographic survey is a kind of land survey, commonly used when developers are seeking to improve a piece of land or construct something on it. It may also be called a design survey or preliminary survey. In order to determine if a developer’s goals are feasible, more details about the topography are required. Topographic surveys should provide this information in a format that can be easily visualized.

What’s included in the survey’s final report depends on the features found at the property, but there are some key aspects a surveyor will prioritize:

  • Elevation: A building’s design can be heavily impacted by the height of surrounding terrain. A topographic survey will illustrate the high and low elevations of property as well as the grade of the slopes between them.
  • Property boundaries: The property lines ensure the surveyor only marks features inside the boundaries. If a nearby feature like a large tree could still affect the terrain across the property line, the surveyor may take note of it. This information can also be collected as part of a boundary survey.
  • And natural/manmade features: Vegetation, bodies of water, fencing, and more will make up the remainder of what’s included on a topographic survey. Surveyors will note their elevation as well as the distance between key features.

How can Topographic Land Surveys Be Completed?

The surveyor begins the process with gathering all relevant information about the land they’ll be surveying. This includes confirmation from whoever is commissioning the survey about the level of detail they’re looking for. For example, a large, flat piece of rural land won’t require as much detail as a dense urban neighborhood.

When they are ready to visit the site, surveyors use a variety of specialized equipment to capture the data they need. Tripod-mounted scanners are common, and can collect the millions of data points needed to render accurate topographic information. GPS and laser technology may also be used.

As a specialty service, McClure offers the use of unmanned drones for topographic surveys. Drone surveys can quickly collect topographic data without sacrificing precise measurements.

Specialty Drone Surveys for Topographic Data

Drones can be outfitted with topographic scanning equipment to complete surveys from the air. Aerial surveys can ignore difficult terrain, simplifying surveys across large expanses or for otherwise inaccessible features. When using drones for topographic surveys, we can collect data from both LiDAR and photogrammetry.

LiDAR, or light detection and ranging, uses lasers to measure terrain and elevation. The time it takes for the light to return to the scanning equipment is interpreted as distance and height. And because light can bounce off objects, scanners can partially breach forest cover or other vegetation.

Meanwhile, photogrammetry uses high-resolution photos to generate topographic information. The photos should include all natural features from multiple angles because these angles are used to create accurate 3D renders of everything scanned. Photogrammetry is generally faster and more affordable than LiDAR, but it may not be able to accurately scan forested regions or other terrain with dense vegetation.

Where We Make an Impact

McClure can help you identify the ideal technology for capturing the topographic survey data you need for property sales, legal matters, new construction, and more.

Topographic Land Surveys

One of the primary obstacles to improving a piece of land is the terrain itself. Forest cover, steep changes in elevation, and even bodies of water can all affect how much of the land is easily accessible for improvement. Collecting info about these natural features can help sales and construction proceed smoothly.

Topographic surveys are how this information is collected. A topographic land survey should note both the natural and manmade features of the property, including how the land is contoured. Once the survey is complete, the information is visualized as a map or other format usable by architects, engineers, contractors, developers, and other professionals.

McClure offers professional topographic land surveys with accurate renderings of your property’s terrain.

What Is a Topographic Survey?

A topographic survey is a kind of land survey, commonly used when developers are seeking to improve a piece of land or construct something on it. It may also be called a design survey or preliminary survey. In order to determine if a developer’s goals are feasible, more details about the topography are required. Topographic surveys should provide this information in a format that can be easily visualized.

What’s included in the survey’s final report depends on the features found at the property, but there are some key aspects a surveyor will prioritize:

  • Elevation: A building’s design can be heavily impacted by the height of surrounding terrain. A topographic survey will illustrate the high and low elevations of property as well as the grade of the slopes between them.
  • Property boundaries: The property lines ensure the surveyor only marks features inside the boundaries. If a nearby feature like a large tree could still affect the terrain across the property line, the surveyor may take note of it. This information can also be collected as part of a boundary survey.
  • And natural/manmade features: Vegetation, bodies of water, fencing, and more will make up the remainder of what’s included on a topographic survey. Surveyors will note their elevation as well as the distance between key features.

How can Topographic Land Surveys Be Completed?

The surveyor begins the process with gathering all relevant information about the land they’ll be surveying. This includes confirmation from whoever is commissioning the survey about the level of detail they’re looking for. For example, a large, flat piece of rural land won’t require as much detail as a dense urban neighborhood.

When they are ready to visit the site, surveyors use a variety of specialized equipment to capture the data they need. Tripod-mounted scanners are common, and can collect the millions of data points needed to render accurate topographic information. GPS and laser technology may also be used.

As a specialty service, McClure offers the use of unmanned drones for topographic surveys. Drone surveys can quickly collect topographic data without sacrificing precise measurements.

Specialty Drone Surveys for Topographic Data

Drones can be outfitted with topographic scanning equipment to complete surveys from the air. Aerial surveys can ignore difficult terrain, simplifying surveys across large expanses or for otherwise inaccessible features. When using drones for topographic surveys, we can collect data from both LiDAR and photogrammetry.

LiDAR, or light detection and ranging, uses lasers to measure terrain and elevation. The time it takes for the light to return to the scanning equipment is interpreted as distance and height. And because light can bounce off objects, scanners can partially breach forest cover or other vegetation.

Meanwhile, photogrammetry uses high-resolution photos to generate topographic information. The photos should include all natural features from multiple angles because these angles are used to create accurate 3D renders of everything scanned. Photogrammetry is generally faster and more affordable than LiDAR, but it may not be able to accurately scan forested regions or other terrain with dense vegetation.

Where We Make an Impact

McClure can help you identify the ideal technology for capturing the topographic survey data you need for property sales, legal matters, new construction, and more.

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