Topographic survey is the study of the shape, man-made and natural features such as utilities, lakes, valleys, hills, roads, buildings, trees, fences and streams of a land surface, which requires a topographic map to be revealed if the survey was conducted traditionally. These features are what define the boundaries of the ground accurately. The topography of an area refers to the features and surface shapes or description on the ground and their arrangement. A topographic survey of an area or land shows the shows the location, contours, depth, height and size of their manmade and natural features with the use of a topographic map in a traditional survey.
The applications of a topographic survey are numerous because it is an important tool that sets every construction procedure in progress. In an instance where an old house is to be renovated, there will be a need for proper and accurate topography survey to be sure it is suitable to be lived in, to check the situation of the property and its surrounding. It is used by architects, state or local government agencies, surveyors, engineers and construction workers. It is used for the preparation of digging drainage, making run-off areas and land grading.
An advanced technology like an electronic EDM instrument paired with a surveying-quality GPS unit is used to map the man-made and natural features of a land thereby adding a third dimension taking the lakes, creeks, trees, buildings and hills into consideration. Traditionally, all the gathered information from a survey are transferred to a map as contour lines unlike now where physical maps are now replaced with digital 3D maps with the normal features present instead of contour lines as represented in the physical map. The implementation of equipment during a topographic land survey is determined by the features of the land. However it is important to have the right tools on hand. Some of these machineries include: SECO Topo Shoe &Point combo w/Pin and thumb-release prism pole tripod.
Terrain also known as topographical relief determines if a region is appropriate for settlement. It is an area of land and the features of that land. For instance, flatter alluvial plains are more suitable for farming. The importance of terrain are numerous, the right knowledge of terrain ion military is vital as it helps armed forces to move troops, materials and take shelter in the region. It also helps to figure out and understand the weather pattern.
The methodology of topographical survey starts with the collection of information about the region. The survey data on the site are gathered, processed and prepared towards the final survey output and delivery. There are several techniques used to carry out a topographic survey but the most popular one is GPS. The GPS is a global positioning system of constellations navigating the earth. It is used to locate the position of GPS ground receivers as they move from one end to the other. The data collected may be processed in the field or office to produce immediate receiver positions.