Land Surveying History

land surveyingLand surveying is about one of the oldest professions in this planet. After man has decided that a portion of land should be owned by a tribe, the demand for surveying began.

Land surveying is fascinating. The strategies used try to decide which part of land belongs to whom, hopefully ending arguments forever.

In short, surveying is a process using mathematical ways to survey land.

A bit of land surveying history

The very first accounts of surveying land starts back to ancient Egypt. Experts discovered evidences that the ancient Egyptians used basic geometry to redraw the lines of boundary when the Nile River overflowed. An Egyptian land register going back 3000 BC was found.

Following Egyptians, the Romans – also about the most powerful civilizations from the ancient world – practiced land surveying. They took it one step further and made “land surveyor” a certified position in the Empire. They were called agrimensores, often called Corpus Agrimensorum Romanorum.

Though they used rather simple tools, they were very thorough with their jobs and would create straight lines and correct angles with the use of these tools. As soon as the lines were measured, they would create shallow ditches to mark the lines. In fact, some of the furrows they created remain today.

One of the recorded land surveying of the “modern” times is that of William the Conqueror who wrote the Domesday Book in 1086. This book is really a directory of names of land owners, the quantity of land they owned and also other information about the land. Whilst it was a fabulous volume of information during this time, the bits of information were not 100% correct. The locations were not accurate and the maps were not made to scale.

One among history’s greatest icons have also been an ardent surveyor – Napoleon Bonaparte. The interest in surveying land was really just a product of his want to conquer the entire world. Napoleon Bonaparte founded a registry called cadastre. This consists of a registry of properties of a county, ownership details, locations and as much information about the land’s value. Yes, Napoleon Bonaparte can be viewed a land surveyor – plus a very smart man.

The ways used in land surveying also have evolved over the centuries, over time. Long ago, people would use anything that might help them determine the length from one point to another. This implies using chains with links and even ropes. Not surprisingly, this didn’t give accurate results but they didn’t have the technology we’ve got in those days.

Today, land surveyors enjoy the best technologies to help them with their job. There’s GPS, or Global Positioning System, which is among the most accurate technologies used today. Total stations are also vital to a land surveyor, which employs the usage of an EDM or Electronic Distance Measurement device together with a theodolite that allows for further precise angle and distance measurements.

For your land surveying needs, call us today at (318) 414-2634​ or send us a message by clicking here.

Land Surveying: Estimating the Cost

land surveying

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Land surveying, in a nutshell, is the art and science of establishing or re-establishing property corners, property lines and/or boundaries. There can be different reasons why someone needs a lot surveyed.

One of the common would be to see whether a piece of land is vulnerable to flooding, to subdivide a property to sell or deed to relatives or to determine if there are any encroachments. This may happen when a neighbour disputes that you are using a piece of his lot or viceversa (for more on this, read this page).

How much does land surveying cost?

If you need to have a piece of land surveyed, first thing that may come to mind is “how much does it cost?”

There are many factors determining how much land surveying on your land would cost. The fact that this sort of service should be done by an expert contributes a lot to the overall cost of the service, but choosing a non-professional to survey your land is dangerous, and possibly illegal for the non-professional.

For this reason you should to take a good look around before settling with a surveying company. If you must work inside a particular budget, discuss this with the surveyor up-front. Many times he might manage to offer cost saving steps to get the work you need done within these cost limits.

The shape of the land should also be considered. A square or even a rectangle piece of land is somewhat easier to survey than an odd shaped parcel, or one with many different sides.

With the latter, the surveyor is required to spend more time in surveying the curves and the bends which means the cost of the service would increase. The overall measurements the land is also key factor here.

Remember that the cost of land surveying is usually proportionate to the time and effort that the land surveyor would spend on the project. If the land that you’re having surveyed isn’t accessible, or has thick vegetation, then the total price of the survey might go higher.

This is true of the weather conditions which might impact the work. Surveying in hot weather is somewhat slower to keep from putting the crew members at risk. Also, most surveying can’t be done in the rain.

When asking for a quote, bear in mind surveyors base the estimate on expected conditions at the site. These conditions could change, bringing about additional costs. Always ask about these potential additional cost scenarios.

All that being said, competitive prices are also to be expected, which is why we recommend choosing a surveyor according to his experience and reputation instead of on the price he writes on a piece of paper. Mostly it is far better to spend a good amount of money on a survey that’s well-done rather than select a company with a very “affordable” price but have the survey repeated because the results were wrong.

To sum up, it is best to discuss the expenses of the survey prior to ask the surveyor to begin with his work. It’s also advisable to receive a contract that lets you understand what is expected of the land surveyor. This is one of the most important steps in getting your land surveyed.

For a free land surveying quote, call Vidalia Land Surveying at (318) 414-2634​ or send us a message by going here.

How Important is Land Surveying in Today’s World?

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Most of you have probably never thought about land surveying until you needed it at some point. Many of us hear about land surveying all the time but never really give it much thought.

Since an investment in land and/or a home will likely be the largest investment you will ever make in your lifetime, knowing where your property lines are becomes very important indeed.

The art of land surveying was developed centuries ago. In fact, it’s one of the oldest professions in the world. The fact that it was used by man at such an early time and is still being used now shows how important surveying is to our survival.

The Many Uses of Land Surveying

Surveying land has many uses. Boundary surveying, for instance, allows you to know where your property corners or property lines are. This is especially helpful when disputes with a neighbour or with other people arise in terms of where your property ends.

If your family wants to divide a tract of land and transfer ownership to other family members, a boundary survey is the first step to do so. If you’re having a building constructed, it is very important that you have the land surveyed to make sure that you are not encroaching onto other peoples’ property.

A mistaken building location is very expensive to fix so you might as well invest in a boundary survey to prevent this.

A topographic survey, or topo survey for short, is another important type of land surveying. A topo survey is done to locate natural and man-made features on a particular parcel of land.

A topographic survey is different in that the elevation of the land is surveyed which means it can show man-made underground features, retaining walls, utility lines and etc.

Before you start any kind of construction activity, it’s important to have a topo survey done in the area so they’ll have an accurate record of the land’s existing conditions. Yes, that spot with the new mall in the neighbourhood had to have a topo survey done first.

Now, a flood survey or flood determination – this is very important too. It isn’t evident just looking at a property whether you are at risk of flooding or not. And, in some cases, even looking at the flood maps doesn’t give you an accurate answer.

The flood survey determines the elevation of the home and compares that to the base flood elevation. This is the only way to be sure you’re not in a flood hazard zone. If you’ve just been told that you live in a flood-prone area, having that confirmed by a professional land surveyor would let you know how to best proceed.

When getting flood insurance, insurance companies would require an elevation certificate from you. A land surveyor would be able to assist you with this.

If a company wants to invest in another state, or if there is a national lender on a commercial project, they will likely need an ALTA Land Title Survey done before anything is constructed.

An ALTA Land Title Survey is a lot like a regular boundary survey except that nationally accepted ALTA Standards are used to guide the surveying effort.

Land surveying standards vary widely from state to state and an ALTA Land Title Survey is used to cut down on this variation. Also, an ALTA Land Title Survey typically is more involved than the state standards variety.

Because of this, an ALTA survey can be more anywhere from 50% to 200% more expensive than using the state standards only. If you need this type of survey, I suggest seeking an experienced land surveying company who is familiar with these additional requirements.

In summary, there are many uses for a land survey and for seeking the services of a land surveyor. If you’re unsure of your situation, consult Vidalia Land Surveying at (318) 414-2634​ today or go to the Contact page and send us an email.