If you have ever watched a professional land surveyor in action, you likely wondered about the purpose of each tool and how exactly they are able to measure uneven ground quickly and with precision. While the “why” of a surveyor’s job is often simple to understand, the “how” of it takes a bit more explaining. And just because a property owner may not be officially involved in assisting with their own land survey, that doesn’t mean they can’t read up on the process.
With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the various tools and equipment a professional land surveyor in Idaho uses to do their job on a daily basis:
- Precision GPS: One of the more recent additions to a surveyor’s toolkit is the global positioning system, or GPS. By using satellite positioning, a GPS unit is able to locate the user’s precise location. When looked at from the perspective of a surveyor, such a tool could be used to pinpoint a starting location for a survey, or to mark the boundary lines of a property. These tools are not dissimilar to the capabilities of the modern cell phone, but they offer much greater location detail.
- The total station: Even though it sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, the total station is actually an advanced piece of surveying equipment. You most often see it mounted on a tripod. In the old days, these tools were completely manual and required good eyesight—and a lot of patience. The total station measures distance and level of land.
- Rods: You’ll often see a second person in the field with a surveyor holding a stick with a bright colored top on it. This is called a surveying rod. The purpose of this simple device is to give the total station a point of reference when taking measurements of the land. In the early days of surveying, this might have been done using a chain or rope pre-measured to a specific length.
- 3D scanning and LiDAR: These tools are more recent additions to the surveyor’s bag of tricks, but provide exceptionally accurate results. By using lasers to map a room or area, surveyors can create a digital version of the space in question. This can be useful when working on both small and large properties. More often than not, only larger surveying firms will have access to these costly tools. These tools give very detailed and sometimes interactive accounts of the property or space being measured.
- Measuring wheels: The measuring wheel is likely the easiest way to get a rough guess about the distance between two points. These tools are literally wheels with handles that count off distances as they are pushed along the ground. They are also useful for police and emergency crews trying to figure out what happened at an accident scene.
At Mason & Stanfield, Inc., we are more than prepared with the right tools and knowledge to conduct accurate land surveys for both residential and commercial properties. Contact our team to speak to an expert land surveyor in Idaho about the services we offer.