What is surveying?

Surveying is, in essence, the art and science of measuring, mapping and describing (through words and images) land. The applications of surveying are endless; beyond defining property, surveyors examine crime scenes, identify solutions to issues like erosion and drainage, discover natural resources, stake out roads and preserve historical information related to the land and property.

Surveying dates back to ancient Egypt and Babylonia; evidence shows surveyors were responsible for the geometry and design of the pyramids and Stonehenge, some of the oldest historical sites in the world. The land registers of the Egyptians show that people were employed as land surveyors as long as 5,000 years ago. While ancient surveyors used pegs, ropes, and groma (weighted lines on a vertical staff with horizontal cross pieces mounted at right-angles on a bracket used to draw straight lines), today surveyors use global positioning systems, satellite and aerial imagery and robotic total stations to measure land to the most precise degree possible. These advancements are the cornerstone of progress; without surveyors, property would be undefined, construction would be imprecise and haphazard, and the development of cities, towns and rural areas would be at a standstill.