We live in the age of information. We all probably hear this phrase on a regular basis and are made of aware of this fact again and again when we encounter— and have immediate access to — endless bits of information and media and entertainment. Land surveying involves the gathering of information and data. The world of GPS has also significantly changed the way we travel and move around, as well as the way we understand the terrain. Many people now depend on GPS to get around. As land surveyors, GPS technology has impacted the way we do our work as well.
For centuries, scientists aimed to devise a way to enhance and improve our navigation and improve our ability to pinpoint our position in the world with accuracy. That technology exists today and most of us hardly give it a second thought.
The Beginning of the Technology
The GPS technology has so steadily snuck its way into our cars, our phones, and our lives. It has its origins in the Sputnik era. Scientists were able to track the satellites with shifts in their radio signals. This is known as the Doppler Effect. Throughout the 1960s the United States Navy conducted experiments to track submarines carrying nuclear missiles. In the 70s, the Department of Defense used some of this Navy technology and continued the movement of using satellites to track movement and for sophisticated navigation systems.
The DoD launched its first Navigation System with Timing and Ranging (NAVSTAR) satellite in 1978. By 1993, the 24 satellite system that GPS uses today was pretty much operational. There are two levels of service: the Standard Positioning Service and Precise Positioning Service. Access to the latter is restricted to the U.S Armed Forces. The former is the one most people know today as the GPS utilized by everyone.
So who created this technology and who do we credit as the inventor? After all, we always want to put a face to the name, even though some of the inventors we credit are not often the ones that deserve all the credit. Thomas Edison, for example, gets all the credit for the light bulb, but Humphry Davy might have something to say about that.
When it comes to GPS technology, there are a lot of people that contributed to what ultimately became the technology. There are four people typically credited with at least spearheading the concept that was developed by the US Department of Defense for military purposes. There is Roger L. Easton, the former head of Naval Research Laboratory’s Space Application was the brain behind a lot of the preliminary applications. Another name is Ivan Getting which contributed to the idea of using an advanced system of satellites to allow the calculation of data. Bradford Parkinson was at the forefront was also a chief architect of the technology. And then Dr. Gladys West also contributed to the advancements of calculations for an accurate model.
GPS stands for Global Positioning System and today this system has become quite sophisticated that it allows us to find addresses that might seem otherwise hidden or in the middle of nowhere. GPS uses signals from satellites to pinpoint a location on the Earth’s surface. GPS will use at least 24 separate satellites in a system that consists of six earth-centered orbital planes.
The Main Uses of GPS & How They Help Land Surveyors
- It determines a position or location
- Facilitates navigation
- Allows tracking
- Creates maps
- Aids accurate time measurement
How did GPS make its way into land surveying?
Because land surveyors are essentially marking and measuring terrain and property, GPS was a natural for the industry. The use of technology in surveying was one of the first commercial adaptations of GPS technology. GPS survey equipment allows the ability to obtain location, distance, and height almost instantaneously.
There are some pros and cons, however, when it comes to using/depending on GPS for land surveying. The benefits include:
- It offers a higher level of accuracy
- Calculations are made quickly
- Land surveyors can carry GPS components easily
There are also some slight disadvantages. These might include:
- Requires a clear view of the sky to receive the satellite signal
- When the area has intense foliage, there may be limits
- All GPS survey equipment is subject to failure
- The equipment can be costly
As GPS evolves, of course, land surveying will likely benefit and only increase its efficiency and accuracy. Already, in the last decade there has been quite a lot of changes in the way that land surveying is done, thanks to new equipment and improvement of techniques.
Get Accuracy with Land-Mark Land Surveyors
Just like any other industry in the 21st century, land surveying continues to change and advance as technology does the same. Here at Land-Mark, we do the job right. We use top-of-the-line equipment and the best techniques to ensure an accurate reading.
The 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.
Imagine this: you’ve finally found that white-picket fence, American dream of a house that you’ve always wanted and dreamed about, and then…your neighbor starts building on your property. Whether it’s a fence that cuts into your yard or you find your neighbor pruning what doesn’t belong to him, property disputes with neighbors are actually quite common, especially when there aren’t clear barriers or lines denoting whose property is whose. Here are a few things you can do if you find yourself dealing with a property dispute.
#1: Start With a Civil Discussion
Many times, when property disputes happen, simply talking to your neighbor about it can oftentimes resolve the problem. But we know that isn’t always the case, especially when the borders dividing your yards aren’t so cut and dry. If a civil discussion doesn’t cut it, don’t fret because there are other options for you.
#2: Bring it Up With a Property Manager
If you’re renting your property, your property manager may be able to help you resolve the dispute, especially if they are renting out your neighbor’s property as well, as is the case for many neighborhoods in El Paso. However, we’ve seen that many property disputes happen between two people who own the home they live in. If that’s the case, obviously this step is one you can skip.
#3: Contact a Land Surveyor to Help
A land surveyor’s job involves surveying land to identify property lines, among other things. So, if there is a dispute between you and your neighbor, a land surveyor can help you identify where your property lines fall so you and your neighbor can build and install to your heart’s’ content without worrying about building on each other’s property.
#4: Talk to a Lawyer as a Last Resort
If all else fails, a lawyer can help you dispute the barriers as well using the information the land surveyor gathers about your property lines. It’s a worst case scenario but sometimes it has to be done.
The Importance of Land Surveying and Property Lines
Land surveying is important for all sorts of functions in life, from architecture and homebuilding to economics and landscaping. Land surveying can identify property lines, help people build and expand thoughtfully, and can help with things like habitat preservation. At Land-Mark Professional Surveying, Inc., we can help people dispute property boundary issues civilly. Call us today to learn more!
If 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.
When you are expanding a university’s campus in El Paso, there are some key factors you should be aware of for successful land planning and development. One of the most important elements in any building expansion is making sure you first understand the parameters and boundaries of the property. Conducting a thorough research of the property during the initial stage will guide all further building plans and budget costs involved.