Topographic surveying is one of those professions that people understand at face value, but don’t quite follow once you start to delve into the nuts and bolts of it all. They know a topographic surveyor is tasked with measuring things like land contours and geographic features, but when it comes to actually understanding how these things are measured to scale, all is lost.
The fact is, topographic surveying in Texas is the sum of many skills and proficiencies at work. You can’t just look at the land and record features or estimate terrain—especially when things like future development are riding on the accuracy of your survey! That’s why surveyors draw from a number of intelligences to make sure their job is done right and to the highest degree of excellence. Take a look at just a few of the things it takes to be a land surveyor:
- Math skills: Math is a huge part of topographic surveying and it comes in many forms. Geometry and trigonometry are the two most frequently used forms of mathematics while out on the job, but algebra is also commonly incorporated. Because a surveyor is always taking measurements, having a math background to put them altogether when each variable is measured means getting the job done right.
- Scientific understanding: Physics and even something like astronomy are two of the scientific understandings a surveyor must have out on the job. Understanding how different topographic variables relate to the world around them and casting them on a survey is essential to the job!
- Engineering proficiency: There’s a good deal of equipment involved in topographic surveying and understanding how this equipment works on a complex level means understanding the engineering science behind it. Moreover, having an engineer’s understanding of different natural formations and variables will lend itself to the overall standing of how a survey can be presented and understood by those who might need it.
- Law intelligence: Understanding municipal law as it translates into surveying is important for a surveyor, since it will help them to pinpoint illegalities or legal issues when surveying land. A manmade installation that’s not within proper code limits or a boundary line that’s subject to a natural formation are things that frequently arise during land disputes—a surveyor needs to understand these items to help make an accurate and professional statement about them.
- Technology adoption: Surveying is exposed to new and exciting resources and equipment on a yearly basis—from GPS technologies to laser and sight innovations and beyond. Being able to adopt and adapt to these new technologies is a big part of being a surveyor, since each new progression in technology means better accuracy and more encompassing results when it comes to topographic surveying in Texas.
Still think topographic surveying is just about pointing a laser and measuring distance? When you consider all of the things listed above that are a routine part of the job, topographic surveying in Texas starts to seem more like a continuous learning experience rather than a cushy job!