A Short History on Land Surveying

land surveyingLand surveying is probably the oldest professions anywhere. After man has decided that a section of land should be owned by a tribe, the necessity for surveying began.

Land surveying is fascinating. The strategy used aim to determine which section of land is owned by whom, hopefully ending arguments for good.

To put it briefly, surveying is really a process using mathematical methods for survey land.

The 1st accounts of surveying land extends back to ancient Egypt. Experts have discovered evidences that the ancient Egyptians used basic geometry to redraw the lines of boundary when the Nile River overflowed. An Egyptian land register going back 3000 BC was found.

Following the Egyptians, the Romans – also the most powerful civilizations within the ancient world – practiced land surveying. They took it a pace further and made “land surveyor” an official position inside the Empire. These folks called agrimensores, often called Corpus Agrimensorum Romanorum. Despite the fact that used rather simple tools, these people were very thorough with their jobs and would create straight lines and proper angles with the use of these tools. As soon as the lines were measured, they’d create shallow ditches to mark the lines. Actually, much of the furrows they made continue to exist today.

One of several recorded land surveying of the “modern” times belongs to William the Conqueror who wrote the Domesday Book in 1086. This book is really a menu of names of land owners, the number of land they owned as well as other information about the land. While it was a substantial volume of information during this period, the pieces of information weren’t 100% correct. The locations just weren’t accurate and the maps were not made to scale.

Among history’s greatest icons have also been an ardent surveyor – Napoleon Bonaparte. The interest in surveying land was really just a product of his wish to conquer the earth. Napoleon Bonaparte founded a registry referred to as cadastre. This includes a registry of properties of a county, ownership details, locations and as much information concerning the land’s value. Yes, Napoleon Bonaparte can be regarded as a land surveyor – plus a very smart man.

The strategies put to use in land surveying also have evolved over the centuries, over time. Long ago, people would use whatever could help them determine the space from one point to another. This implies using chains with links and even ropes. Not surprisingly, this didn’t give accurate results but they did not have the technology we now have back then.

Today, land surveyors possess the best technologies to assist them with their job. There is GPS, or Global Positioning System, which is quite possibly the most accurate technologies available today. Total stations are also crucial to a land surveyor, which employs the utilization of an EDM or Electronic Distance Measurement device together with a theodolite which enables for further precise angle and distance measurements.

Why You SHOULD Have a Land Survey Completed Before Purchasing Land?

Buying land, whether commercial or residential, is always an expensive endeavor, even if prices have eased somewhat lately. This is why finding a piece of land that you like and making an offer for it without conducting a land survey on the area is possibly the biggest mistake that you can make.

Here’s why it’s very important that you have land surveying done first:

Land surveyors can determine if you’re actually getting what you’re going to pay for. This means find out whether the sidewalks, trees, driveways and even the bird bath is part of the property you’re about to buy. Land surveying would also determine whether the neighbors are encroaching into the property, which would then mean you’re going to have problems in the future with your neighbors.

Land SurveyHiring a land surveyor doesn’t only mean they determine what you’re getting or not getting – land surveyors are the experts, and they can help with building regulations, wetland regulations, etc. Take note that these regulations can change anytime, but land surveyors should be updated on these regulations, or they will refer you to someone who is.

What if the current landowner (the one selling the land) can provide you with old land survey documents? You should still hire your own land surveyor to see if the boundary monuments are still in place. Also, land surveying done a few years back may not show recent changes to the land. If the existing survey is older than about ten years, you should get a whole new survey. Technology and surveying standards are both a lot better now and should provide you more confidence in the survey work.

Second, that survey was completed for that owner. He may have instructed the surveyor not to show certain things on the drawing. At least have a land surveyor go out and review the parcel with this survey in hand. We have seen numerous cases where a new land survey would save the buyer thousands so don’t become a victim.

I’ve heard a lot of people say hiring a land surveyor is nothing but unnecessary expense. I’ll tell you what’s unnecessary: the stress caused by paying thousands of dollars for something and ending up not getting what you were expecting. If you are smart, you’d hire a certified land surveyor before making any land purchases.