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  • R.J. Fisher

Survey FAQs

As a professional, the land surveyor must achieve and maintain the highest level of mathematical, science, engineering, and technology skills through continuing education throughout his or her career. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, only Licensed Professional Land Surveyors may practice land surveying.

When is a survey advisable?

  • BEFORE title in land is transferred – a survey establishes the accurate location of property corners and boundary lines and the proper wording of the legal descriptions.

  • BEFORE land is subdivided by deed, by will or by the court.

  • BEFORE an easement or right-of-way is created.

  • BEFORE a boundary dispute arises or when you believe someone is encroaching upon your land.

  • BEFORE timber is to be cut and removed.

How much will a survey cost?

Survey cost is directly proportional to the total effort involved. Variables which affect the cost of a land survey include the topography and condition of the parcel being surveyed, the size of the parcel, the availability of records, the time of year and weather conditions, the existence of corner markers and the history of past surveys. It is best to consult with a Professional Land Surveyor to determine an estimated cost.

What methods are used to survey land?

The equipment used varies with the need and nature of the survey. Frequently employed equipment includes:

  • Transit and tape: angles and measure with a transit and distances are measured with steel tape providing the accuracy required for modern boundary or land title surveys.

  • Electronic measuring: enables the surveyor to measure precise distances with greater ease and accuracy; also allows measurements across swamps, valleys and other terrain impractical or impossible to measure.

  • Global Positioning System (GPS): uses orbiting satellites and ground based receivers to determine the horizontal and vertical position of points on the Earth’s surface.

  • Photogrammetric mapping: accurate mapping developed from aerial photographs and is particularly useful for showing land contours, site conditions and detail for large areas.​

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