America’s Most Famous Land Surveyors: The Journey of Lewis and Clark (Part II)29 January
Surveying and map-making began as a treacherous and rather dangerous enterprise. It wasn’t for the faint of heart. Lewis and Clark were one of history’s most important land surveyors. They and their crew would be responsible for changing the course and expansion of America. In our last post, we explored the background of Lewis and Clark and some of the surveying tools that they would take on their journey. Today we continue our remembrance of this historic expedition and the surveying marvels that were born from this trek across unknown lands.
Two Surveyors, a Guide, & Thousands of Miles
In addition to their early surveyor tools like compasses, quadrants, telescopes, and chronometers, Lewis and Clark also gathered other necessary equipment. Some of these included weapons and ammunition, medical supplies and medicines, books on botany, geography, and astronomy, maps, as well as gifts to present to Native Americans they knew they’d run into including beads, face paint, ivory combs, and more.
The duo recruited 45 brave souls to join them on their way westward. Among these were 27 unmarried men, a French-Indian interpreter, a boat crew, and Clark’s slave known as York. One other unique characteristic about the Corps was the fact that it was a rather eclectic and diverse bunch. In addition to the Southern roots of Lewis and Clark, there was his slave, a one-eyed-part-French-part-Omaha-Indian fiddler player, a German named John Potts, and the famous Sacagawea, a Shoshone Indian.
Both Lewis and Clark knew the journey would require incredible tenacity and discipline and so they ran a tight ship.’ Historical accounts describe how the corps was led with an iron fist, including harsh punishments like bareback lashing and hard labor for dissidents or uncooperative members of the team. It is the ultimate adventure story, only one person of the crew would die during the journey—a 22-year-old who died of an abdominal infection.
The team headed northwest along the Missouri River. Thomas Jefferson tasked them with several missions and goals for the expedition. These included finding and mapping a route across the continent, making detailed observations and notes regarding the natural geography, landscapes, and natural resources out West. At the same time, the team was meant to establish good relationships with native peoples along the way to interrupt the British dominance of the fur trade in the areas.
By mid-October, the expedition had reached the Mandan villages on the Missouri River. This important trading place allowed them to make some connections and talk to others about possible routes westward. The team had moved to South Dakota, North Dakota, and Montana. From the Mandan Villages, the crew was now facing the Rocky Mountains, the highest mountain range. One famous story was of Merriweather Lewis falling 20 feet into a cavern, was poisoned, and then shot in the thigh.
The now-famous Sacajawea, the wife of one of the Frenchmen in the expedition, proved to be invaluable for the success of the journey, as her language skills and knowledge of the territory proved essential. By the winter of 1805, they had reached the Columbia River and made a transcontinental crossing north of Mexico.
By the end, the expedition has traveled about 8,000 miles while pushing, pulling, and hauling ‘the boat’, the famous keelboat of the Corps, facing harsh storms, weather, hunger, thirst, and one or two run-ins with bears, friendly and not-so-friendly Indians, exhaustion, sleeplessness, mosquitoes, venereal disease, dysentery, boils, ticks, injuries, and God knows what else. The crew also found themselves face-to-face with some elk, buffalo, and deer, which they kindly turned into campfire dinners.
Throughout the trek, many of the men kept detailed journals, which would serve them well, as many of the maps and drawings they tried to send back to Jefferson during their journey never made it through. Finally, the crew made it to the West Coast, moving through northern Montana, Oregon, and present-day Washington onto Ft. Clatsop.
The Land Surveyors Return Home to a Hero’s Welcome
When Merriweather Lewis and William Clark returned to St. Louis with their crew, they were celebrated as pioneers and heroes of the time. The crew arrived back in St. Louis in September. The Corps of Discovery go their own way, but Lewis is named governor of the Louisiana Territory, while Clark becomes an Indian agent for the West. Most of the intended goals of the journey were met. This included establishing diplomatic relationships with Native Americans. The crew held councils with Indians and participated in events with them. Upon his return, Lewis had identified 178 plants including bitterroot, prairie sagebrush, Douglas fir, and ponderosa pine. They had also identified 122 animals such as grizzly bears, prairie dogs, and pronghorn antelope.
A Tradition of Land Surveying Continues With Unprecedented Precision
Lewis and Clark’s journey is seen differently among historians. For many, the journey was one of the first tales of American exceptionalism and would spearhead a movement of westward expansion and discovery. Others focus on the tragedies that plagued the journey. In the end, the expedition’s contributions to early maps of American territory are indisputable. The flourishing country understood its terrain and natural resources much more in-depth than it did before 1804.
As land surveyors, we can only admire the skill and technical understanding of Lewis and Clark in their creation of maps. Their understanding of geography, astronomy, and climate, allowed them to make extraordinary conclusions that turned out to be quite accurate.
While the process is much different today, here at Land-Mark Land Surveying, we move forward with creating detailed and accurate land surveys for construction, government contracts, and more. Connect with us to find out more!
Land Surveyors: The Enigmatic Nature of Mapping Out Our World21 November
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.
A Land Surveyor’s Tool Kit: What We Use in The Field21 August
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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Take15 July
For 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 Meet15 June
Since 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.
Are You Dealing With a Property Dispute? Land Surveying Can Help24 January
While there is typically a fence or barrier that tells commercial property owners where their land begins and ends, when a conflict coming from their neighbor arises, it can be complicated or downright impossible to settle the dispute. Many times these invisible borders aren’t enough to determine where one property owner’s land begins and where the neighboring property begins. This is where land surveying comes in.
Common Property Disputes
It’s often assumed that when you purchase a piece of land there exists a boundary set in stone. Although this is often the case, in some cases, such as with a change of ownership, the new owner can come in and request to place a wall or fence along his property. It’s common courtesy to speak to the neighbor prior to making any changes but it’s not required. If the neighbor sees an issue with the new fence or wall, he or she can argue that it’s obstructing or interfering with his or her piece of land. They can say that it’s interfering with their view or preventing others from seeing their property, creating a blockade if you will. Moreover, land disputes often come about when property owners decide to make additions to their building such as spreading out the parking lot, adding a front entrance, or extending their offices.
Requesting a Land Survey
Bringing in an unbiased, independent party will help meddle the constant bickering. Who wants to live this way, anyway? A land surveyor will conduct a physical lot line assessment and mark the boundaries that are in accordance with the local, state, and national guidelines. Although many times the land survey provides answers from a legal standpoint, if the issues get out of hand, the land survey can be court-ordered. The goal is to provide answers and have them solidified from a legal stand-point.
Why It Matters
Owning a piece of land is a huge investment. As the owner, it’s important that you do your part to protect your land. A land survey is the best way to provide answers and set the record straight. Even if your neighbor has already put up a fence, you still have the right to dispute the area it currently occupies. Lot line conflicts are quite common, which is why land surveyors are ready to settle the arguments.
Contact Land-Mark Professional Surveying
For professional service, contact Land-Mark. We’re licensed in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. As experienced land surveyors, we’ll provide the tangible and legal answers you need to keep your property protected. Connect with us today to learn more!
A Land Survey Vs. a Construction Survey14 March
A land survey and a construction survey are two different types of surveys that actually serve very different purposes. If you are settles a land dispute or want to find the proper boundaries of your land, a land survey is the right tool for you. However if you are an engineer creating plans for an upcoming hospital or highway in Las Cruces you will want a construction survey. While a land surveyor will conduct both of these, knowing precisely what you need is important. At Land-Mark Professional Surveys Inc. we can help with either of these services. Our professionals have the expert knowledge and skills you are looking for.
A Land Survey in Las Cruces
A land surveyor is a licensed expert that is responsible for survey results. They utilize many tools and techniques to determine land boundaries, corners, and monuments, and the size of a piece of property. These professionals are skilled at using historical evidence, documents, mathematical equations, and surveying tools to conduct their work. A land survey is usually used for legal purposes, creating accurate maps, or during real estate deals. A land surveyor in Las Cruces can help settle disputes and help with traffic accidents as well. They also provide valuable info for breaking land into blocks and parks.
A Construction Survey in Las Cruces
A construction survey provides valuable info for builders and engineers in Las Cruces. They will survey a given plot of land to determine the best building practices. They may provide info on the best location for a foundation, drainage, and other info concerning the land that is helpful for erecting buildings.This invaluable information prevents engineers from making costly mistakes. It can also help with wise decision making. When it comes to highways and freeways they can also provide info about the land and measurements. The construction survey can be especially helpful with large projects that require extra planning.
Contact Us Today
Land-Mark Professional Surveys, Inc. has been providing surveying services to the southwest region for nearly 30 years. If you are looking for reliable, accurate surveys, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are extremely familiar with the Las Cruces area and can provide the expert knowledge and skills you are looking for. Whether you need a construction or land survey, we can help. Be sure to call us today. One of our professionals will be happy to answer your questions or set up an appointment.
What Does a Land Surveyor in Odessa Do?13 February
We get asked all the time — What does a land surveyor in Odessa do? The truth is, the information that we provide within the construction industry is invaluable. We create maps and reports that help avoid catastrophic mistakes all the time. Building in one place or another on a plot of land can affect the timeline, building materials and equipment, and more. We provide information to help a project run smoothly and effectively.
What Does a Land Surveyor in Odessa Do?
A land surveyor is often hired to find the boundaries of a piece of property. This is valuable info for settling disputes, building roads, and creating maps. However, the job duties don’t stop there. They will also look into old surveys conducted of the property at hand. A surveyor will also take his own survey of the land utilizing special tools and expert knowledge. They will create a report and map of the area. The info is so accurate it is actually legally binding. The report that they create can help contractors find the most beneficial areas for building, drainage, parking lots, roads, and so on.
How Can a Land Surveyor Help Your Project?
A land survey of your building project is actually extremely necessary. You don’t want to start a project without a detailed account of your property and land conditions. The architecture will depend on the info provided. If you had previously decided to build in a certain portion of the property but then find out that water will flood the area when it rains you have to make adjustments. A land surveyor in Odessa can help you decide if altering the area would be sufficient to solve the problem. If problems arise that may have been unforeseen to you they can provide insight. This can include land that is extremely rocky and requires special equipment to dig into. Or perhaps soil that is too soft to build a foundation on.
Contact Us Today
If you are about to embark upon a new building project be sure to call our land surveyors in Odessa in to provide the info you need. We can help your building and timeline run more smoothly without the annoying hangups due to unforeseen circumstances. At Land-Mark Professional Surveying we provide thorough, reliable service. Contact us today before you get started on your next building project in Odessa.
A Land Surveyor Can Help With Pre-Construction Planning16 January
A land surveyor in Odessa can add value to any project. Utilizing the guidance and expertise of a surveyor is crucial to wise pre-construction planning. They have a wealth of experience in mitigating risks, determining site conditions, minimizing cost delays and so much more!
What Does a Construction Survey Consist of?
A land surveyor conducts specific services for a construction survey. This starts with an assessment of the current site conditions. They will find out how the current land will stand up to above ground and in-ground building infrastructure. They will also collect topographic data to map areas for drainage, piping, and manholes. Surveyors also stake elevations for footings. When you employ an experienced surveyor chances are they are probably already familiar with the land that its at hand. They more than likely are already familiar with the area’s soil, water, natural soundings, habitats, and even protected species. This kind of invaluable information can prove to be invaluable.
How Does a Land Surveyor Help With Pre-Construction Planning?
A surveyor will do much more that site analysis and boundary surveys. They can help to diminish the risks of future and possible regulation enforcement. You can be sure to be free of delays in project schedules when you have a land surveyor on your team. With regulatory planning you can also rest easy knowing your project startups will run more efficiently. Your surveyor will also have established standards for quality control, work production, safety, and schedules. This kind of guidance will only lead to improved project progress and heightened quality.
A good surveying firm will also have software and technology at their fingertips to assist you with planning as well. They will provide data to build models and 3D mapping. Geographic Information System, GIS, software and Building Information Modeling, BIM, are powerful tools to assist with pre-construction. The GIS is great for large scale planning. It is often used for resource management, infrastructure management, zoning and boundaries, market analyses and more. The BIM is useful in planning physical features. This can include gas, power line, communication lines, roads, and more.
Contact Us Today
Land-Mark Professional Surveying, Inc. offers a wide variety of services. Our land surveyors have expert knowledge to assist with pre-construction planning as well as a variety of other boundary and site analysis needs. Contact us today to set up an appointment.
Don’t Start A Project Without Consulting with a Land Surveyor First23 October
From the fabled days of the Wild West to today, El Paso has always been a city where paths converged. The same wild spirit of the days of yore resides within El Paso and within the souls of any entrepreneur with a dream of making the world a better place. In order to achieve this, you must team up with an experienced land surveyor from Land-Mark Professional Surveying.
The Land Surveyor and You
Simply put, land surveys give landowners the peace of mind that comes from knowing specifically where their property begins and ends. Instead of getting into land disputes with neighbors, you can choose a land surveyor to come out and survey your land. This will give you the ability to protect your land investment, giving you the ability to plan accordingly. Imagine how terrible it’d be if you hired an architectural firm and crew to design and build your dream shopping center only to find out, after all, construction has been completed, that your newly-constructed building encroached on three other property lines. This will cause stress and heartache. The best way to avoid this outcome is by starting off on the right foot: with a land surveyor!
Since land surveying is such a big deal, you need to make sure you’re hiring the right team for the job. By making sure your land surveyor is licensed and insured, you can rest easy in knowing that the land survey process will go off without a hitch. When it comes to land surveying, you need to choose the best of the best. The results will be used to build whatever you’re thinking of building. The survey will also be an important document to have as an entrepreneur. High-quality surveys aren’t a luxury, they’re necessary! If you’re looking to succeed in your future venture, don’t forget the land survey.
Hiring a Land Surveyor in El Paso
If you’re looking for the most experienced, reliable land surveying team in the El Paso area, choose Land-Mark Professional Surveying. Our team is ready to take care of your land surveying needs. Since we’ve been part of the community for over two decades, we understand what’s necessary for El Paso to thrive. Over the years, we’ve helped countless individuals, firms, and groups achieve their goals. Let our team help you get started on the right foot! Contact us today to learn more about what we have to offer.