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Topographic Survey

Topographic Surveys are used to identify and map the contours of the ground and existing features on the surface of the earth or slightly above or below the earth's surface (i.e. trees, buildings, streets, walkways, manholes, utility poles, retaining walls, etc.). The purpose of the survey is almost always to serve as a base map for new design such as that of a residence, commercial building, new road or driveway. It may also be necessary to show perimeter boundary lines and the lines of easements on or crossing the property being surveyed. In this case a Site Planning Survey would probably be required in order for a designer to accurately show zoning and other agency required setbacks.

Topographic Surveys typically require that the survey be referenced to a known "bench mark" on which the ground contours and other located feature elevations are based. Most Cities and Counties maintain a database of these bench marks and the Surveyor will need to insure that an appropriate mark is chosen which will allow the design professional(s) to submit their plans once the proposed design is completed. The Surveyor can assist in determining what Bench Marks are available in the vicinity of the project but ultimately it is the future designers responsibility to inform the Surveyor to what City, County or State entities the plans will be submitted to, and to insure that the chosen Bench Mark will be sufficient for said submittals.
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