Surveying Engineering

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Surveying engineering, also known as geomatics engineering, is a branch of engineering that focuses on the measurement, mapping, and analysis of the Earth's surface and the built environment.  Surveying engineers use a variety of tools and techniques to collect and analyze data about the Earth's features, including its topography, vegetation, and man made structures.  The work of a surveying engineer typically involves using high precision instruments, such as total stations, GPS receivers, and laser scanners, to collect data about the location, size, and shape of objects on the Earth's surface.  They may also use aerial or satellite imagery to gather data about large areas of land or to map features that are difficult to access on foot.


Science Branches

Applied Science
Civil Engineering

Surveying Engineering Index

Surveying engineers work in a variety of industries, including construction, mining, transportation, and environmental engineering.  They are responsible for creating accurate maps and models of the Earth's surface, which are used to plan and design infrastructure projects, monitor changes to the environment, and ensure public safety.  In addition to measuring the Earth's surface, surveying engineers are also responsible for managing and analyzing large datasets, using geographic information systems (GIS) and other software tools to process and interpret data.  They may also work on projects related to land use planning, property boundary disputes, and natural resource management.

This engineering disipline is an important field that plays a critical role in many aspects of modern society.  By collecting and analyzing data about the Earth's surface, surveying engineers help to ensure that infrastructure projects are designed and built safely and efficiently, while also preserving the environment for future generations.


Surveying Types

  • Geodetic Survey  - Takes into account the true shape of the earth.  These surveys are highly precision and extend over large areas.
  • Plane Survey  -  A surveying in which the mean surface of the earth is considered as a plane, or in which its spheroidal shape is neglected, with regard to horizontal distances and directions.


Surveying Methods

  • ALTA / ACSM Survey  -  A boundary survey that adheres to a set of minimum standards established by the American Land Title Association and the American Congress on Surveying and Maping.
  • Astronomical Survey  -  Gathers astronomical data over some portions of the sky.
  • Boundary Survey  -  Determines property lines and defines the true property corners on parcel maps of a land description.
  • Cartographic Survey  -  Map making from origional surveys.
  • Construction Survey  -  Used to establish the desired position of building corners, roads, sidewalks, and utilities.
  • Engineering Survey  -  Surveys performed for the location, design, construction, maintenance and operation of engineering projects.
  • Geological Survey  - An examination of an area to determine the composition, distribution, history, and structure of rocks.
  • GPS Satellite Survey  -  Uses a satellite-based navigation system which communicates with receivers on the ground, collects and calculates data.
  • Hydrographic Survey  -  Measures and describes the physical features of the navigation position of the earth's surface and adjoining coastal areas.
  • Land Survey  -  Establishes or restablishes property corners, boundaries, lines, and monuments of property.
  • Marine Survey  -  A person who conducts inspections and examinations of marine vessels, appraisal, assets, cargo, damage, and insurance.
  • Mining Survey  -  Helps find underground resources and potential mining locations.
  • Right-of-way Survey  -  A right of passage to another person's land and property.  A boundary survey depicting the limits of private ownership. 
  • Topographic Survey  -  Gatheres data regarding the elevation points on a piece of land, also includes natural and man-made elevations.


Surveying Process

  • Obtain existing deeds and property information
  • Read and understand the property documents
  • Prepare a base boundary plan
  • Locate a known corner
  • Do the field survey
  • Prepare the existing conditions plan
  • Resolve any boundary issues
  • Obtain any other requied survey information
  • Prepare the connstruction stake-out survey
  • Prepare the as-built survey


Map Types

  • Boundary map
  • Climate map
  • Flood map
  • Geographic map
  • Historic maps
  • Oceanography map
  • Parcle map
  • Plat map
  • Property survey map
  • Record of survey map
  • Resources map
  • Road map
  • Right-of-way map
  • Topographic map
  • Weather map
  • Zip code map
  • etc.


Surveying Abbreviations

  • Adjacent (Adj)
  • Angle (\(\Delta\))
  • Arc Definition (Da)
  • Azimith (Az)
  • Backsight (BS)
  • Back of Curb (B/C)
  • Back Tangent (BT)
  • Bearing (Brg)
  • Beginning of Curve (BC)
  • Beginning of Vertical Curve (BVC)
  • Below Grade (BG)
  • Benchmark (BM)
  • Boundary (Bndry)
  • Bottom (Bot)
  • Capped Iron Pin (CIP)
  • Capped Rebar (CRB)
  • Catch Basin (CB)
  • Center of Curve (CC)
  • Center to Center (C to C)
  • Centerline (C/L, CL)
  • Certified Survey Map (CSM)
  • Chord (c)
  • Chord Definition (Dc)
  • Certificate of Title (CT)
  • Cotton Spindle Found (CSF)
  • Cotton Spindle Set (CSS)
  • Concrete Monument Found (Con Mon F)
  • Control Corner (CC)
  • Control Point (CP)
  • Coordinate  (Coord)
  • Corner (Cor)
  • Cotton Spindle Set (CSS)
  • Cross Section (Xsec)
  • Culvert (Culv)
  • Curb & Gutter (C&G)
  • Deflection (Defl)
  • Deflection Angle (D\(\Delta\))
  • Degree (Deg)
  • Degree of Curvature (D)
  • Departure (dE)
  • Description (Desc)
  • Ditch Grade (DG)
  • Easement (Esmt)
  • East (E)
  • Eastbound (EB)
  • East Boundary Line (EBL)
  • Edge of Pavement (E/P)
  • Elevation (El, Elev)
  • End of Curve (EC)
  • End of Vertical Curve (EVC)
  • Existing Iron Pipe (EIP)
  • External Distance (E)
  • Face of Curb (F/C)
  • Far Side (FS)
  • Fence (Fn)
  • Fence Post (Fn P)
  • Field Book (FB)
  • Fire Hydrant (FH)
  • Flow Line (FL)
  • Forsight (Fs)
  • Forward Tangent (FT)
  • Fount (FD, FND)
  • Found Concrete Monument (FCM)
  • Found Corner (FC)
  • Grade (Gr)
  • Gutter (Gtr)
  • Height (h)
  • Height (h')
  • High Point (HP)
  • Intersecting Angle (I)
  • Iron Pin (I Pn)
  • Iron Pipe (IP)
  • Iron Pipe/Pin Found (IPF)
  • Iron Pipe/Pin Set (IPS)
  • Junction Box (JB)
  • Land Survey (LS)
  • Latitude (Lat)
  • Length (L)
  • Licensed/Land Surveyor # (LS)
  • Long Chord (LC)
  • Long Chord Bearing (LCB)
  • Low Point (LP)
  • Mid-point (M)
  • Middle Ordinate (m)
  • Monument (Mon)
  • No Monument Set (NMS)
  • North (N)
  • Northbound (NB)
  • North Boundary Line (NBL)
  • North East (NE)
  • North West (NW)
  • Offset (O/s)
  • On Center (OC)
  • Overhead (OH)
  • Pavement (Pvmt)
  • Pipeline (PL)
  • Plat Book (PB)
  • Point (Pt)
  • Point Known (PK)
  • Point of Beginning (POB)
  • Point of Circular Curve (POCC)
  • Point of Commencement (POC)
  • Point of Compound Curvature (PCC)
  • Point of Curvature (PC)
  • Point of Curve (PC)
  • Point of Ending (POE)
  • Point of Intersection (PI)
  • Point of Reverse Curve (PRC)
  • Point of Tangent (PT)
  • Point of Rangent Curve (PRC)
  • Point of Vertical Curve (PVC)
  • Point of Vertical Intersection (PVI)
  • Point of Vertical Tangent (PVT)
  • Point on Curve (POC)
  • Point on Line (POL)
  • Point on Tangent (POT)
  • Power Pole (PP)
  • Property Identification Number (PIN)
  • Property Line (PL)
  • Public Land Survey System (PLSS)
  • Radial Line (RL)
  • Radius Point (rp)
  • Rebar Found (RF)
  • Reference Monument (RM)
  • Reaference Point (RP)
  • Reverse Curve (RC)
  • Right-of-Way (R/W)
  • River (Riv)
  • Road (Rd)
  • Section (Sec)
  • Section Corner (SC)
  • Section Line (SL)
  • Set Concrete Monument (SCM)
  • Set Disk (SD)
  • Set Iron Rod (SIR)
  • Set Mag (SMN)
  • Sight Distance (SD)
  • South (S)
  • Southbound (SB)
  • South Boundary Line (SBL)
  • Spiral Curve (SC)
  • Storm Drain (SD)
  • Survey (Surv)
  • Subgrade (Sub)
  • Tangent (Tan)
  • Tangent Length (TL)
  • Tangent Point (Tp)
  • Temporary Benchmark (TBM)
  • Township (T)
  • Transformer (Transf)
  • Traverse (Trav)
  • Traverse Point (TP)
  • Turning Point (TP)
  • Underground (UG)
  • Utility Easement (UE)
  • Vertical Curve (VC)
  • Vertical Point of Curve (VPC)
  • Vertical Point of Intersection (VPI)
  • Water Line (WL)
  • Water Main (WM)
  • West (W)
  • Westbound (WB)
  • Witness Corner (WC)
  • Witness Tree (WT)


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Surveying Glossary

Tags: Surveying Engineering Civil