Land Surveyors: The Enigmatic Nature of Mapping Out Our World

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a man who is part of a group of land surveyors in silhouette next to a theodolite Land surveyors keep an ancient tradition alive. It’s true, land surveying extends far beyond the physical infrastructure. Everyone knows that the world is ‘connected’ today. When we use this phrase we usually refer to digital connections or avenues of communication across borders and oceans via social media sites or websites or access to the same or similar information. And while all that is true—that the world is figuratively more connected than ever—it is also true that there is physical work that is done in order to make these ‘connections’ possible. At the same time, the construction work we see on our way to work, the roadblocks that have us follow detours, all begin with an understanding of the land that is being built on, manipulated, changed. The work before the work is, in some ways, what makes land surveyors enigmatic and somewhat mysterious. 

The Building Blocks—Geometry and Ancient Civilizations 

Let’s take a step back in time. The concept of surveying or inspecting the land goes way back into civilizations. The division, understanding, and assessment of land serves many purposes and was used as far back as the ancient Egyptians for the purpose of taxation. Early surveys, used different types of instruments to gauge the dimensions of plots of land. According to Purdue University, in 120 B.C the Greeks developed geometry, although there were early versions of it in Egypt. Interestingly enough, the word Geometry means to ‘measure the earth’ and is the science of shape and size of things. Naturally, the science was then used to divide the land into shapes and plots, especially as civilizations grew, governments were established, and personal property needed to be measured and, yes, of course, taxed. 

It was in Greece that the first piece of surveying equipment was developed. This was called the Diopter. This instrument was a mobile tool that used a cogwheel and water level to measure terrestrial and astronomical figures on a property. With this tool, the Greeks also developed a standardized method for surveying and basically created a protocol that set the stage for the process for many years. 

And on to Europe and then the Industrial Revolution

You might remember a word or two about William the Conqueror from early history classes. Also affectionately known as William the Bastard, as his illegitimate birth was certainly a topic of conversation among royalty circles during his reign (his father impregnated a mistress), he ruled England from the time he was eight years old. Interestingly enough, William the Bastard’s reign was plagued with violence and turmoil, but he managed to maintain control and—despite not knowing English and being illiterate— made great contributions to the development of the English language in early England. He also made a great contribution to land surveying when he ordered a “Domesday Book,” a record of people who owned land in England and the sizes and shapes of their plots. This book placed a great emphasis on demarcating privately owned land and property. 

The demarcation of personal property today—and if you are a property owner, then you are highly aware of this— is key in maintaining order and proper city records and plots. In 1571, the first theodolite was created. This was a more precise instrument, as compared with the diopter that came before it. The setup uses a tripod with a compass and is able to create boundary lines. It wasn’t until the 18th century, however, that plots of land began being measured with precise maps of where each was located. 

In the 1800s, land surveying became an actual profession. And as the surveying tools improved, the process became more and more important. This was largely due to the rapid increase in population and the growth of cities, roads, and railways. Suddenly surveying land and understanding the landscape on which we built was much more of a necessity. 

Land Surveyors in 21st Century Texas

You ask most people what the role of land surveyors is and they might come up with a relatively good educated guess. Most folks, however, know little about the process or understand that it is present before anything can get built. It’s why the surveyor is a kind of ghostly and enigmatic figure that comes in before the groundbreaking begins and plots out the land and territory. 

Still in the 20th and 21st centuries, land surveying uses the same basic principles and concepts that were started centuries ago. The development of certain technologies, such as GPS, laser cameras, precision instruments, GIS software, and terrestrial scanning makes everything that much more accurate and efficient. 

Surveying the Seas: Internet Cables that Run Our Online World 

Another way that these surveying concepts are at work is through the network of cables that connect us all. As the internet has expanded, so has the infrastructure that supports it—even though it’s not often visible. It’s just another arena where the concepts and tools of land surveyors come into play. Fiber optic cable is laid out across the ocean floor to help connect people online. This is often referred to as the secret network that connects the world. It used to be that communications happened through copper cables and electrical signals. Today fiber optic cable that is laid across the land and ocean floor allows for the faster and secure communication we enjoy today. These fiber optic cables are often as thick as a human hair and carry pulses of late that transfer data. 

Get An Accurate Land Survey with Land-Mark or Find Out More

At Land-Mark, we take the art of surveying very seriously. We have been in the business for many years and focus on providing accurate readings and maps of the land in question. Whether it is a government contract or a private enterprise looking for their next commercial location, accurate readings of property markings and coordinates are key in protecting yourself down the road from any legal troubles. 

Topographic Mapping: Basics and Benefits 

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Topographic Mapping: Basics and Benefits 

Compass on Topographic Map.

Topographic mapping is at the heart of what we do here at Land-Mark, but often people aren’t sure what it means. It may sound pretty complex, but it’s actually pretty simple and useful. In this article, we’ll briefly discuss what a topographic map is and its uses. 

What Is A Topographic Map? 

A topographic map is simply a highly detailed map that shows the change in elevation between swaths of land or water. Modern topographic maps use contour lines but have used a number of other methods in the past. They usually cover large areas of land, as smaller maps of this type qualify as chorographic maps—though those are often labeled as topographic anyway. 

As can be seen in the picture above, the contour lines on the map are associated with a number that denotes the elevation on that line. The closer the lines are, the more drastic the change in elevation. Topographic maps can be used to show natural and man-made elements. 

The Uses of Topography

Topography has a vast array of uses associated with it. Large-scale architecture, for example, needs topography to determine where and how to build. Hiking may also use these maps, as well as mining, civil engineering, and other geographic activities. 

Topography With Land-Mark Professional Surveying

Need a topographic map of an area or just have questions about the process? Contact Land-Mark today, and get started on your topographic needs! 

 

A Land Surveyor’s Tool Kit: What We Use in The Field

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A young surveyor takes measurements on the road while the sun rises in the morning

As land surveyors, we have to carry around a great deal of equipment. We’re often mistaken for photographers because of our tripods, but the rest of our gear quickly dispels that thought. We deal with precise measurements, so it’s crucial to have the right tools on hand. Here we’d like to teach more about our equipment, so you can see us and not mistake us for dedicated Instagram photographers.

  1. Theodolite –  A theodolite is a surveying instrument with a telescope for measuring horizontal and vertical angles. Some land surveying crews use transits and total stations as well, which are used for the same purpose. These can be very pricey; they can range from $200 to over $50,000 in retail price!
  2. Surveying Tripod – Be sure not to spend all your money on the theodolite, because it needs a place to sit as well. The survey tripod is a sturdy tripod that is designed to move as little as possible for accurate measurements.
  3. Hand Tools – Besides the main equipment, a surveyor will need a host of other equipment to do the job well. Rope and measuring tape are great for rough measurements and marking, while items like picks and saws help clear debris to properly survey. 
  4. Clipboard – All the data needs to go somewhere, right? A clipboard and pencil are necessary to take measurements or notes down onto paper, or a good PDA would suffice as well.

Land Surveying Done Right

If you’re in need of a land survey, Land-Mark Professional Surveying is the best in the southwest. We work in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, and provide quality land surveying for all of our clients. Contact us to see what we can do for you! 

Land Surveying: The Best First Step You Can Take

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Land Surveying: The Best First Step You Can Take

Land surveyors measuring with tacheometer speaking through transmitterFor many people, owning land is a lifelong dream. If you’ve achieved this dream, you need to look into land surveying services before you break ground and start construction. This way, you won’t face any nasty legal battles in the future. You see, avoiding surveying your land can cause adjacent landowners to seek legal ramifications against you, which can quickly turn your dream of being a landowner into a nightmare.

The Best First Step

When buying land, most people have a somewhat vague understanding of where their land’s borders are. The land seller might’ve said that the land is a few acres across, but how are you to know exactly where your land ends and your neighbor’s beings? This is where we come into play. By using state-of-the-art technology, Land-Mark Professional Land Surveying is able to provide the most accurate information so your dream can proceed without a single hitch. Our services are reliable. In fact, countless individuals and companies alike rely on us for all their land surveying needs.

It’s Time To Get Started!

So, if you’re ready to get started on the right foot, give us a call! We always strive to offer top-notch service to our clients. In fact, we also love talking about our services and processes so you can be as enlightened in the art of land surveying as us! Nothing should stand in your way when it comes to achieving your dreams. Contact Land-Mark Professional Land Surveying today.

Where Technology and Infrastructure Meet

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a man using a theodolite to check landSince 1991 Land-Mark has been at the forefront of the land surveying industry. A lot has changed since 1991, of course. In the early nineties, very few people could imagine that their cumbersome beepers would be transformed into sophisticated mobile devices capable of helping them navigate unknown territory (figuratively and literally), facilitate immediate communication across the globe, provide up-to-date news, take decent photographs, and store hundreds of bits of information. Similarly, technology has found its way to land-surveying and other relevant industries, providing equipment that increases accuracy and efficiency. 

We use a variety of equipment, depending on the specific job, land, and project at hand. One of our trusted partners includes the company TopCon. These guys are highly innovative and perfectionists in developing new systems and equipment to improve the construction and planning of infrastructure and land planning.  Topcon provides the positioning technology for surveyors, civil engineers, construction contractors, equipment owners, and operators. The geospatial solutions from Topcon have the most in-depth precision measurement for land mapping and surveying. 

The Use of Digital Systems in Construction, Infrastructure, and Mapping

As land surveyors, Land-Mark is at the opening stages of a construction project. We form, however, part of the bigger picture that is all infrastructure building and construction. The use of technology in all stages of the construction industry has improved construction’s accuracy, safety, and efficiency. 

In 1927, as TopCon points out, the world had 2 billion people. Only about one hundred years later did that number rise all the way to 7 billion. This means thousands of more acres developed, millions of more buildings erected, hundreds of more cities extended and expanded, and a constant and consistent demand for better and smarter building solutions. 

A Few Amazing Examples….

Building great structures has always come at a human cost. There is not only a demand for human toil and labor but a high risk of accidents and injuries in any construction site. Any great building or structure you can think up has come at a cost of human lives. Some projects have been more successful than others. The Golden Gate bridge, for example, had 11 laborers died, a neighboring bridge, the Oakland Bay Bridge, had 28 people die in its construction. The World Trade Centers had 60 construction deaths. Recent technology, however, has allowed engineers to survey an area using drone technology without putting human lives at risk. A TopCon project to repair the Great Wall of China would have required workers to traverse a dangerous area. Instead, they sent a drone that was able to take thousands of high-resolution images that could then be input into a 3-D model, that was then used to examine the area and determine what needed to be done. 

Measurement instruments have improved the ability for land surveyors like ourselves to enhance our workflow and improve our accuracy. Another great thing that technology offers is that added guarantee of accurate measurements and absolute efficiency. Land-Mark personnel is trained in a variety of high-tech and highly-specialized equipment that will ensure the proper mapping and measurements of your land project. 

Explore the Wonders of Accurate Land Surveyors

So whether it is expanding a university campus in the middle of the growing El Paso central area or any other construction project in Las Cruces or Odessa, we are here to provide the most accurate topographic, stand land, improvement, and above and below grown surveying in the Southwest.  Call Land-Mark today and find out more about our exciting projects in the area, both private and government work, that will show our dedication and find out about what we can do for your upcoming project. 

Digging Deep Into Land Surveying | Looking Beyond Boundaries

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an underground land surveyor readying his theodolite

Land surveying may seem like a simple, easily explainable task but it provides much-needed information for a variety of instances. By making these precise measurements, surveyors are able to determine property boundaries, thus avoiding any legal disputes over who owns which part of the land. Land surveyors are mostly used prior to land development. They’re basically the cartographers who draw a map upon which architects will be able to build the dreams of the land owner. Surveyors, along with their handy theodolites, are able to determine boundaries, but they can also do so much more. Keep reading to learn more about the various types of land surveyors out there.

Forensic Surveyors

Not all surveyors measure land to determine boundaries. Forensic surveyors, for example, use their skills to survey and record scenes of accidents. This is done in order to determine potential landscape effects.

Geodetic Surveyors

Ever wonder how maps like Google Earth come to be? Well, geodetic surveyors play a major role in these aspects. By using highly advanced technology, geodetic surveyors are able to measure large areas of Earth. Satellite and aerial observations give the surveyor an astronaut’s point of view, thus giving them the ability to measure Earth itself.

Hydrographic Surveyors

From space, we now go into the ocean itself. Hydrographic surveyors (also known as marine surveyors) use their surveying skills to study harbors and other bodies of water. This is done in order to determine shorelines. Hydrographic surveyors also determine the topography of the ocean floor and water depth, among many other features.

Mine Surveyors

The title speaks for itself but mine surveyors use their surveying abilities to map the tunnels that make up mines underground. They can also survey surface mines in order to determine how many materials have been mined.

Land Surveyors for Your Needs

The wide world of land surveying is incredibly exciting. And, thanks to advancements in technology, land surveyors are now able to survey more efficiently than ever before. It’s necessary to point out that the most common of land surveyors partake in the art of determining boundaries, and they take great pride in helping landowners avoid legal disputes. Our team, at Land-Mark Land Surveying, holds the importance of land surveying close to our hearts. Let us guide the way and shine a light with our theodolites. Contact Land-Mark Land Surveying today to learn more about what we can do for you.

The Path Forward: Understanding the Importance of Land Surveying

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mount rushmore with a beautiful blue sky as a backdropHere’s a fun fact for you, did you know that three of the four presidents immortalized on Mount Rushmore were land surveyors? It’s true. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln were all proud of land surveyors. It’s a beautiful thought; these men who basically build the America we know and love today also played their part in literally surveying America’s own land. The importance of land surveyors goes as far back as history immemorial. If you’re looking for land surveying assistance in the Southwest region, give Land-Mark Professional Land Surveyors a call!

What Goes Into Land Surveying

Although there have been many advancements in modern technology that have made land surveying as accurate as possible, the basic tenets of land surveying are the same as they were in Washington’s day. The measuring of properties and land in order to determine boundaries is as important in this day and age as it was back when the Louisiana Purchase first went through. Let’s say you purchased some land and you plan to develop said land. Before doing so, you must have it surveyed by a professional land surveyor. Avoiding this can lead to many issues in the future.

The Right First Step

Just imagine, you buy land, develop it, and build a shopping center over it. Then, a few years later, you find out the person who owns the plot of land adjacent to yours wants to develop it as well and a land surveyor determines you built on the neighboring land. This will undoubtedly lead to litigation and other legal issues you’d rather avoid. So, before breaking ground, hire a land surveyor. With their findings, you’ll be able to take the first steps towards building whatever you may have in mind. Even if you’re not currently planning on developing your land, it’s still a good idea to have it surveyed. This information will be incredibly useful, no matter what you plan to do with your land.

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

If you’re ready to partake in the century-long tradition of land surveying, then contact Land-Mark Land Surveying! We are the area’s foremost land surveying team which means our work is second to none. When it comes to land surveying, it’s in your best interest to not cut corners; the end result may be more harmful than good and you’ll have to face the negative ramifications further on down the road. Let our team survey your land so you can move ahead with your dreams, whatever they may be.

Land Surveying on Mars: Using Earth-Based Tech to Map The Red Planet

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a desert landscape reminiscent of MarsThe planet Mars has held the attention (and curiosity) of earthlings for decades. Ancient peoples, such as Greek and Romans, noticed the red planet and named it after their god of war (Ares for Greek and Mars for Roman). These ancient peoples had a knack for naming planets. The ravaged, cold landscape of Mars does look as if a terrible war on a planetary scale took place on its surface, eons ago. Today, half a millennium later, the planet continues to fill our minds with ideas for the future of mankind. What separates us from the ancients, however, is our ability to learn more about Mars than ever before. Thanks to modern advancements in technology, mankind has been able to gather more information about Mars than ever before. This red planet is being surveyed by rovers and, in the future, by drones. The age-old tradition of surveying will pave a way for humans to potentially make Mars our second home.

The Truth About the Red Planet

It may seem like the Greeks and Romans hit it out of the park when naming Mars after their god of war. The surface of Mars is the definition of desolate, much like a location after thousands of nuclear bomb has been dropped. But the surface of Mars is actually much colder than one might initially think. This all has to do with the planet’s relative location in our solar system. Earth’s location relative to the sun, for instance, is not too hot or too cold. Our neighbors, Venus and Mercury, are far too close to the sun and thus have surface temperatures of 864° Fahrenheit and 801° Fahrenheit, respectively. Mars, on the other hand, has more “livable” temperatures (at least, during the day). Temperatures during a martian day near the equator can reach around 70° Fahrenheit while temperatures at night can reach minus 100° F. Pretty cold, isn’t it? Earth, which is the third planet away from the sun is the perfect temperature for life to thrive. Thanks to Earth’s temperature, water doesn’t immediately evaporate. This is why there’s life on Earth, as opposed to the other planets that surround us.

How NASA is Preparing to Survey the Surface of Mars

But does this mean life never existed on Mars? Thanks to the handful of rovers that have traversed the red planet’s surface, as well as high-quality images from satellites and telescopes, scientists have been able to find frozen ice or even signs of long-dried out rivers on the Martian surface. Perhaps Mars was a green, flourishing planet eons ago but today we only see the cold, distant remnants of an empty planet.

NASA is currently testing the Prandtl-m prototype. This drone will survey Mars’ surface (much how land surveyors surveyed America and the rest of Planet Earth throughout history and today). It’s incredible to think that the long-standing tradition of land surveying will be used to depict the surface of Mars. With this information, Earth-based scientists will be able to formulate what it may take for mankind to live on Mars. Today, however, you can call Land-Mark Land Surveyors to take care of all your Earth-based surveying needs.

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How Land Surveyors Shaped (and Continue to Shape) America

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a land surveyor working with a theodoliteLet’s transport ourselves to middle school history class. Do you recall the term “manifest destiny?” This was a 19th-century belief that the United States had a destiny (appointed by God) to expand across the entire North American continent. This was much more than a physical expansion of the nation; it was an expansion of the democracy and capitalism that was the foundation of the United States. Manifest destiny was much more than a belief, as it became a reality rather quickly. The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 doubled the size of the young United States, kicking manifest destiny into gear. Soon afterward, the famous Lewis and Clark expedition took place. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were both land surveyors (amongst many other things) so they were the perfect candidates for such an expedition. This is just one example of the importance of land surveyors in America’s history.

How the Dominion of the United States Spread from East to West

The United States acquired large parts of Mexico in the early and mid 19th century. By 1846, we acquired the Oregon Territory thanks to a treaty with Great Britain. By 1850, the United States had grown to the size it is today. Fewer than 100 years after we declared independence from England, the United States ostensibly quadrupled in size. This is where land surveyors came into play. With so much land available, it was necessary for land surveyors to document each piece of the new America. Many land surveyors actually went on to become presidents of the United States. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln all held the title of land surveyor. In fact, it was Thomas Jefferson who sent Lewis & Clark on their famous expedition of the Louisiana Purchase.

Land Surveyors Continue Making History

Although the days of early America are far behind us, land surveying still plays a major role in our modern society. Today, land surveyors pinpoint where your particular land begins and ends so you won’t accidentally build over someone else’s land. Surveyors are able to set boundaries as well. Many things have changed since the days of Lewis & Clark. Now, we’re able to use highly advanced technology to garner the most accurate readings. If you own land and want to begin developing it, make sure to speak with a land surveyor from Land-Mark Professional Surveying. We offer our services to clients in the Southwest regions of El Paso and New Mexico. When you partake in land surveying, you’re partaking in American history! 

A Few FAQs for Your Land Planning

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construction manager walking a grassy sight with a map, land planning for a projectIf you are in the process of building on your land, you probably already know that the local government will want a site plan. You will more than likely need to enlist the help of a good surveyor for a land planning survey. On a good note, getting a survey done will also provide you with valuable info for your site planning needs. Whether it is a personal plot and you are building a home, or you are working on a commercial plot to build a retail center, it doesn’t matter! A survey can point out all the different aspects of your land that will impact your building plans. At Landmark Professional Surveying, Inc., we have a few FAQs here for your planning:

Question: Do I Really Need a Land Planning Survey?

Answer: First of all, your local government probably requires some kind of survey in order for you to obtain the proper permits to build on your land. But, as mentioned, land surveys offer valuable info for land planning, as well. This can include the type of ground you are building on, best areas for drainage, finding out if you are on a floodplain or hard rock, and so on. When you are planning buildings and improvements that interact with the land, a survey is always good to have, whether it is required or not.

Question: What Do I Need to Know About Land Planning Surveys?

Answer: First of all, your local survey agency will know the details of your required land survey for permit needs. They will have a firm understanding of what this legal document needs to provide. Not only will they create a proper survey to satisfy permit needs, but will provide info about your land for building purposes. From topography, property boundaries to proposed grading you can be sure to get a thorough account of your land.

Question: How Do I Get Started?

Answer: Getting started on your land planning needs and survey is as simple as giving us a call at Land-Mark Professional Surveying, Inc. We work with builders, architects, and government officials on a regular basis. We have a firm understanding that is drawn from 17 years of experience in the industry. We have provided services to private and commercial land builders in the Southwest region and offer reputable services. Give us a call today to get started on your land survey. We will be happy to answer your questions or set up a consultation.

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