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The Basics of Surveying

Surveying is defined as the art, science, and technology of detecting the relative position of points at, above, or below the surface of the earth; or establishing such points. Ultimately, a surveyor determines land boundaries. They also determine boundaries of roads to be built, help make sure skyscrapers are being erected vertically and measure airports so that the runways are perfectly aligned and smooth. Land surveying is commonly, and comically, referred to as the world's second-oldest profession.

Surveyors also map:

- topography of land for engineering design
- establish elevations of home sites for flood insurance
- perform title surveys for real estate transactions
- certify that structures are built according to design
- lay out buildings and subdivisions
- map river bottoms for dredging
- lay out photo control for aerial photography and photogrammetry
- write legal descriptions to describe pieces of property
- map and layout corridors for tunnels, roads, airports, pipelines, cellular networks and railroads

Being a surveyor means having a full understanding of the inexactness, uncertainty, and variable nature of measurement. This creates the professional attitude needed to constantly seek new evidence, and consequently a higher probability of approaching the truth or proving something with confidence. As an analyst of both measurement data and boundary location evidence, the surveyor is in a position to develop a keen sensitivity to the importance of finding and applying the truth.

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