What are Topographic Surveys?

Topographic surveys provide a three-dimensional map with digital information about the land elevation and features. Topographic surveys are done for small residential lots as well as for multi-acre properties. Depending on the nature of the project, either a complete topo or a partial topo may be required. Topographic surveys may contain varying levels of detail including:

  • Structures including houses, garages, sheds, walls, fences;
  • Hardscape areas including driveway, walkway, pavers, decks;
  • Information such as elevations under a tree’s canopy, tree trunk location and size, pipe diameter, valve boxes, and drip line;
  • Above ground visible utilities;
  • Spot elevations and contours.

Why are Topographic Surveys Important?

Topographic surveys are used in the planning and implementation processes of various professionals:

  • Civil engineers use topographical surveys to design and develop grading and drainage plans for new construction involving single family homes as well as planned additions. Without these spot elevations and contours, there is no way to determine whether a grading and drainage plan is required to avoid flooding and mold on your property. Many cities require this information to avoid problems with flooding from one neighbor’s property to another neighbor’s property.
  • Landscape architects encourage their clients to contract with a licensed land surveyor for a topographic survey, so they have accesses to important information including the location of existing structures and trees, elevations at various points on the site, and utility lines. A topographic survey and a boundary survey gives the architect the information they need to avoid placement of landscaping on the neighbor’s property.
  • Without a topographic survey, clients will not know if there are any encroachments.

How Can TKM Land Surveyors Help?

TKM Land Surveyors LP delivers the topographic survey in a PDF file, a CAD file as well as signed originals on 24 x 36 inch paper. Data gathered by the TKM Land Surveyors LP sophisticated equipment is then used by architects and civil engineers so they can take the next steps in the construction process. In the event of a large property, or a heavily wooded property where line of sight adversely impacts the use of equipment, TKM Land Surveyors LP has relationships with experienced aerial mapping firms to conduct the survey most cost-effectively.