What is Land Surveying?
Surveying and land surveying is the measurement and mapping of our surrounding environment using mathematics, specialised technology and equipment. Surveyors measure just about anything on the land, in the sky or on the ocean bed. They even measure polar ice-caps.
What do Surveyors do?
Land surveyors work in the office and in the field – from suits to boots. Out in the field, they use the latest technology such as high order GPS, Robotic Total Stations (Theodolites), and aerial and terrestrial scanners to map an area, making computations and taking photos as evidence.
In the office, Surveyors then use sophisticated software, such as Auto-cad to draft plans and map the onsite measurements. Surveyors work on a diverse variety of projects from land subdivision and mining exploration, to tunnel building and major construction, which means no two days are the same. They are experts in determining land size and measurement. They also give advice and provide information to guide the work of engineers, architects and developers.
Watch this video to find out more about what Surveyors do, and how they are crucial to national development. You can also view the South Australian version of this video here.Click here to download the DVD
What is Surveying and Spatial Science?
Surveying is related to the broad areas of Spatial Science or Geospatial Science. Spatial means “the relative place or location of something”. Spatial Science helps to understand the relationship between the community and the environment to help predict trends and patterns. Surveying is first done to establish the boundaries, and Spatial Technologies are used to interpret and report on the data.
This data is used whenever we search on Google Maps or track a location on a GPS unit. Other Spatial professionals will use the data to help establish trends or predict changes to the environment such as the spread of the Queensland Floods in 2011.
The main types of Surveying specialisations are Land, Mining, Engineering, Hydrographic. Other Spatial Science fields include Geodesy, Topographic Surveying, Remote Sensing, Geographic Information Systems (GIS). For more information on Spatial Science, go to www.destinationspatial.org
History of Surveying
Land Surveying is one of the oldest professions in the world. The first land surveys date back to nearly 3,000 years ago, when Egyptian Surveyors subdivided the fertile land around the Nile River and worked on re-marking the land after the annual flooding of the Nile River.
The early settlement of Australia also required help from Land Surveyors. The majority of famous early explorers including Burke and Wills had a Surveying background and their work allowed the land to be settled, by defining property boundaries in the city and the country. Back then Surveyors used primitive technology including chains and steel bands, which made their measurements difficult to record and often required the use of logarithmic tables and slide rulers.
Why is Surveying important?
We depend on Surveying to ensure order in the physical world around us. Surveyors play an integral role in land development, from the planning and design of land subdivisions through to the final construction of roads, utilities and landscaping.
Surveyors are among good company, working closely with their peers in the fields of engineering, architecture, geology and planning. Their role underpins these industries; Surveyors are the first people on any construction site, measuring and mapping the land. These primary measurements are then used by architects to understand and make the most of the unique landscape when designing and engineers to plan structures accurately and safely, ensuring buildings not only fit with the landscape but are able to be constructed.
Why become a Surveyor?
- Surveying provides a great diversity of indoor and outdoor work, meaning you won’t be chained to a desk.
- There is job variety; you can choose to work in many different industries from IT to Archaeology.
- The high demand for Surveyors means it’s easy to get a job, 95% of students find work within 4 months after graduating.
- The salaries are excellent; graduates earn an average of $55-60k p.a. (see more information on average salaries here).
- Surveyors have access to the latest technology and equipment.
- Surveyors can work for themselves, in private firms or in government departments.