Topographical (TOPO) Survey

Essential for various purposes, including land development, construction planning, and creating detailed and accurate maps of the land’s surface.

The field of topography involves the study and recording of the various shapes, features, and elevations of the earth. A typical rudimentary topographic map denotes the shape and elevation of the land through a series of lines and circles known as “contour lines.” The spacing between these lines indicates the elevation of the land.

A topographic survey is a much more detailed process with the same goal: to accurately capture the lay of the land down to the finest detail. This includes the various dimensions (height, width, length, depth, size) of the land itself, as well as any natural features (trees, rivers, etc.) and man-made features (buildings, fences, utility lines).

Technological advances in the field of engineering have led to the creation and implementation of equipment that has made the topographic survey process easier, quicker, and more accurate.

The equipment required for a topographic survey includes a total station, GPS receiver, laser rangefinder, level, and tripod. These tools are used to collect feature data for a plot of land, such as contours, elevations, and other physical characteristics. Some of the common surveying jobs include ALTA/ACSM Survey, Boundary Survey, and Construction Survey, each requiring specific tools and equipment. Technological advancements have led to the creation of high-tech surveying equipment such as theodolites, measuring tape, total stations, 3D scanners, and GPS/GNSS, which provide accurate results and make the survey process easier and more efficient.

When Is a TOPO Survey needed?

  • Construction projects
  • Architectural projects
  • Utility design
  • Grading or drainage projects
  • When land is being repurposed
  • Environmental restoration
  • Remodeling of existing structures
  • Road or bridge construction or improvement
  • To satisfy regulations regarding construction codes

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(478) 272-3013

Related Services

ALTA Survey

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TOPO Survey

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As-built Survey

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