Topographic Surveys

What are they and why are they important?
What are topographic surveys?

A topographic survey is a detailed mapping of the natural and man-made features of a piece of land and provides accurate information about the physical characteristics, levels and contours of the terrain. Topographic surveys form part of our land survey services and are usually undertaken in tandem with our measured building surveys to provide a comprehensive understanding of the site.

  • Guidance: Surveys follow the guidance as set out in the RICS Measured surveys of land, buildings & utilities, 3rd edition.
  • Outputs: Outputs include 2d & 3d surveys, DTMs, contours, point clouds and cross/long sections. Our detailed plans typically show surveyed features, contours and levels along with annotations, labels and symbols to indicate specific features or measurements.
  • Data Collection: Surveys are undertaken to a high level of accuracy using cutting-edge hardware & software ensuring reliability of information. Data is collected using specialised equipment, such as Leica total stations, GPS receivers and laser scanners.
  • Features Mapped: We map both natural features such as hills, valleys, banking, rivers, trees, vegetation, etc and man-made features such as buildings, roads, fences, utility lines, drainage systems and other structures. Our surveys are tailored to client requirements.
  • Contour Lines: Contour lines represent lines of equal elevation and are a crucial component of the survey as they help visualise the shape and slope of the land.
Why are topographic surveys important?
  • Planning and development: Topographic surveys provide accurate and detailed information for architects, garden designers, engineers and urban planners to design and plan projects such as buildings, landscaping, roads and drainage systems. They are usually a starting point in our own developments, as they help understand the terrain, identify potential obstacles or hazards and make informed decisions about the layout and design of the project.
  • Construction: Accurate topographic information is crucial for proper site preparation, grading and earthwork calculations and ensures that the construction is done accurately and efficiently, minimising errors and potential issues.
  • Environmental assessment: Topographic surveys are often used in environmental assessments & studies and help assess the impact of proposed projects on the environment whilst identifying any potential ecological risks or concerns.
  • Property & boundary disputes: Topographic surveys are used to establish accurate property boundaries and resolve/prevent any disputes related to land ownership. Survey data provides legal evidence and documentation that can be used in court if necessary.
  • Geographic information systems (GIS): Topographic data is used for creating accurate and detailed GIS maps to be used in urban planning, transportation, natural resource management and emergency response.