Boundary Surveys Vs. Topographic Surveys


Land Survey Map

There are many types of land surveys you can have done on your property, each of which has its own purposes and uses. Two of these are boundary surveys and topographic surveys. Often, one or both of these surveys are necessary if you are looking to purchase, sell, or develop a parcel of land. Here, we’ll go over the uses of these two surveys and how they differ.


Boundary Surveys


A boundary survey does basically what the name implies: it plots out the boundary lines of a parcel of land. This is important when buying or selling land since it provides specific information about where the property ends and where it begins. This helps keep improvements from encroaching on other properties and ensures a fair sale.

In addition to pinning down the precise boundary lines, many types of boundary surveys provide extra information, such as:

• The locations of any easements (permissions to enter or cross the property, such as for utilities)
• Encroachments, or improvements on other properties that intrude into the plot
• Limitations, including zoning regulations

Certain boundary surveys, such as ALTA/NSPS surveys, will include even more information in accordance with ALTA and NSPS standards.


Topographic Surveys


One bit of information that many boundary surveys do not provide is topographical data, or the elevations and contours of the land described in the deed. These surveys will also provide information on any structures on the land, both man-made and natural. This is especially useful for those who intend to develop the land since it gives detailed information on where different features are located.

Features shown on a topographic survey may include:

• Trees
• Slopes, hills, valleys, and other changes in elevation
• Streams and rivers
• Buildings
• Streets and walkways
• Utility poles
• Manholes
• Fences and walls

The elevations on the land are shown on a map as contour lines. Construction contractors, engineers, and architects use this type of map to design and plan improvements to the land.

Contact Votex Surveying Company for assistance with land, topographic, or any type of surveying services you need.