George Washington was a surveyor before he was the father of our country and his mapmaking and surveyor gifts served him well in his military career. Washington probably would have envied the array of mapping equipment and surveyor supplies available today. Land survey supplies such as the sighting pole and surveyor’s chains have been augmented by laser sights and magnetic locators. Land-based surveying has been given a boost with “eyes in the sky” in the form of aerial mapping equipment and GPS surveying equipment.
Surveying and mapping equipment serves the following purposes, in addition to establishing land boundaries:
1. Laying out buildings and the streets and roads that connect them;
2. Placing trees and shrubbery in an eye-catching manner by landscape architects;
3. Preparing terrestrial, nautical and aerial navigational charts;
4. Substantiating testimony in civil and criminal court cases where distance and location play a role;
5. Supplementing work in geology, forestry, archaeology and other sciences through land surveying tools.
Canvass the land with mapping supplies and surveying equipmentSurveying demands accurate measurements, and accurate measurements demand quality surveyor supplies. Whether it's the latest in GPS surveying equipment or a low-tech sighting pole, working with equipment from a reputable manufacturer or dealer lends confidence to the surveyor and the survey results.
Coordinate your surveying efforts with the right softwareThe broader range of surveying and mapping equipment today means a greater amount of data is collected than ever before. Data collection software collates this information into a manageable format, while computer-aided drafting software applies this information to the design of roads, buildings and landscapes.
Get a bird's eye view with aerial mapping equipmentGPS mapping equipment provides accurate positions, but aerial mapping equipment shows the lay of the land to help envision where that road or building should be placed. Many companies specialize in aerial photography and surveying.
Learn how to use those land surveying toolsThe best land surveying supplies and topography equipment are only as good as the people using them. While most surveyors won't become president, surveying training is a rewarding career path for many men and women.
Westwood College offers an associate degree program in surveying, with courses in drafting, mathematics and learning to use GPS surveying equipment.
- Plane surveying, which considers the portion of Earth's surface being surveyed as a plane, uses most surveying and mapping equipment. Unless a precise survey of a large area is called for, surveys do not need to allow for Earth's curvature.
- Light-based surveying equipment is available for short-range surveys of 0.3 to 3 miles and for long-range surveys of up to 36 miles. This equipment requires corrections for barometric pressure and temperature, because light travels more slowly through denser air than thin air or a vacuum.