From ancient times to today, some form of land surveying has served an important function in every civilization. The Egyptians are believed to have pioneered the field and laid the foundation for today’s techniques and methods. Read on to find out more about the history of land surveying.
Early land surveying methods
The earliest land surveying practices can be found in ancient civilizations. In around 1400 BC, the Egyptians constructed pyramids and waterways utilizing surveying tools. These more primitive surveying techniques included plumb bobs, measuring ropes and other devices that helped in mapping out land parcels.
The Greeks and Romans later divided land using the groma—a surveying instrument that included a vertical staff with horizontal cross pieces mounted at right angles—to build new roads and structures. This early equipment was used to survey straight lines and right angles. The Romans established surveying as a profession, as they developed the measurements to divide and tax their empire.
1700s and colonization
As land surveying continued to develop through the centuries, the theodolite was later invented, which included a tripod and a compass. This was designed with a dividing engine intended to capture measurements and angles accurately.
In the early days of the British colonization of Australia and New Zealand, land surveying was utilized for settlers to claim land holdings. These land claims were staked out and marked by surveyors via a compass, measuring wheels and Gunter’s chains, which were later replaced by steel bands and invar tapes.
During the Industrial Revolution, land surveying became a prominent profession. The demand for surveyors grew due to the rapid expansion of business and development.
Electronic distance measurement equipment replaced the old system to allow greater accuracy and ease of measurement. Technology continued to develop, and global positioning systems (GPS) later became the favored tool of surveyors, again improving accuracy and efficiency. Compasses were replaced by total stations, which combined angular and distance measurement via the means of a single piece of equipment.
Today, 3D mapping and unmanned aerial devices (UAVs, or drones) have become commonplace for surveyors. When you hire a land surveying firm, you want to ensure they’re at the forefront of technology. That’s because this field relies on precise measurements. Land surveying has changed with the times, and now land surveyors can map out more land quicker than ever before, all with the same goal of creating sound, enforceable distinctions between land parcels.
We hope this guide gives you an understanding of how land surveying has changed through the centuries. If you need land surveying today, trust the pros at Polysurveying. We provide land surveying and mapping services to a wide variety of professional industries in the Gulf Coast region. We specialize in surveying for both commercial and residential projects, including land surveys, boundary surveys, elevation and topographical surveys, construction layout and staking surveys. Contact us today to learn more and receive a free quote—we look forward to working with you to ensure your project goes off without a hitch.
Categorised in: Commercial Surveying
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