Land surveyors are both highly skilled and highly trained professionals. Even with all their training and schooling, though, they wouldn’t be able to perform their job without the tools of the trade. This post will cover the essential equipment that’s used for land surveying in Idaho.
A theodolite is an adjustable telescope mounted within two perpendicular axes. One axis is called the trunnion or horizontal axis, and the other is called the vertical or zenith axis. This tool is a surveyor’s go-to when they need to measure an angle in the vertical or horizontal plane. Today’s theodolites are so accurate that they can measure an object down to milliradian or seconds of arc.
A total station is an electronic theodolite paired with an electronic distance measurement. This tool reads slope distances between the station and a chosen point. The onboard computer collects data in real time, providing quick and efficient results for a land surveyor. Total stations have become more advanced in recent years, allowing a single land surveyor to do jobs that used to require at least two people, if not many more.
One of the most advanced tools in a land surveyor’s arsenal is a 3D scanner. This device collects shape-related data from an area, which is then used to build a digital 3D model of the land. A 3D scanner works much like a camera, but instead of collecting color information, a 3D scanner records distance information in order to generate the 3D model.
Land surveying technology has certainly come a long way, but surveys still use some basic tools that have been around for centuries. Traditional levels were long used to measure elevations of different objects on the same horizontal plane. Although the point is the same, most surveyors use automatic or digital electronic levels that eliminate a lot of the manual labor required to record the data.
A magnetic locator is used by a surveyor to find rebar used to mark property corners. The tool can also be used to locate other metal objects in the ground, like iron waterlines, valve boxes, manhole covers or even nails. If it’s made of metal, a magnetic locator can find it!
When it comes to land surveying in Idaho, safety first! Construction sites are dangerous places, so surveyors always wear bright orange or fluorescent yellow safety vests to be easily spotted by workers operating machinery. These vests also have a ton of pockets that can be used to store smaller, portable surveying devices.
Surveyors might use an ax, saw or pick to clear any debris that’s obstructing their line of site and preventing them from getting accurate data. Among other hand tools, a surveyor also carries tape to mark a site.
If you need land surveying in Idaho for a residential or commercial project, call our team at Mason & Associates. We’ve been using cutting-edge survey equipment for over 30 years, so you can rest easy knowing you’ll get accurate and timely survey results when you hire our pros.