What is Engineering Surveying?

Engineering surveying is the broad term used to describe the work of surveyors on civil engineering jobs to support the conception, planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operation of engineered projects.  

The world of engineering is all about precision, and this is no different when it comes to project planning. Before embarking on an engineering project, it is important to understand all your specifications and to get the right expert advice. This isn’t something that any engineer can necessarily do, which is why it is important to turn to a planning and project professional.

To get your engineering project off the ground and to ensure it runs smoothly, the undertaking of an engineering survey is paramount. These surveys will look at every aspect of your engineering project and give you confidence when it comes time for the construction.

Surveying Engineers or Surveyors collect, analyse, and manage the global spatial infrastructure. They design, develop, and operate systems for collecting and analysing spatial information about the land, the oceans, natural resources, and man-made features.

Surveyors use sophisticated equipment such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS), electronic theodolites, levels, aerial photographs, satellite imagery for gathering, analysing, and using information about the earth.  Modern Surveying topics include digital mapping, geodesy, photogrammetry, remote sensing, LIDAR and Laser scanning, as well as more traditional surveying involving property surveys.

Surveying Engineers or Surveyors perform different types of work such as measure land, air space, and water areas.

An engineering survey provides invaluable insights to any construction project. The geospatial information that these surveys provide can minimise complications and maximise efficiency in a project.

Engineering surveyors will usually be the professionals who first examine a finished design for a project and often will identify any design or practicality issues.

The planning and design of all civil engineering projects (construction of highways, bridges, tunnels dams etc) is based upon surveying measurements.

During the execution, a project of any magnitude is constructed along the lines and points established by surveying.


What is cadastral surveying?

A cadastral surveyor is responsible for accurately defining property boundaries and understanding the laws of land ownership. This may include the identification of residential or rural boundaries, re-establishing boundaries that have been previously surveyed or creating new boundaries as part of the land subdivision process.

A cadastral surveyor has the skill and knowledge to interpret and advise on the location of boundaries and if there are any rights or restrictions relating to the property. The information and measurements taken by the cadastral surveyor are recorded on a survey plan which the surveyor is required to lodge with the relevant government agency.

Cadastral surveyors may perform.

Property Subdivision

The identification and creation of new property boundaries when a larger property is divided into a number of smaller lots, including when buildings are subdivided for sale or lease of individual units.

Identification Survey (Ident)

A survey that identifies and marks existing property boundaries. This may be required for a number of reasons e.g., to build a fence or to settle a boundary fencing dispute with a neighbour.

Location Certificate

A survey to identify if the real property description in a contract of sale or mortgage document, is the correctly nominated property, e.g., you are not purchasing your neighbour’s property.

Detail or Contour Survey

A survey to identify the location and height of the features on the property. This survey will also identify the slope and the extent of the slope on the property. This survey may be necessary when vacant land is to be developed e.g., a new house being built.

Did you know?

Land Surveying – What is it and why is it important?

Land surveying is the technique, profession, art, and science of determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional positions of points and the distances and angles between them.

If you’re buying a property with the intention of developing or significantly renovating, you need to know about land surveying.

Land surveyors work on a diverse variety of projects from planning and design of new or existing infrastructure, land and building development, construction (buildings, roads, bridges, sports fields, industrial and residential subdivisions, farming, etc.), to monitoring and environmental measuring.

They are experts in determining land size and measurements, as well as topographic heights. The surveyor gives advice and provides information to guide the work of engineers, architects, town planners, geologists, and developers. They also work with government and service authorities such as water, sewer, and power authorities.

Land Surveyors are often the first people on any construction or development site, measuring and mapping the land. Their measurements are then used by architects to understand and make the most of the landscape when designing, and engineers to plan structures accurately and safely – ensuring buildings not only fit with the landscape but are able to be constructed.

Their work forms the foundational information upon which many of plans are created to ensure the form and function of projects meet the brief.

Renovators and developers need their land surveyed to accurately understand the dimension and topography of the site. This is key to ensuring what you plan to achieve will comply with building guidelines, town plans and the end goal of your project.

It is important to understand there are a whole host of different zones that allow for different land uses to be conducted.

Existing Conditions Survey – this type of survey may be required for structural renovation or development projects. This survey of the existing site will provide information including the location of features such as buildings, vegetation and fences, the slope of the land, building heights, road features and any utility services that are currently present.

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