Land surveying is necessary for a number of different purposes, including measuring the boundaries of a property, establishing maps, determining the terrain and vegetation and locating natural features. Land surveyors are used to help resolve property disputes, create developments and determine where to place utilities and structural components. So, how does land surveying in Idaho work? Read on for a closer look at the profession.
Types of land surveying
There are many kinds of land surveying, but here are three of the most common types of survey processes:
- Construction and engineering surveys: This type of survey measures property lines, building and road locations and any changes the property has undergone. (This could be natural, such as through land erosion, or due to encroachment.) Construction and engineering surveys often need to measure topography, grades and how deep a building’s foundation should be laid for proper support.
- Boundary or land surveys: Boundary and land surveys determine exactly where property lines lay. This could be to create deed and title descriptions for buyers or sellers, resolve property line disputes between neighbors or help developers divide subdivisions into individual lots.
- Geodetic surveys: When you need to measure large portions of land, geodetic surveyors will use aerial and satellite technology to measure the land. This saves a great deal of time, as traditional land surveying would require a ground crew to travel the entire parcel of land. With aerial and satellite tools, they can accurately measure without having to physically travel themselves. Some technology will even create three-dimensional maps as they survey.
Tools of the trade
In addition to the different types of surveying a professional might undertake, they’ll also need to be familiar with a variety of tools. Here are just a few of the big ones:
- Theodolite: The most common surveying tool is the theodolite, which is used to measure horizontal and vertical angles between points. Surveyors use these angles, combined with measured distances, to triangulate the location of a point.
- Total stations: Total stations are modern theodolites, which can measure angles and distance. They often include computers that allow surveyors to perform calculations and record the data for later.
- Unmanned aircraft: Some surveyors use satellites, aerial drones and other unmanned aircraft to perform surveys. These usually feed data back to a software program to create maps.
Background and education
Typically, a surveyor needs a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. Many people major in surveying or something related, like physics, calculus or geography. After graduation, they need to be licensed. Depending on the state, the licensing requirements can be different, but they typically require passing at least two major exams and completing four years of work experience with a licensed surveyor.
If you’re interested in becoming a surveyor yourself, it’s a rapidly expanding industry that has been taking full advantage of modern technology. Studies have shown that the job outlook is robust and should continue to expand in the years to come.
Surveyors may specialize in a particular subset. When you’re hiring a land surveyor, make sure their education, background, license and experience are all in the areas that you need.
When you need land surveying services in Idaho, Mason & Associates can help with your project. Get in touch today to learn more.