A topographical survey involves a visit to the site by an experienced land surveyor to carry out measurements to create a site plan or map.
Such surveys are usually carried out at 1:100 or 1:200 scale to be able to clearly show manmade and natural features clearly and concisely. Ordnance Survey maps portray similar features; however, their smaller scale means that relevant features within a garden or land parcel cannot easily be shown.
Topographic surveys will show boundaries, footpaths and roads, permanent structures such as buildings and natural features such as waterways, trees and changes in elevation. The plan or map will show these features as lines joining features and point detail such as spot levels. If required, drawings can be contoured for clarity.
Data collected in the field will be post processed in the office and then edited in AutoCAD to produce a final drawing which can be viewed as a DWG file, PDF plot or paper hard copy. A day in the field usually requires a day in the office to process and issue.
Such surveys can be used for planning development, area and volume calculation, flood risk assessment, visibility splays for new drives, drainage projects and garden design to name but a few. If the land parcel in question has changes in elevation, then a topographical survey is usually required.