Topography Surveys


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What Is a Topographic Land Survey?

Before undertaking a construction project, it may be necessary to perform a topographic land survey to identify various features and elevations of the land.


While the standard land survey deals primarily with marking out the boundaries of a parcel of land, a topographic survey is primarily concerned with noting the natural and man-made features on the land itself. These may include hills, ravines, streams, trees, fences, buildings, and other improvements over the natural state of the land. A topographic survey shows the location, size, and height of these types of improvements, as well as gradual changes or contours in elevation.

Unlike boundary or residential land surveys, a topographic land survey focuses more on elevation than on horizontal measurements. Most of these measurements are taken either with a surveying-quality GPS unit, or with an electronic EDM instrument. The results of the topographic survey are not marked using stakes or other landmarks, but are instead drawn as contour lines on a map of the land.

In short, a topographical survey is a 2-D representation of what is happening in the real world.

Why Do You Need a Topography Survey?

Nearly all construction projects begin with a topographic land survey, which describes the starting point of the land before improvements are made. Engineers and architects use them as an aid in designing buildings or other improvements to be situated on the property, as existing features may influence their design or decisions on where structures can and cannot be placed on the property. Topographic surveys may also be used when creating plans for drainage ditches, grading or other features, using the natural landscape as the basis for such improvements. Government agencies may also require topographic surveys for any of a number of reasons—for example, as regulatory requirements for construction codes, or as part of environmental restoration projects.

Getting a Topographic Survey

If you need a topographic survey, you must know whether the land's features are appropriate for the intended use. South Texas Surveying Associates understands the many different circumstances that may require our clients to get a topographic survey. If you have any questions please connect with us at (281) 556-6918 or complete this contact form to setup a free consultation.

Surveying Texas Property for Over 40 Years

Bonded and insured, we offer all phases of land surveying, including but not limited to ALTA/NSPS land title surveys, Category 1A Condition II surveys, residential surveys, topographic surveys, construction surveys, platting services and elevation certificates.

We have extensive experience all property types including small and large acreage vacant tracts, apartment complexes, shopping centers, hospitals, office buildings, industrial sites, cell towers, and much more.

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Reliable & Fast Service

The South Texas Surveying family is dedicated to our clients because we understand the importance of each and every project we undertake. It is our family’s name that we take pride in, therefore it is our mission to make sure that every time we take on a survey project, we give it our all.

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