Topographic Surveys

South West Surveys is the first port of call for topographical surveys. We travel throughout the UK offering highly detailed and precise surveys to every sector at affordable prices. Each site we visit is different, yet what we record is the same throughout whether it be natural or manmade features, our survey shows every piece of detail.

Our surveys are delivered in PDF & DWG files and can be produced in 2d or 3d.

The Services We Offer

  • Precise monitoring
  • Setting out
  • Area & volume calculations
  • As built survey (sect 38,104 +278)
  • Site section
  • Utility tracing (PAS128)
  • Boundary surveys
  • Land Registry Plans
  • Inshore & Bathymetric surveys
  • Motorway surveys
  • Railway surveys

What are Topographical Surveys

A topo survey, also known as a land survey, provides an accurate representation of natural and manmade features within a specified area. They are usually undertaken by land surveying companies by using a range of survey equipment that can be used to measure and identify angles and distances effectively.

To obtain precise measurements, land survey companies will often use GPS survey equipment in order to locate fixed points of an area of land. These points are used as reference markers and they are used to demonstrate the height and base of the specified area. With these markers you can produce a CAD (computer-aided-design) drawing, which illustrates a highly detailed and accurate topographical map of your land.

Why You May Need a Topographical Survey

Topographical surveys are typically developed for architects, contractors, engineers and designers. However, they can be useful for anybody who requires a survey. They are most useful when working on land progress projects, and they can help to avoid any complications in the process of development. When working on a design a land survey can provide you exact and precise plans and coordinates to help you get creative in the planning and layout process.

The Benefits of a Topographical Survey

Topographical building surveys serve many purposes and when compared to other survey techniques, they can be just as or even more beneficial:

-Can identify existing conditions and issues with a site

-Illustrate how building features can be constructed electronically, by using CAD

-Demonstrates any obstacles that may cause problems with the site’s development

-It provides information that can help designers create suitable designs fitted to the specified land

How We Conduct Topographical Surveys

The type of equipment for a topographic survey varies depending on the land and preferences of the surveyor. Environmental conditions will be considered when selecting the appropriate tools in order to attain ultimate accuracy. In wider and more open spaces, the assessor will utilise a GPS signal as it is less likely that large obstacles will interfere with the survey.

In industrial areas, a GPS system is not suitable. Therefore, a robotic total station instrument will be used instead, which is used to measure horizontal and vertical angles as well as sloping distances. However, if an area is inaccessible or too dangerous to collect data, we use reflector-less technology.

We can carry out basic surveys, picking up only key features if required, but surveys usually include all detail including trees, shrubs, roads, paths, inspection chambers, drainage covers and invert levels etc.

Once the data has been collected from either one of the survey techniques, it will be stored electronically. The data is then processed on a computer to produce the final drawing on CAD.

The Types of Sites We Survey

We are equally adept at producing surveys for green sites and urban sites. Sites benefitting from a topo survey vary from private residential alterations to large scale developments, roads, railways, farmland, civil engineering projects etc.

Clients include private property & land owners, architects, engineers, utility companies and developers. Whether you are looking to develop a small plot of land for a new home or undertaking a major infrastructure project that spans hundreds of acres, our surveyors can create the plans you need to move your project forward.

Topographical survey drawings are provided in CAD 2D and/or 3D as required and in PDF format. Paper and film copies can be supplied if requested.

Getting a Topographical Survey

We work on projects throughout the whole of the UK, but our close proximity to the South West means we’re perfectly positioned to carry out topographic surveys in and around Bristol, Bath, Cheltenham and Gloucester.

If you are interested in our service please do not hesitate to call us, or if you have any enquires, our team would be more than happy to help!

What are the contour lines on a topographic survey?

There are three main contour lines on a topographic survey. Index, intermediate and supplementary. The index line starts from zero or mean sea level and is then indicated by every fifth line which is heavier than the other lines. These are numbered to indicate the level of elevation. The lines between the index lines are finer and are called intermediate lines. Supplementary lines are shown as dashes and show changes in elevation that are at a half contour level intervals indicating very little change in the level of the ground.

Topographic surveys aim to provide an accurate representation of the area in question and highlight features of the land. There are three main types of topographic survey, including a general land survey, boundary survey and construction survey. Depending on the scale needed and the location such as urban or rural land this will also feed into the general accuracy level provided along with the survey. You may need one of these or all of them but we are happy to work with you and advise on the most suitable survey for your project.

The time it takes to produce a topographic survey will depend on the size of the space that needs to be covered and the type of terrain and environment that needs to be surveyed. As you can imagine, for building developments we need to collect accurate digital data to allow your architect to properly design the project with the level of detail and specification needed to plan, design and construct accurately and to ensure no features are missed which could cause expensive delays or mistakes in the building process further down the line.