The Tools and Equipment Required to Complete A Topographical Survey

August 18, 2021 10:09 am Published by

If you want to find out the condition of a building for conservation or historical records, the condition of a section of land or to map out exactly what natural and man-made details are on a specific area of land, you will require the help of a topographic survey.

Topographical surveys can be quite involved, so we have put together a guide on the details of such a survey and the tools and equipment required to complete the survey.

What Is A Topographical Survey?

A topographical survey, or land survey as it is sometimes otherwise known, is an accurate representation of the area of interest, detailing the natural and manmade features. All features including the property, land features and physical boundary details will be presented in a scaled survey drawing.

What Gets Surveyed?

The topographical survey will pick up a number of different elements depending on the specification from the client. These features will often include:

Boundaries and fence lines

Buildings and structures

Drainage features

Street furniture

Trees, bushes and vegetation

Ponds and lakes

Ground heights and contours

Water levels

Why Do You Need a Topographical Survey?

Topographical surveys are essential for land development projects as they help to correctly plan out and coordinate proposed layouts.

Accurate land measurements will allow you to see how the existing site is arranged, including the height of items. Topographical surveys are useful for:

Re-positioning boundaries

Planning new buildings

Correctly designing drainage schemes

How Are Topographical Surveys Carried Out?

Topographical surveys are undertaken using a range of different survey equipment which will measure distances and angles extremely accurately.

What Tools and Equipment Are Used to Conduct the Survey?

Precise equipment is used to carry out a topographical survey, which helps to produce a CAD (computer-aided design) drawing which will accurately detail the surveyed points. Surveyors often use sophisticated CAD software, such as AutoCad and Microstation, to map site measurements and create fully scaled 3D drawings of the project to an extremely high standard.

Surveyors will use precise GPS equipment when surveying an area to help locate and position fixed points of an area of land. The points recorded are then used as reference markers, which allows the surveyed area to be aligned to an existing national coordinate system.

Find out More Here: South West Surveys Land Surveyors Bristol

What Type of Information Can the Survey Produce?

The site survey will produce a wide range of information which can be used to produce drawings. The survey results can be used for:

Drawings – Plans, elevations, sections and lighting plans

3D Point Clouds – The information can be used to produce 3D models of a site

Photographs – Useful for people who are looking for information about a site

Schedules – Including chamber inverts and pipe diameter sizes

What Are the Benefits of The Survey?

There are many benefits of having a topographical survey conducted, including:

The ability to reduce the risk of costly mistakes as you will be provided with detailed and accurate pictures of your land

The survey can reveal any information that may be hidden from obvious plain sight, including changes that have occurred to the land over a period of time

A deeper understanding of the land’s topography, which is particularly useful for developers who want to find out the condition of the land around and under and type of structure to ensure a durable construction

Contact the Topographical Survey Specialists Today

If you are interested in a professional topographical survey, please get in touch with South West Surveys today. We work on projects throughout the UK, and as we’re based in the South West, we are perfectly positioned to work in and around Bristol, Bath and Gloucester.

To find out more about our topographical survey services, please contact us today!


What is a topographical survey?

A topographical survey produces a detailed, accurate plan of a specific site or area of land. The survey will identify and map features such as buildings, site boundaries, trees, site levels and many other features. The data will then be presented in a CAD drawing.

What information is included in a topographical survey?

The amount of detail produced in the survey will depend on the client’s requirements. A land survey will often include existing buildings and structures, boundary details, ground surfaces, tree positions and drainage details. Additional details can be added to the survey, and the results will be often be delivered as CAD files and scaled down to paper plans.

How much does a topographical survey cost?

The price for a topographical survey will differ, depending on the size of the land to be surveyed, the location and any project-specific details. Get in touch with South West Surveys today for a competitive quote.

This post was written by Sophie Newing

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