What Is A Topographical Survey?

Topographic Surveys

Topographic surveys are useful for anyone who needs information about a plot of land. Focusing on elevation and land features, these surveys are invaluable to parties who are looking to develop their property.

These surveys are accurate and rich in the level of detail that you can obtain. They also have lots of benefits that can be realised throughout the whole development process.

C&A Surveyors is a well-established land surveying company with years of experience. We offer highly accurate and reliable surveying services to meet all your land survey needs.

What Is A Topographical Survey?

A topographical survey is also known as a feature contour survey. This type of survey can give you valuable insight into a piece of land, the features inside the boundaries and certain types of street furniture. It details all land features in terms of height, depth, size and location.

You can utilise a topographical survey to determine features that are both natural and man-made. This type of land survey also shows the changes in the elevation of the land.

In short, topographical surveys help you to understand the features found on a parcel of land, as well as the changes in height between these landforms. Examples of features that you might find on a topographic survey include existing buildings, trees, levels, adjoining window locations and visible services.

Before you make plans to construct on a property you will need to hire a surveyor to conduct a topographical survey.

Analysing the variation in elevation can give you a clear idea of the land you are working with. Moreover, noting all the features of the land will help guide the planning of the development. This means that you have an accurate picture from which to plan your work, and a reference that can guide you.

What is Topography?

In geoscience, topography is the study of the surface of the land. This includes land forms and the features of the area – both natural and artificial.

It refers to the three-dimensional nature of the land surface and its various features. Modern equipment is used to make topographic maps in a digital form, which can be very detailed and accurate.

The Difference Between Boundary And Topographic Surveys

During your efforts to find out more about land surveys and what type you may need for your project, you may have come across information on boundary surveys.

A boundary survey establishes the perimeter of a plot of land. This is done by surveying the legally defined land parcel, often as a step before construction. This type of land survey differs from a topographical survey in that it is more concerned with the horizontal specifics than elevations or contour lines.

Boundary surveys are often performed in relation to property dispute resolution and fence construction. If one hopes to attain a building permit, then a boundary survey is important.

Topographical surveys are more detailed than boundary surveys as they include every single feature on the parcel. This is essential data to have before design begins. It helps with the planning to ensure project success.

Why Would You Need A Topographical Survey?

For residential or commercial spaces, a topographic map is an important starting point for any land expansion or development. There are a few reasons that you would hire topographical surveyors like us at C&A Surveyors to conduct a land survey of this nature.

First of all, an accurate picture of your land will help you to optimise your plot by giving you detailed information about the surface of the land. Topographical surveys provide you with a professionally created plan of your property. It lays out all the features, such as contour lines, property lines, and land features.

Other parties who will be involved in your land journey – such as architects, civil engineers, and councils – will need this information. They will use information from the site survey to assist in services such as designs and building proposals.

You can also use topographic surveys as a land valuation tool. This is because the survey determines the existing conditions of the site and its features. If there are issues, one can easily pinpoint problem areas and fix them.

If you’d like to move forward with any project involving your parcel of land, you’re going to need an accurate, professional and comprehensible map of your property.

At C&A Surveyors, we produce highly accurate and detailed topographic and contour surveys. This helps to ensure your development project’s success. We have years of experience and provide efficient surveying services with state-of-the-art technology. If you need a topographic survey, we can help you through the entire process.

Using Data From A Topographical Survey

The results from a topographical survey will be presented to each client as contour lines on a site map. You can use the results to determine notable features in the land and to plan for features that use the natural landscape. These include drainage ditches and grading.

Once you receive the results from the survey, you will know if the land’s features are suitable for the development you have planned.

Topographical surveys can also lend insight into how a site’s past or current use affected the area. This can help you in planning for the land’s future use.

How To Do A Topographical Survey

C&A Surveyors keep this process simple and effective. First off, we have an initial consultation to ensure that we are able to meet your needs to the best of our ability.

The planning phase will include time scheduling, pricing, and determining the geographical area for the survey.

We use advanced equipment to understand and pinpoint where various natural and man-made features are located on your property. Depending on the terrain, different technologies may need to be used. We gather the feature information and put it all together with high levels of detail and accuracy.

Next, we prepare the final survey output for our clients and will go through internal processes to ensure quality. When a senior member of staff has given the green light, we deliver the output to our clients.

The duration of one of these surveys depends on several factors. The size of the land parcel, as well as the variations in terrain, will both have an impact on how long the survey will take.

However, we will calculate an estimation of the duration in the initial phase. This means that our clients have all the information they need before starting a topography survey. Time schedules and milestones will also be discussed and agreed upon. At C&A Surveyors, we aim to deliver high-quality work within a time frame that suits our clients.

What Does Topographical Survey Include?

Topographic surveys accurately locate and detail natural features, as well as man-made features, that may impact any decisions you make about your land. A topographic survey will include the location of these features, and details about their elevations.

The land’s features will be presented by looking at the elevation of each and how it compares to a defined horizontal plane. This means that these surveys include horizontal distances, changes in heights and contour lines.

A professionally drafted plan will record a wide range of noteworthy land features. Terrain levels, trees and vegetation are all examples of natural features that a surveyor would plot on a topographic map.

It will also note man-made features, such as walls and fences, along with their height and type. These maps will also detail any visible utility services, building information, and data on the property and adjacent properties.

Who Uses Topographical Surveys?

C&A Surveyors have a wide range of customers that vary from builders to architects. There are many people who would need information from a topographical survey.

Anyone who needs to make decisions about a parcel of land should utilise a topographical survey. It serves as a starting point for development decisions. Architects and Engineers will need the land’s features accurately mapped out before they can produce good designs and construction plans.

Engineers need the information for a topographic survey before they can make the call about adjusting the grade of the property. Without information on the elevation of the land, they do not know if it will make a suitable foundation as is.

Architects need the information to design the development. They present these designs to clients before decisions are made and development has begun. If there are any features that will significantly impact the potential for development, then it is important that the clients know beforehand. This will help to avoid costly oversights.

Government agencies may need topographical surveys with regards to construction and zoning laws. They may need to re-evaluate a plot of land and its potential or understand the lay of the land for environmental purposes.

Housing developments, road plans, forestry and land registry operations are a few of the other spaces that topographical maps are useful for.

Reason for a Topographical Survey

There are many reasons that one might need a topographical survey.

Here are some of the most common reasons that the public might encounter and what these are used for.

  1. Architectural Design

The Architect requires a Topographical Survey be undertaken in order to facilitate the design process. The Topographical Survey  provides the Architect information on the location of any existing man-made and natural features of the land and most importantly the location of any easements. This information assists the Architect to determine potential development possibilities. C&A Surveyors provides the client with a CAD drawing file which helps to make the design process quicker for the Architect.

2. Engineering Design

Hydraulic Engineers require a Topographical survey in order to design potential drainage options for the development. This is particularly essential for the design of drainage easements through any adjoining neighbouring properties. C&A Surveyors provides the client with a CAD drawing file which helps to make the design process quicker for the Hydraulic Engineer.

3. Tree Removal

If you are removing a number of trees from a potential development site, Council may request a Topographical Survey to show the location, height and spread of the subject trees. This plan assists the arborist in preparing a report for Council on the health types of trees and is submitted to Council with either a Tree Removal Application or a Development Application.

C&A Surveyors Professional and Reliable Land Surveys

We offer many different types of surveys to meet all your land surveying needs in Sydney and surrounding areas.

We can provide you with a highly accurate topographical survey that details all the various features of your land parcel.

At C&A Surveyors, we use only the latest technology and equipment to ensure we produce the best results. This way, we can help ensure your project’s success.

Benefits of a Topographical Survey

There are many benefits to having a topographical survey done on your property. Having accurate and detailed data on your sites is useful to, and sometimes required by, various parties involved in the development of land or environmental projects.

Understand the lay of the land

With the help of a topographical map, you can understand if you will be able to develop the land for its intended use. When you have knowledge of the existing conditions and noteworthy features, it is possible to make a plan for the property.

Topographical surveys provide you with accurate data that will allow you, and other parties involved, to get clarity on the lay of the land.

Accurate data for decision making

This data is essential to have before you move on to the next steps of planning or development. If a topographical map shows that the land is not suitable for its intended use, it stops a very expensive oversight.

Architects and Engineers will require access to the topographic survey data during the planning and design phase. This way, they can assess all the features of the land and its elevations and ensure that construction is set up for success. The information from the surveys enables them to design their plans around any fixed natural and man-made features.

Recognise land shape

Before construction, or another process, begins, knowing the shape of the land is important. This can help the parties involved understand the structures that can possibly fit within the boundaries.

The land shape will also give architects and engineers insight into the potential designs and land grading for construction projects. This all needs to happen before development can begin.

Ensure durability

After accumulating accurate data from a topographic survey, it is also important to ensure the durability of construction on the plot. The data that is collected can be kept and referred back to in the future.

Having a good foundation for the land and any construction also means that you will have a more durable operation. Accurate land information can help minimise risks and prevent mistakes.

Information is up to date and detailed

Whilst there may be topographic information available (for example, from a government site) for your area, it probably won’t have the necessary detail. There is also a good chance that the data will not be current. As a result, the boundary features will not be accurate enough to base a development plan off. Using old data could result in boundary disputes and developments being designed fully or partially on a neighbouring property.

If you’re looking to develop a plot of land, an up-to-date topographical survey is the best way to obtain the information you need. Reliable data can help you to avoid potential setbacks and unnecessary expenditures.

How Accurate Is A Topographic Survey?

Topographic surveys are an accurate representations of the lay of the land. This is necessary, as construction projects require accuracy in the planning phase.

However, make sure that the topographic data you are using in your planning is up to date. As mentioned earlier, old topographic maps might be missing essential information.

At C&A Surveyors, we produce data that is complete, detailed and accurate.

Contact Us For Expert Topographic Surveys

Topographic surveys are key to responsible property ownership and successful development projects. With a long list of benefits, the practical applications of topographic surveys could be invaluable to your development process.

C&A Surveyors have been offering excellent services in Sydney for years. We are a family operated company that has worked on a wide range of projects over the years.

Each project receives the utmost attention and care, and we pride ourselves on putting our customers first. If you would like a free quotation for your land surveying needs, get in touch with us here.

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