To the untrained eye, the job of a land surveyor may seem nearly impossible. How can someone create such accurate measurements of a given parcel of land? The answer is in the land surveying equipment. In Texas, experienced land surveyors use specialized equipment every day to gain exceptional insight into a variety of properties throughout the state.
The history of surveying tools
The need for specialized equipment for land surveying extends as far back as the profession itself. In ancient Egypt, where history’s first recorded land surveys were conducted, surveyors relied on ropes to measure their progress. Surveyors would stretch the piece of rope to its full length and then treat it with chemicals to ensure it stayed rigid when released.
It wasn’t until more than a thousand years later, in 120 BCE, that the ancient Greeks developed the dioptra. This precursor to the modern-day theodolite was initially constructed to determine the distance and position of stars. It wasn’t long before the dioptra was used for land surveying as well. This remarkably accurate tool is now hailed as one of the most important innovations in engineering history.
Bridging the gap
The world of land surveying didn’t stagnate as time marched onward. In the 1500s, the theodolite started to gain traction among surveyors for its ability to accurately measure both horizontal and vertical angles.
The first iterations of the theodolite were quite bulky. As a result, surveyors exploring uncharted territory or heavily wooded areas relied on the more compact surveyor’s compass. This small circular object was integral to land surveys in the early days of the United States.
Steps toward the future
Modern land surveying equipment in Texas has come a long way since those early advancements, but we still owe a significant debt to the innovations of the ancients. The rope is long gone, and the theodolite is just one in an arsenal of tools available to modern surveyors. The equipment used by land surveyors is also continually changing.
In recent years, the entry of GPS into a land surveyor’s toolkit has sped up the process of getting a survey completed by a large margin. In cases where the parcel of land is particularly expansive, helicopters have been enlisted to chart the land using a GPS system. That said, any veteran surveyor will explain that updates to the technology of land surveying still have a long way to go before they can replace the experience of a talented surveyor walking your property and providing their insight.
Work with cutting-edge surveyors
At D.G. Smyth & Co., Inc., we take pride in using state-of-the-art land surveying equipment in Texas. Whether we’re doing a boundary survey for a residential property or inspecting land for an oil and gas company, you can count on us to provide impeccable service and unparalleled results every time.
Since we opened in 1977, we’ve established a reputation for high quality and friendly, responsive customer service. Next time you need reliable surveying services, contact D.G. Smyth & Co., Inc. to learn more about what we can do for you!