Land surveying is an ancient profession. The Pharaohs of Egypt employed land surveyors to re-establish boundaries each year after the annual flooding of the Nile River. George Washington’s first job as a teenager was as a land surveyor for the Colony of Virginia. Today, land surveyors at Adkan Engineers use instruments, techniques, and technologies beyond the wildest dreams of even 19th century surveyors.
Two hundred years ago, the word “survey” probably meant a simple “stake and flag” boundary survey, conducted with tape measures and sighting instruments. Over time, technological advances have transformed those instruments (Theodolites) and enabled entire new areas of land surveying.
Today’s Theodolites not only measure lines of site, arcs, and distances with an exceptional degree of accuracy. In many cases, they are faster and easier to use than a tape or chain. They also incorporate GPS and can record the data into digital format so that it can be used in the office for Auto-Cad engineering applications and digital-mapping geospatial applications.
Adkan Engineers’ surveyors are capable of carrying out all of today’s state-of-the-art surveys. A topographic survey provides architects and engineers with a view of the raw land underlying their projects. A cadastral survey is essentially a title survey. It utilizes and builds on property records to establish, re-establish, and verify real-property boundaries. It finds and records existing easements and monuments. The results are usually recorded legally and used to create a map, or plat, for the client.
An A.L.T.A. survey (American Land Title Association) is the most rigorous type of cadastral survey. The surveyor must follow a detailed set of standards and procedures in its preparation. These surveys are designed to uncover all recorded and un-recorded easements, encroachments, structures, roads, and utility lines which could create a risk for the title insurer or lender. A.L.T.A. surveys are most needed in high-density urban areas and are often required there. They are also often required when a project involves a high price tag or public exposure. Adkan Engineers has much experience in these types of surveys, having done over 160 of them.
The work of land surveyors today goes far beyond simple border surveys. Empowered by the new technologies, GPS, and large databases of property records, today’s surveyors routinely perform far more complex tasks. In doing this work, they are connecting with an increasing number of entities such as government agencies, real-estate databases, and geo-spatial data collections. The result is a far greater knowledge base for the world we live in.