Types of Surveys
A Boundary Survey establishes the property corners and property lines on a parcel of land by locating what is found in place or by setting appropriate monuments per the parcel deed. It also identifies any easement or encroachments on the parcel. A Certificate of Survey (COS) is the project deliverable from the boundary survey.
Land Title Survey
A Land Title Survey is a survey of real property, used by a title company for purposes of insuring title to a property. The Land Title Survey includes the property boundary, improvements on the property, easements and other specific requirements of a title company.
A Topographic Survey will map the contours of the existing ground and show the existing features on the surface including buildings, streets, sidewalks, trees and/or tree lines, manholes, hydrants, visible utilities, parking lots, walls, etc. A map, drawn to scale, is the deliverable showing the topographic survey.
Registered Land Survey
A Registered Land Survey is a survey for the identification of registered (Torrens) lands in accordance with the requirements of state laws or statutes. The owner of registered land is said to have “Torrens Title”, whereas lands that have not been registered are commonly called “Abstract Land”.
A Subdivision Survey is a survey to split a parcel of land into two or more smaller parcels. A Subdivision Survey is done in conformance with the local government subdivision ordinance. Preliminary and Final Plats, including Common Interest Communities (CIC) Plats, may be required that would identify the new lots/blocks, street right of ways, utility easements, common areas, etc. A simpler metes and bounds description with a Certificate of Survey would be required for small subdivision projects.
An Easement Survey will define, by a legal description, the right to use, cross or access another’s parcel of land without assuming ownership. Easements are limited to a particular use, such as utilities, recreation, preservation, access, etc. and are recorded to the property.
A GPS survey utilizes GPS satellites to determine precise latitude, longitude and elevation positioning of property corners, building locations, and almost any ground feature. GPS based data collection is much faster than conventional surveying and it is typically completed by a one-person survey crew.
An Elevation Certificate is a survey of the building elevation, including bottom floor and ground elevation and is compared to FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). The Elevation Certificate is completed on FEMA form 81-31 and provides elevation information for compliance with floodplain ordinances and supports map change requests either in a LOMA (Letter of Map Amendment) or LOMR-F (Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill).
A Construction Survey is a survey to “stake” reference points and offsets that will guide the construction of buildings, roads, and site development projects. The construction survey is based on a defined coordinate system used during the design of a project. A Construction Survey will establish horizontal and vertical control of a site, layout building corners and gridlines for reference and establish offset markers for utilities, curb lines, ADA ramps, blue tops, fence lines, and other construction items for site development and roadway projects.
An ALTA survey is a combination of a boundary survey, land title survey and topographic survey meeting the minimum standards as established by the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS), effective February 23, 2016.
A current title commitment is required to complete an ALTA survey. The ALTA will detail the property boundaries, delineate all easements and exceptions cited in the title commitment, zoning of the property with setbacks, flood zone information, encroachments, location of water boundary, evidence of cemeteries and names of adjoining property owners. Optional items can be included in ALTA surveys that are identified as Table A. The ALTA survey deliverable is also a detailed map showing all existing improvements on the property, utilities and other observations within the property.
An As-Built Survey is a survey during or after construction to record accurate information on the actual construction of a building or site infrastructure. This includes positional data and elevations of foundations, building corners, underground utilities, and other site and building construction items.
A volume survey is a survey that will accurately measure volumes in stockpiles of material (sand, gravel, solid waste, etc.). A long-range scanner collects that data to calculate the quantity of material in the stockpile. In reverse, volume surveys will also calculate quantities removed from large excavations that are difficult to access for a traditional topographic survey. The project deliverable is a map showing the stockpile (or excavation) and tabulated volumes in normal increments.
A Bathymetric Survey measures the terrain and contours of land underwater and provides information regarding the shape and specific features of the submerged terrain. Equipment used for a Bathymetric Survey is a Seafloor HydroLite TM Echosounder with R8 GNSS model GPS and TSC3 data collector to provide information that is compatible with any local or state horizontal and vertical coordinate system.