Land surveys boundary versus topographical

Boundary Surveys vs. Topographic Surveys

    Boundary Surveys vs. Topographic Surveys 

    There are many methods of surveying a piece of land or property to gain information that can be valuable when owning, maintaining, or transferring that parcel of land. The different types of surveys can give you insight into various geographic and legal characteristics of a certain plot of land. Two of the most common surveys are boundary surveys and topographic surveys, and they are both almost always necessary to conduct when purchasing, selling, or developing a parcel of land. This article will distinguish the differences between the two surveys in both what they analyze and how they can be used.

    Boundary Surveys

    A boundary survey does exactly what you’d expect it to based off of the name alone: it plots out the boundary lines of a parcel of land. This is extremely important when buying or selling property as it legally defines the exact amount of land you are getting and the exact limits of the boundaries of the property. This allows the owner of the land to keep improvements or expansions from encroaching on neighboring properties and ensure the fairest sale price for the amount of land being exchanged.

    In addition to simply determining the exact geographic boundaries of the property, boundary surveys provide additional information such as the location of any easements (permission to enter or cross the property, usually for utilities), encroachments, or improvements on other properties that intrude into the legally defined plot of land, and limitations such as zoning regulations. 

    Topographic Surveys 

    Topographic surveys provide most of the rest of the necessary information about a plot of land that the boundary survey does not account for. These surveys account for the topographical data of a parcel of land, including elevation and contours of the land described in the deed. They also provide information on both natural and man-made structures on the land, which is especially useful for those who intend to purchase and then develop the land, as it provides detailed information on where different features are located.

    Features typically shown on a topographic survey include trees, slopes and changes in elevation, streams and rivers, streets and walkways, buildings, fences and walls, manholes, utility poles, and more. The elevation changes are indicated on the topographic map as contour lines, which are used by construction contractors, engineers, and architects to design and plan improvements to the land.

    Want to learn more about boundary and topographic surveys and how they can benefit your next project? Contact Cadsourcing today to speak with an experienced member of our team.