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Detail Survey

A detail survey is used to determine and locate the features and improvements on a parcel of land.

The word ‘features’ here means both natural and man-made structures on a piece of land – such as vegetation, types of soil, buildings, land utilities, fences and boundaries, roads, land marks and so on.

This kind of survey is usually confined to the boundaries of the parcel of land. The survey will often include data such as the elevation of the land, that is, how high the land is above an arbitrary datum (level).

A commonly used arbitrary level is the Mean Sea Level which is taken as zero metres high. The Easting and Northing coordinates of the land (exact position in relation to the earth’s surface) may have to be taken too.

How Are They Carried Out?

They are generally carried out using survey equipment such as total stations and theodolites. The data is then carried to the office for analysis and preparation of detail maps known as Digital Terrain Models, which provide the details that have been collected in the form of a map.

These maps are useful for engineers and architects who use them in their designs and plans. The survey should be carried out by a qualified land surveyor who may be assisted by a chainman.

When is a Detail Survey Needed?

  • When you are planning to construct or extend a building on your land
  • When you need to locate and record all land features and structures
  • When you want to present information about your land for purposes of land valuation
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