Modern Techniques Used in Land Surveying

5 February 2018
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


For many years, land surveying has been used to accurately determine the 3-dimensional positioning of land and other physical features. Information from a land survey is normally determined to be legally binding, and it can be used to determine boundaries, produce maps, or verify ownership of a property.

Land surveying techniques have come a long way over the years. In the early days, astronomers would determine longitude markings by repeatedly observing recurrent patterns in celestial events. Thereafter, equipment started emerging that could determine longitudes, latitudes and other positioning data with a higher level of efficiency.

In modern times, advanced techniques are used by land surveyors to analyse pieces of property for many different purposes. Electronic distance measurement methods have become the norm due to their accuracy and reliability. Here is an overview of some of the modern techniques and equipment used to survey land.

3D laser scanning

3D scanning is a technique used by surveyors to determine where a piece of land or other object lies within a 3-dimensional space. The laser scanner creates a cloud of points that encompass an intended target and result in the creation of a 3D model.

This model can be used to accurately visualise land or an intended structure (such as a building). 3D laser scanning comes in handy when planning for a construction project on a particular property.

GIS Positioning

GIS is a new and highly efficient method for determining the location of objects and creating digital maps of specific areas. GIS software is able to scan an area and to create a picture of where each item is positioned within that space. The efficiency and reliability of GIS has made it the technique of choice used by Google maps.

Satellite systems

Satellite systems use satellites that are located in space to provide information on coordinates and positions of various structures. They can accurately determine where an object or property is located and relay that information to navigation systems here on earth.

Light Detection

Light detection and radiation (LiDAR) is a land surveying technique where distant objects can be identified through a series of laser light pulses that are reflected from their surface. Objects of different shapes and sizes will reflect laser pulses differently, and the method of reflection will determine the identity of the structure. Information about distance and positioning can also be interpreted from the data collected.


Drones are commonly used machines for carrying out land surveys. They can provide an accurate aerial picture of a piece of land and assist in collecting information regarding boundaries and other features of the property.