Land Survey Explained

February 21, 2022
2 mins read

It may be cool to know the approximate position of your property lines to determine how far to mow the grass but for building permits and lending, you will need a land survey to show you exactly where your boundary lines are.

What is Land Survey?

Types of Land Survey

1. Geodetic Survey

2. Topographic Survey

3. Cadastral Survey

Other types of Land Survey includes:

What are land surveyor qualifications?


What is Land Surveying?

Land surveying is the science and practice of accurately measuring and recording the three-dimensional features of a specific area of land.

This includes measuring distances, angles, elevations, and property boundaries.

Land surveyors use specialized equipment and techniques to create detailed maps and other representations of the land.

Types of Land Survey

The type of survey you receive will be determined by why you require a land survey. Professional surveyors perform property development and surveys to cover your specific real estate demands, whether you merely need to locate your property lines or are looking to split parcels of land.

However, not all surveys are created equal, so let’s look at three of the most common.

1. Geodetic Survey

A geodetic survey entails the measurement of a wide area of the earth while taking into consideration the curvature of the planet. These surveys can be extremely accurate because they take into consideration the earth’s real curvature.

2. Topographic Survey

The vertical elevation of the surface being surveyed, as well as the man-made buildings on it, are measured in a topographic survey. Governments and businesses involved in building frequently conduct topographic surveys. A business owner may order A topographic survey to determine the appropriateness of property for a golf course.

3. Cadastral Survey

Cadastral surveys are used to identify the borders between parcels of land, whether they are privately owned or publicly owned. A cadastral survey establishes the legal border that will be recognized for all legal purposes, such as calculating property taxes and identifying the exact amount of land that will be transferred when a property is sold.

Other types of Land Survey includes:

Besides the ones described above, there are other types of land surveys to be aware of. They are:

  1. ALTA survey.
  2. Boundary survey.
  3. Location survey.
  4. Subdivision survey.
  5. Site-planning survey.
  6. Construction survey.

Land surveyor qualifications

Land surveying is a highly technical process with minimal room for error. Because a property survey’s accuracy is so important, each state has its own set of requirements for who can conduct one.

Each state has its own set of requirements for land surveyors, but state surveyor licensing entails:

  1. Required Education
  2. Exam
  3. Minimum experience

Most states need surveyors to enroll in continuing education in order to keep their license.

To become a surveyor, the majority of people will require a bachelor’s degree in surveying, mapping, or geomatics.

Most organizations will require surveyors to have a particular degree of experience in addition to a license before they can conduct and certify a survey.


Simply put, a land survey will record the specific nature of your property and its location. If property lines aren’t established, a bank won’t know what it’s financing. Besides that, a construction crew won’t know where to start building without them. Make sure your land survey is up to date and includes any new additions or features to the property. In order to be valuable, a land survey must be accurate.

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