Locating property lines and determining areas of tracts of land in urban and rural areas, including reestablishing existing boundaries, creating boundaries for new tracts of land, and creating property line adjustments between adjoining land owners and writing new legal descriptions to local, county and state requirements.
Determining the configuration of the surface of the ground, its elevations, and the location aboveground and underground of both natural and man-made features. Topography, in conjunction with a boundary survey, gives complete information about a site.
ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys
Completing a land title survey of multi-family, commercial or industrial sites to the national standards set by the American Land Title Association and American Congress on Surveying and Mapping showing pertinent information such as boundary lines, natural surface features, man-made improvements including utilities, easements, flood status and encroachments across boundary lines.
Engineering and Design
Providing a design plan for land development including layout of lot and street configurations and also construction plans for erosion control, drainage, sewer lines, water lines, highway entrances and grading while complying with the codes of the local state or federal governing planning and zoning authorities.
Providing a staked layout of architectural or engineering design so that a project can be built in the proper place with the proper dimensions, including preliminary staking for vegetation clearing and providing control for utilities such as storm and sanitary sewer and water systems and for road layout. Layout of buildings (commercial, residential) highways and bridges.
Post construction, planametric or topographic survey often used to compare design plans to actual location or elevation.
Providing horizontal or vertical position data for placement of geodetic monuments, control for aerial photography and mapping, construction baselines and establishing elevation benchmarks.
Delineating a corridor to provide sufficient qualitative information and dimensional data for indicating location of boundary lines and topography such as cross sections, location of existing utilities and other man-made and natural features for design and construction, use and maintenance of roads, railroads, transmission lines, hike and bike trails and walkways.
Preparing a plan showing a strip or area of land, including areas on the surface, overhead, or underground, granted by deed or easment, for construction and maintenance according to designated use.
Measuring for volumetric calculations for cut and fill estimates for roadway and building sites, for monitoring areas such as gravel pits and landfills, for inventory of stockpiled materials, monitoring for movement, and providing for mitigation areas and archeological investigation.
GIS Related Surveying
Locating property lines, utilitlies, planametric features, etc. related to building or maintaining a municipal or countywide Geographic Information System (GIS).
Governmental Information Mapping and Plans
Preparing corporation boundary, annexation area, zoning, census, soils and easement location maps along with their appropriate types of descriptions.
Section Corner Perpetuation
Recovering or restoring section corner monumentation on the ground and then noting the locations in a county's section corner book by referencing the corners to natural or man-made physical objects by distances and/or direction for future identification or restoration.
Preparing a plat showing building layout and other improvements tied horizontally and vertically to the boundary of real property and showing other information such as drainage and connections to public access and utilities.
Land Use Planning
Preparing feasibility and concept studies for the highest and best use of land for residential and commercial sites.
Confined Space Surveys
Working, under specific OSHA requirements and utilizing special equipment, in areas which have limited means of access or egress and are not designed for continuous worker occupancy. Our crews maintain certifiable training for working in permit required confined spaces (PRCS) which have potential for hazardous atmospheric conditions (toxic, flammable or asphyxiating), or engulfment, or hazardous configuration, or any other recognized hazard.
Appearing as a professional witness regarding survey matters in adversarial situations such as boundary disputes.
Survey Location Reports (Mortgage Inspections)
Completing a plat to verify to a title company and bank that, by visual inspection, buildings and other improvements lie within a deeded real property boundary, and showing the location of occupation features in relation to the deeded property line, as well as providing scaled flood hazard information.
FEMA Elevation Certificates and Flood Determinations
Determining whether or not a site lies within a designated flood hazard area according to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mapping and, thus, aiding lending institutions in determining whether or not they must require mandatory flood insurance for a mortgage loan. A professional authorized by law to certify elevation information must complete an elevation certificate. A land surveyor can also assist a property owner with preparation of the necessary applications and forms which must be submitted to FEMA for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) to request confirmation that a site is not within a flood hazard area.
A person generally has occasion to employ a land surveyor only once or twice in a lifetime. Since such employment is so infrequent, the average person is not aware of the logical steps to be followed in selecting a land surveyor. To help in making such a selection, the answers to a few common questions are noted herein.
What are the qualifications of a surveyor?
Land surveying is a learned profession. It requires precision, facility with applied mathematics, technical knowledge, ability for discriminating investigation, logical thinking, and judicious judgment. A land surveyor in the execution of his projects will work with lawyers, architects, engineers, urban planners, local government officials, and the public in general. He will be involved in both field and office work. In the design of urban subdivision, the land surveyor utilizes extensive surveying principles, applied mathematics, including computer techniques, basic civil engineering principles, photogrammetry, and electronic distance measuring equipment. He is involved in planning, office design and field layout of streets, storm and sanitary sewer extension, and property boundaries. The land surveyor works with the lawyer in writing land descriptions or in locating existing descriptions on the ground.
He also makes maps for architects, landscape experts, and urban planners to utilize for the design of houses, shopping centers, or housing developments. He does layout work for engineering projects. Hence land surveying requires knowledge in applied science and mathematics and basic planning, surveying, engineering, and legal principles.
All 50 states have laws requiring practicing land surveyors to be registered. The state of Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky require the equivalent of a four year university degree in land surveying and four years experience under the supervision of a registered land surveyor, plus the passing of a 16 hour written examination, to become registered as a land surveyor. Each state requires several hours of continuing education per year to keep the registered professional up to date with modern technology, principles and practices.
Will he show me what I own?
No, but he will give you his professional opinion of what the records and facts indicate your ownership to be. This opinion is satisfactory in over 99% of the surveys. Only a court of law can determine ownership. Only a Licensed Land Surveyor can take the described lines and lay them on the ground.
Can he aid in subdividing my land?
A surveyor is the only one qualified under law to prepare a description for a newly created parcel of land. He may prepare an individual description or, if several lots are being created simultaneously, he may prepare a legal plat with lot or parcel numbers for recording. Platting rules differ with each county or local planning area. A qualified surveyor would be familiar with local rules and procedures.
Can he design streets, water lines, and sewer systems for my subdivision?
A surveyor can design streets, sanitary gravity sewers (not force mains) and storm sewers within a subdivision. He will recommend an engineer to design the water supply system and to perform other engineering services that might be required. A professional surveyor will not attempt any aspects of engineering design with which he is not familiar and qualified to perform.
Can a land surveyor perform engineering surveys?
Most engineering surveys are conducted by land surveyors. They are knowledgeable and equipped to prepare topographic surveys, to supply control for aerial photography, to layout construction projects, to survey right-of-way for power lines and roadways, and so forth.
Who can perform a land survey?
Only a registered professional can legally assume the responsibility for a land survey. The registered land surveyor is a highly specialized individual whose education, experience, and competence have been rigorously examined; and who has then been licensed by the state of Indiana to practice land surveying. As a professional, his conduct and the quality of his work are subject to a stringent code of ethics.
How do I locate a Registered Land Surveyor?
Most survey work is acquired through the personal recommendation of satisfied clients or through attorneys who frequently handle real estate transactions. If it is difficult to obtain a recommendation, probably the most direct way would be to check the listings under "Surveyors-Land" in the classified section of the telephone directory or an internet search of the same category. According to state statutes, only licensed practitioners can advertise themselves as Land Surveyors. A third method would be to contact a state’s professional membership organization for a listing of its members practicing in your locality, such as Indiana Society of Professional Land Surveyors.
Can an engineer do land survey work?
An engineer can perform a topographic survey or quantity survey, but he cannot perform a boundary survey unless he is registered as a professional surveyor.
Can a contractor do land survey work?
A contractor cannot perform land survey work unless he is registered as a professional land surveyor. Also, beware of survey technicians who may be skilled in only some aspects of surveying – they are not licensed professionals.
If a surveyor is licensed in one state can he perform a survey in another state?
As long as he is licensed in that state he can perform a survey in that state. Each state has its own licensing authority and the surveyor must pass each state’s individual requirements before practicing in that state.
Can I determine in advance what the charge will be?
Not usually. Final cost is dependent upon the kind of survey required and the difficulty encountered, which normally cannot be anticipated in advance. The cost is based on the time required to obtain the necessary information of record, to make the field survey of facts as they exist on the ground, to perform the required office computations leading to a plat or map of the findings, and to monument your lines on the ground.
How does the surveyor prepare my bill?
Generally, it is an hourly rate times the number of hours the surveyor and his personnel have involved in the project. Also the client and surveyor my agree on a lump sum to be paid upon completion of the job.
Should I employ a surveyor on the basis of price?
No. Competency and responsibility are of first importance. Since low cost and high quality are frequently inconsistent, and because of the uncertainties involved in judging the amount of work necessary to produce a quality survey, it is unreasonable and against your interest to expect him to "bid" on a project. Surveyors are bound by a code of ethics.
Is a written contract required?
Traditionally, contracts for surveys have been by oral agreement. Many surveys have been requested over the phone. However, in recent years it is becoming more common for the client to visit the surveyor’s office, discuss requirements of the survey and enter into a written contract which tends to assure a better understanding between the client and the surveyor.
What information should I furnish the surveyor?
Furnish the surveyor with an explanation of why the survey is desired. He will maintain confidence if requested by his client. With this purpose in mind a professional land surveyor can work most efficiently and reduce the client’s cost. If you have a deed or mortgage description, aerial photographs of the land, or an abstract, relay them to the surveyor. If you have knowledge of a stone, iron pipe, fence line, etc. that was reported to you as a property corner, pass the information along to the surveyor. He will make the professional judgment as to what evidence should be used.
What will the surveyor furnish me?
The surveyor’s final product will vary with each survey. Depending upon the reason for the survey, but generally you will be furnished with a certified plat or map showing what the surveyor has done, and the corners of your tract will be documented or otherwise identified. For a Boundary Survey a legal description of the tract is prepared and shown on the plat. Current law In Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky requires that a "surveyor’s report", briefly outlining the procedures and finding of the survey.
What can I expect from the surveyor-client relationship?
The land surveyor renders a highly technical and complex service. He is a member of a professional team, which includes the land surveyor, title attorney, architect, and engineer. He prepares the foundation upon which your project is built or your problem is solved.
In case of litigation he will appear in court as your expert witness. His testimony is accepted by the court as evidence to which the greatest weight can be attached. No one other than he can assume responsibility for the correctness and accuracy of his work.
Members of the Indiana Society of Professional Land Surveyors, Professional Land Surveyors of Ohio and Kentucky Association of Professional Surveyors have subscribed to a CODE OF ETHICS which helps to insure a complete and high standard of work.