Definition of "What does a land surveyor do?"

Kim Bergland real estate agent

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Kim Berglandelite badge icon

Red Horse Real Estate

Any structure that was ever built on land had to first be evaluated by a land surveyor through a survey. If you are wondering, what is surveying, then you should know that surveying is a technique used to record characteristics of a land area.

Surveying is also a profession and the person certified to do a land survey is called a land surveyor. While the overall idea of a survey is to provide information regarding the land area that is going to be relevant for builders or setting boundaries, you may be wondering what does a land surveyor do?

There are multiple types of surveys, some more common than others, but overall a land surveyor is making the same measurements. A land surveyor is determining the position of objects by measuring angles and distances and factors that might affect the measurements that are also taken into account.

The data collected is then used to create bearings, coordinates, vectors, elevations, areas, volumes, maps, and planes. Land surveyors used different tools for the job and some of the main tools are theodolite, total station, 3D scanners, measuring tape, GPS/GNSS, level and rod. Most of these tools screw on a tripod so they are easy to use.

Land surveyors help determine the placement for railways, roads, reservoirs, pipelines, bridges, buildings, and many more. They also help establish boundaries of political divisions and legal descriptions. To become a licensed surveyor you have to receive a degree in surveying, and this is followed by an examination of their knowledge along with some on-the-job training that would build up their portfolio until they are awarded a license to practice.

Some of the best communities in the USA have undergone land surveying and if you want to be part of one you can start by finding a real estate agent to help you pinpoint those locations. 


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