Land surveyor carrying out an integrated GPS and robotic survey with a one-man total station
Surveyor mapping by a disused scrap yard
Setting out on residential development
Table Of Contents
- Land surveying services throughout your project life-cycle: Pre-application surveys, through setting out, construction monitoring to as-built land surveys
- What’s land surveying & do I need a land survey?
- What land survey services can we supply?
- Why use us for your land surveying needs
- Industry sectors covered
- Why is a land survey important?
- Why control networks are critical to land survey accuracy
- Is an Ordnance Survey plan good enough or accurate enough for my needs?
Land surveying services throughout your project life-cycle: Pre-application surveys, through setting out, construction monitoring to as-built land surveys
From our base in Shropshire, we offer Land Surveying services across the boundaries of Shropshire, the surrounding counties and the UK as a whole. Shropshire is a county tucked between the West Midlands and Wales and is one of the counties along the Welsh border that make up The Welsh Marches.
We offer land surveying services that cover the whole life cycle of a project. From Pre-application surveys, through setting out, inspection and construction monitoring, through to as-built surveys.
Drone Land Surveys have become our technology mainstay as they are safer, quicker and cheaper than a traditional survey. We ensure our drone surveys adhere to the same land survey principles acquired through over 30 years of surveying experience.
What’s land surveying & do I need a land survey?
Land Surveying is the accurate collection of three-dimensional points and the relationship between them to map the topography of the Earth’s surface, be that:
- above the ground – buildings and structures – from the ground or the air;
- below the ground – mine works or buried services;
- above water – marine buildings and structures;
- below water – lake, river and sea beds.
The tools and techniques used are as varied as the environments surveyed. From GPS receivers, Theodolites, dumpy levels, and the humble pocket tape through to electronic tapes, digital cameras, smartphones, drones and Laser Scanners. Many of these techniques allow data to be recorded remotely. Potentially important in hazardous or dangerous conditions.Source: Surveying – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Land Surveying is the technique, profession, and science of determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional position of points and the distances and angles between them. Traditionally this has been presented as a topographical survey plotted on film sheets, more recently as 2d or 3d CAD drawings. Today this survey data is presented to clients in much richer formats like BIM or Textured models.
An example land survey for a planning application for a new religious building
Professional Land Surveyors must be adept in several fields including Mathematics, Physics, Engineering and Law. By using Geometry & Trigonometry they can understand complex three-dimensional relationships. Physics to understand the movement and propagation of electromagnetic waves, to calculate distance and understand hidden objects, often over long distances. Law to interpret and analyse boundary data in the event of a boundary dispute between neighbours.
Setting out is the reverse of the Land Survey process, whereby a Land Surveyor takes a design and accurately marks out or sets out the position/dimensions of the design in the real world.
Land surveyors can traced back to ancient civilizations like Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Rome. Early surveying techniques were primarily based on geometry, utilizing basic tools like ropes, wooden stakes, and plumb bobs to create accurate measurements. One notable example is the Egyptians, who used these methods to reestablish property boundaries after the Nile River flooded each year. These early land surveying practices laid the groundwork for more sophisticated techniques to come.
Read more about What is a land surveyor, what they do & why?
Read more about being a land surveyor as a career option
If you need to accurately understand the dimensions of a physical asset, land or its surrounding, then you could benefit from a land survey. Having accurate contextual information can be critical to the success of a project. Skimping on a survey can have detrimental and costly impacts on a project.
What land survey services can we supply?
We supply Topographical surveys, Measured building surveys, site setting out services, 3D digital twin modelling, deformation monitoring and volume calculations from our base in Shropshire across the above sectors. We can deliver 2d maps and plans as well as 3d models in a range of formats to suit your needs. Be that wireframe, mesh or surface models, point cloud data, textured models or rendered models. Our integrated approach means we can also supply drone land surveys for faster, safer and complete data coverage.
Whether your project is in Shropshire, Powys, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, the West Midlands or indeed the UK we have you covered!
For more information check out our other surveying services, particularly our drone land surveying services and more about our drone surveying services generally. Here are 6 reasons why a drone land survey is a good idea.
Why use us for your land surveying needs
With over 30 years of experience servicing the needs of clients, our surveyors can readily apply that knowledge to your specific project. Our aim is to make sure every essential part of your project goes smoothly. We have the expertise and experience to help you make smart investment decisions. We are committed to providing you with a personalized service, tailored to your needs so that you can be confident in your decision-making process. Whilst based in rural Shropshire we cover a wider area with our land survey services and have wide experience in many industry sectors and applications.
Land Surveyor surveying an operating theatre
Land Surveyor during the construction of The Millennium Dome
Land Surveyor surveying a hospital tower block
Industry sectors covered
At Crucial Services, we can offer Drone Surveying and Land Surveying Services to help make sure your project is a success. From our base in Shropshire, we support sectors with drone surveys, land surveys and setting out services. Sectors supported include:
- Asset Management,
- Loss Adjustment,
- Legal Services,
- Quarrying & landfill,
- Energy Production,
- Flood Management,
- Risk Management.
Measured building survey of a church – Close-up x-ray of Laser Scan data of the church
Laser scan survey of air
Laser scan of church & churchyard
Why is a land survey important?
Land surveying is an important part of the development process. It is important because it provides information about the shape and size of your property or development, as well as the terrain, boundary features, heights of vegetation or structures, and the context of the site to determine its surroundings. Often the information was shared as a 2d or 3d topographical survey drawing. Now drones are becoming the norm for producing topographical surveys as they are faster, cheaper and more comprehensive.
Land surveying from a design perspective
It is important to know that your design/site layout can fit onto your site. A few years ago a client designed housing layouts with very tight design limits between houses, garages and other key features for conveyancing purposes. However, their design process produced many compound errors multiplied across the whole site. This meant the whole site rarely fitted on the ground compromising what they wanted to achieve. We can help you make sure your designs are correctly realised with accurate pre-application land surveys, setting out, progress monitoring and as-built land surveys, supporting you through the project life-cycle.
Land surveyors can accurately support projects throughout the life-cycle
Land surveys from a boundary perspective
Disputes often arise from a misunderstanding of the accuracy of the title plan and the mapping that the title is drawn on. Land registry title plans use a scale of 1:1,250 while site plans for a planning application are more typically 1:500. Scaling up a plan from 1:1250 to 1:500 introduces problems and magnifies them. It should also be noted that The Land Registry does not check the legal boundaries of one title against neighbouring titles. So titles can actually overlap leading to neighbour disputes over a few inches. Instead, the Land Registry use thick lines designed to cover potential errors. In most cases, the red line on a title plan is in fact 2 meters wide on the ground. In America, this is largely avoided with cadastral surveys that show the real boundary positions. We can undertake a boundary survey to assist property owners and legal professionals should boundary problems arise.
Boundary issues: Title plans & or historical images with land survey
Land surveys from an asset management perspective
Whatever your physical assets a Land Surveyor can map the context and position of those to aid in facilities management and asset management. Understanding what you have and where they are will cut maintenance costs saving you time and money. From Lamppost and street furniture owned by local authorities to utility equipment owned by The National Grid or the Environment Agency, wind farms, solar farms and businesses within their premises, knowing the location and the condition of that equipment is important. We can help you map and manage your assets and facilities with an accurate land survey.
Pylon inspection survey with a drone
Surveyor mapping National Grid sub-station assets
Land surveys from a planning perspective
An accurate land survey enables a designer to properly understand a site and its context in the surrounding topography, built environment and landscape. The landscape setting is an important planning consideration for successful planning applications. A drone land survey widens that scope allowing for an even great understanding of your site. How can drone land surveys help with planning permissions?
Land surveys can demonstrate context and setting
Why control networks are critical to land survey accuracy
Establishing a highly accurate and reliable land survey control network is essential for any project requiring precision measurements and data. At Crucial Services, we draw on decades of experience to design and implement complete control networks, using the latest in geomatic technologies such as aerial drones and terrestrial laser scanning. Our experienced team ensures that the control networks are accurate, repeatable and relevant to your needs, providing reliable spatial information for your project. We guarantee high-quality results with every job, ensuring that your project is completed on time and within budget.
Using the correct number and location for Ground Control Points and checkpoints is important for an accurate survey & quality control
For example, if you want us to measure or monitor a linear feature like a dam for lateral movement, it is important for us to design our control network to minimise survey errors along the axis of potential movement. It is also important to locate control points away from any areas of potential movement. Failure to do this will introduce accuracy errors in the data. This is particularly important when potential movements are small. Understanding baseline lengths, scale factors, the curvature of the earth and atmospheric conditions can also be critical depending on the size of a survey and the relative accuracy required.
Control points are important where repeat visits are needed, or a site will need to be set out at a later date. Triangulation networks use angles to calculate relative a position mathematically based on known points. Trilateration networks use distances to calculate relative a position mathematically based on known points. Satelite-based control points will only use trilateration based on one or more satellite constellations in orbit. Ground control networks will use a combination of triangulation and trilateration for a survey control network. Ideally, a combination of both triangulation and trilateration introduces redundancy into the control network and increases confidence. We will make sure our survey has the optimal network design for your project, whether large or small.
Is an Ordnance Survey plan good enough or accurate enough for my needs?
In short, it depends on what you are trying to achieve.
If you are after a relatively cheap plan where the relative accuracy of distances or proximity on-site isn’t critical, then an OS plan may be sufficient. For example, if you picture a small building in a large field. If the relative distance of the building to the boundary could vary by meters without having an impact then the OS plan would be OK.
However, if distances and proximity are critical, then no, OS plans aren’t good enough. For example, if a potential building is close to the boundary, tree root protection areas, in a flood zone or in a complex topographical landscape then a proper accurate land survey would be better.
The Ordnance Survey produces plans that can be quickly obtained, however, their data is not as accurate as a land survey. Some of The Ordnance Survey’s data is free and may be suitable for your needs for sketch plans and the like. However, it is important to be aware that OS MasterMap data (paid-for data) is only accurate to a point. MasterMap data comes in 1:1,250 (Urban), 1:2,500 (Rural) and 1:10,000 (Mountain/moorland) scales. Typically a land survey comes in 1:100, 1:200 and 1:500 scales. Measured Building Surveys are 1:100 or smaller. The smaller the scale value the better the Level Of Detail (LOD) and accuracy. Confusingly, small-scale mapping refers to large-scale values that show large areas but smaller levels of detail.
Survey plottable accuracy of 1mm and 0.5mm on a printed plan at various scales:
1mm on ground:
0.5mm on ground:
OS plan accuracy
400mm over 60m
1200mm over 200m
3500mm over 500m
The above is a simple view of the plottable accuracy of paper plans. Scaling up a plan from 1:1250 OS MasterMap data to 1:500 is perfectly possible but it should be noted that scale errors will be magnified. The RICS have some more specific information about level of detail/accuracy. This leaflet breaks down the technology and the purpose of the survey and what to expect at a given LOD or scale.