There are many types of land surveying, employed for different purposes and using different techniques.
An archaeological field survey is an assessment of archaeological sites or finds, where their locations are plotted in a landscape. Almost every method of land surveying can be employed in an archeological survey, including GPS, aerial photography and historic literary resources. Laser surveying can produce 3D computerised models of artifacts.
An as built survey will be carried out either during or after construction. It will evaluate the location of the constructed elements, and is often drawn in red or redline on an overlay. Layering an as built survey over original design plans will allow for an easy comparison of the construction progress.
A bathymetric survey will map the bed of an ocean, lake, river or other body of water. Bahymetric surveys are used to measure the depth below sea level at certain points, whereas a hypsometry survey measures the height of the land above sea level. They depth measurement is likely to be carried out with the use of sound measuring such as sonar, and global positioning (GPS) will measure this position on the earth’s surface.
A boundary survey is used to establish the legal boundaries of land, and may have to be completed on purchasing a property or land, subdividing land or building on it. Boundary surveys will ascertain the corners of a ‘parcel’, and may involve the setting or restoration of monuments or markers to mark these boundaries.
Deformation surveys determine and measure the change in structures and objects. They use geodetic measuring devices, geotechnical measuring devices and other techniques such as radar measuring devices. Deformation can apply to dams, roads, mines, settlements or volcanoes, and these can all be measured with this type of survey. Laser scanning is one method which can achieve an accurate measurement of deformation.
Engineering surveys may use topographic, layout or as-built surveys, but feature more detailed data. Laser surveying is one way to achieve such accurate and detailed information.
A foundation survey is carried out to collect the positional data of construction foundations. It will be used to assess whether foundations of a structure or building have been laid at the correct depth and location.
Geological surveys are general recordings of the geologically significant features of an area. This is a general term, and can describe other types of survey.
A hydrographic survey will map the coastline and seabed for engineering, navigation or resource management.
A building survey or ‘as-built’ survey are types of measured survey, which is a general term to describe the survey done to produce plans of a building. Measured surveys can be carried out using any method of surveying, and may include laser surveying.
Mortgage surveys are also called physical surveys. This type of survey will show land boundaries and location of buildings. Sometimes one of these surveys may be required before a lender will approve a mortgage loan.
Structural surveys are a common step in the house-buying process. Structural surveys inspect the structural stability of a building or structure, and will make note of their condition and what work may need doing.
A topographic survey marks the elevation of land, and presents these points as contour lines. These can be carried out in a number of ways including triangulation and laser surveying techniques, and may or may not include surface features such as trees and plants.
SUMO Services provide land surveying nationwide, with a comprehensive list of services. SUMO can provide measured building surveying, plan collation, utility detection and mapping and topographic surveying.