Land Surveying Mapping


A survey made for the purpose of supplying a title company and lender with survey and location data necessary for the issuing of title and/or mortgage insurance. A detailed map is required to be done to “ALTA” specifications. The acronym "ALTA" stands for American Land Title Association. Specifications of this type of Survey include (but are not limited to) determining property lines, location of improvements, identifying all easements, utilities and other conditions affecting the property. ALTA surveys are very comprehensive surveys and typically cost thousands of dollars and take weeks to complete. Any ALTA Land Survey must meet the "Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys" as adopted by the American Land Title Association, the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping, and the National Society of Professional Surveyors. The Alta Survey is most often performed on commercial properties.

Building Department -
C.O - Certificate of OccupaNcy
CC - Certificate of completion
CEU - Certificate of Existing Use

Topographical - Tree Surveys
Contour Maps
Plot - Site Plan Surveys
Foundation stakeout & Piles in needed
Foundation location surveys
Final C.O Bldg department surveys

Boundary or Title Survey

Typically your house and land represent your largest assets. If you are contemplating purchasing property, you should know as much as possible about the piece of land in which you are going to invest. Obtaining a survey may be the most important thing you do before you close the deal on any purchase. Without a survey, you do not know the extent of your property. Only a licensed surveyor can provide you with this information. Without the survey, there is too much you do not know and you are risking both friendly neighbors and your investment

A boundary survey establishes the true property corners and property lines of a parcel of land. Boundary surveys are typically performed FOR CONVEYING LAND, resolve property disputes, or for getting a mortgage.

When you are buying new property you need to know what you're getting. Only a survey made by a licensed land surveyor can describe and clarify what you have purchased. When you hire a surveyor he will undertake the necessary research, perform measurements on the ground and prepare a survey map that will reveal:
Location of fences, buildings, gardens, driveways, walkways, swimming pools, house additions in relation of the property lines

This survey will reveal any encroachments or other irregularities that might be the cause of later legal disputes. Whether your deed describes your property accurately, shows if other people are entitled to partial use of your property through easements for utilities or rights-of-way.

Mortgage Inspections: (Not necessarily a Land Survey!) (BEWARE)

Are not used for consistent purposes in all States. They are often a product that is provided on residential loans. A drawing may or may not be provided. Be aware that many of these “Mortgage Inspection” surveys are NOT BOUNDARY SURVEYS. Often they are required by lending institutions. Fences and other improvements should not be constructed based on a mortgage inspection. This is because boundary lines are not determined on many “Mortgage Inspection” surveys. Look for the “Certification” of the Land Surveyor, which usually includes the signature with the Land Surveyor’s license number, and State of Practice.

Mining and other Subsurface Surveys

A survey that determines the location and dimensions of underground parts of a mine, including the natural and artificial features of the mine, both above and below ground. These surveys are done with both vertical and horizontal control, locating the features in a three dimensional manner.

Tests hole surveys

Surveys to help establish ground water levels for sites near bodies of water

Monitoring Well Locations and Certifications

Surveys to help establish well point locations for logging by governmental agencies

Quantity Surveys

Obtains measurements of quantities, usually in conjunction with a construction process, earthwork, etc. Often times the Land Surveyor works closely with a Civil Engineer and/or Architect.

Wetland Locations

Collect data relating to bodies of water, and may include the water depth, bottom contours and configuration, directions and velocity of current, heights and water stages, and the location of fixed objects for navigational purposes.

Record or As-Built Survey

A survey performed to obtain horizontal and or vertical dimensional data so that a constructed facility may be delineated, i.e. foundation survey, or as-built of improvements. Specifically, an As-Built Survey is a survey to physically locate structures and improvements on a parcel of land, generally for mortgage purposes. This does not always include boundary monumentation

Route Survey

Route surveys are made to plan, design and construct roads, highways, railroads, pipelines, canals and power lines, to name a few. The survey may be for boundary purposes only, or it could be a combination survey of the boundary and topography of the route, along with the location of existing utilities.

Radius & area maps

All sizes and kinds including Owners list zoning information, etc.
Village, Town, County, Town Board, NCPC.
If you are going through the variance process, you will need a radius map.

Telecommunication-cell site and at fAA surveys

Utility and vault surveys

Air & development right’s surveys

Lot line change mapping

Topographical-Architectural Survey

This type of survey may be required by a town or village, or may be used by Engineers and/or Architects for the design of improvements or developments on a site. PROPERTY LINES with dimensions, angles with the distance to nearest intersection (as per legal description if submitted) included area in square feet and acres, tax block, lots and buildings numbers. Recorded easements and right of ways will be shown if descriptions submitted by the client or his representative before delivering finished drawings.

SITE ELEMENTS: existing buildings with dimensions to the 0.01 of foot, sheds, steps, curbs, retaining walls, fences, drains and other appurtenances on the subject property with all encroachments across property line (if any) with dimensions to the 0.1 foot. Spot elevations on a 50 foott grid covering the property and first floor elevation of the building with accuracy to the 0.01 foot All trees of 4” and more will be located and depicted on the survey as to location and size only. Adjacent properties in 10’ radius will be shown.

STREET ELEMENTS: sidewalks (incl. width), streets (incl. width) and surface elements (street lights, traffic lights, hydrants, utility poles, parking meters, etc.). Indicate centerline of street, opposite curb and legal width of streets. Adjacent 50 feet of street and sidewalks on both sides of subject property. Spot elevation at top and bottom of curb, sidewalk, center line of the street and lot line at 50 feet intervals will be shown. Existing legal grades will be depicted (if available from City Agencies).

STREET INFORMATION: as to names, width, type and condition of pavement, and existing widening lines.

FLOOD INFORMATION: based on FEMA Federal Flood Insurance Rate Maps for community in question.

UTILITY INFORMATION: location of all utility hardware in the street and sidewalks such as water, gas, electric, and sewer manholes and valves, fire hydrants with dimensions to the property lines, show rim and invert elevation of sewer manholes. Utility lines will be shown based on record maps received from utility companies

Tree Data size location
Tree specifies plan with tagging, numbering

Building Information Modeling

Building Information Modeling, or BIM, has long been used by architects and engineers to design buildings virtually. The technology is now turning up in construction-site trailers, where general contractors have begun using it to make sure work schedules and material orders are accurate.

BIM is useful in coordinating a project and resolving design issues. For example, general contractors and sub consultants use BIM to see exactly how plumbing and mechanical systems are routed through a building that is under construction.

General contractors can put their construction schedules into the model to see a project's progress and make changes, if necessary. This functionality helps the general contractor phase a project by determining more accurately when to, for example, open a section of a remodeled building or close a corridor to allow work to proceed.

By having a virtual presentation of the project available on a laptop, the general contractor can share BIM information with the project's owner and make any necessary changes on the spot.

Revisions take place in the computer — not on the job site — and help eliminate costly downtime and material reorders in the field. General contractors are also able to retrieve BIM information quickly to resolve issues that arise with other contractors at the project site.

BIM produces a lean project by taking the guesswork out of ordering materials. The BIM model calculates the exact amount and type of materials that should be ordered for the job. Having the correct materials in the field at the proper stage of the project saves the owner time and money.

Typically, an hour spent reviewing BIM information prior to construction saves the general contractor 10 hours in the field. Should a design issue arise, having BIM in place could save the general contractor up to 40 hours of meetings and downtime necessary to resolve the matter.

Watch these short presentations: Video 1, Video 2

Digital Terrain Models (DTM)

A digital elevation model (DEM) is a digital representation of ground surface topography or terrain. It is also widely known as a digital terrain model (DTM). An accurate DTM can be used for various types of mapping applications, to produce contours, and for orthorectification of aerial photography.

The above sample contour map depicts a simple hill and provides the following information.

The elevation of land is typically its height above sea level. The numbers written on contour lines indicate the elevation of the lines. Topographic maps would be very cluttered if all contour lines were labeled, so only the heavier lines show labels.

The elevation of unlabeled contour lines can be determined using the contour interval at the bottom of the map. The contour interval tells the vertical distance between neighboring lines. By counting the number of contours from a labeled line, and multiplying by the contour interval, you can calculate the elevation of any contour line.

For points located between contour lines, you can estimate the elevation by examining the distance to the two closest contours.

Geodetic Surveying & Photogrammetric Control

Photogrammetric surveying uses photographs taken from an aircraft (or from the ground in some cases) to indirectly measure objects on the ground to produce point coordinates or maps.

Gps surveying and control mapping

Photogrammetry can be a very cost-effective way to obtain accurate information for areas inaccessible to ground based survey crews.

No actual physical measurements are made of the specific ground features. However, we can, for example, produce a 3-dimensional model from photographs taken at an altitude of 600 meters above the ground. From this model, distances between objects or differences in heights can be measured to an accuracy of 3 cm to 10 cm. pretty impressive, wouldn't you say? Photogrammetric surveys can be horizontal, vertical or both. They can be used for:

  • Densification of survey control
  • Cadastral surveys
  • Topographic Surveys
  • Terrain Analysis
  • Stockpile, gravel pit or land fill monitoring and volume surveys, and Route location and planning of utilities, pipelines and transmission lines


A geographic information system (GIS) integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.

GIS allows us to view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts.

A GIS helps you answer questions and solve problems by looking at your data in a way that is quickly understood and easily shared. GIS technology can be integrated into any enterprise information system framework.

What Can You Do with GIS?

Map Where Things Are

Mapping where things are lets you find places that have the features you're looking for, and to see where to take action.

  • Find a feature—People use maps to see where or what an individual feature is.
  • Finding patterns—looking at the distribution of features on the map instead of just an individual feature, you can see patterns emerge.

Maps of the locations of earthquake shaking hazards are essential to creating and updating building codes used in the United States. Online, interactive earthquake maps, as well as seismicity and fault data, are available at

Map Densities

While you can see concentrations by simply mapping the locations of features. In areas with many features it may be difficult to see which areas have a higher concentration than others. A density map lets you measure the number of features using a uniform areal unit, such as acres or square miles, so you can clearly see the distribution.

Mapping density is especially useful when mapping areas, such as census tracts or counties, which vary greatly in size. On maps showing the number of people per census tract, the larger tracts might have more people than smaller ones. But some smaller tracts might have more people per square mile—a higher density.

This map shows population density in the east Asian and Indian Ocean regions.

Find What's Inside

Use GIS to monitor what's happening and to take specific action by mapping what's inside a specific area. For example, a district attorney would monitor drug-related arrests to find out if an arrest is within 1,000 feet of a school--if so, stiffer penalties apply.

This image from The Sanborn Map Company, Inc., shows a geoprocessed sample explosion radius around an area in California. Each separate zone represents 1/4-mile, the outermost perimeter being 1 mile away from the source.

Find What's Nearby

Find out what's occurring within a set distance of a feature by mapping what's nearby.

The Pacific Disaster Center has developed and applied a Vulnerability-Exposure-Sensitivity-Resilience model to map people and facilities (what's nearby) exposed to flood risk in the Lower Mekong River Basin (the feature).

Map Change

Map the change in an area to anticipate future conditions, decide on a course of action, or to evaluate the results of an action or policy.

  • By mapping where and how things move over a period of time, you can gain insight into how they behave. For example, a meteorologist might study the paths of hurricanes to predict where and when they might occur in the future.
  • Map change to anticipate future needs. For example, a police chief might study how crime patterns change from month to month to help decide where officers should be assigned.
  • Map conditions before and after an action or event to see the impact. A retail analyst might map the change in store sales before and after a regional ad campaign to see where the ads were most effective.