What Is the Importance of a Topographical Survey? | Corona, CA

A topographic survey is different from other surveys by studying and measuring the surface of the land. Topographical survey measurements are carried out using both GPS or Global Positioning System and Electronic Distance Metering (EDM). The parcel elevation is shown on the map of the survey via contour lines representing the Earth’s surface’s contours and also via elevations at different spots on the map.

The topographic surveys refer to both natural and human-constructed surface characteristics such as storage walls, gas lines, wells, trees, lakes, closed spaces, buildings, utility poles, etc.

But who really needs a survey like this? Architects could use this type of survey for the construction of a 3D plot of their design. If a building site is limited by significant topographical challenges, such as steep grades, existing man-made structures or other problematic conditions, a topographical inspection is ideal in order to ensure that the design proposed will work under these conditions before construction starts.

Government agencies also use topographical surveys to produce, implement, evaluate existing infrastructure, carry out required revisions and consider environmental projects, and implement the Construction and Zoning Regulations.

And yes, these types of industries would definitely need something like this, but how about the average layman? Do these surveys come in handy? Yes. If you are planning a garden or what to do with some property you own, this survey aims primarily to gather data on the characteristics of the land and its altitude.

Topographic surveys for changes in ownership of the property or land, known also as contour surveys, must be conducted before the owner makes changes. Safety is also an extremely important reason for topographic surveys. Inaccurate, incomplete or old underground records may jeopardize your projects.

To find out more about topographical surveys, please contact us at (800) CALVADA or visit www.calvada.com.

Calvada proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.

Are Satellite-Based Correction Services the “Next Utility”? | Corona, CA

By Robert L. Green, PS | 06.20.2021

In the summer of 1978, I worked as a rodman/chainman for Boston Survey Consultant (now the BSC Group). My crew partnered with the engineering staff to conduct soil percolation tests for septic system design. At one point, our boss informed us he had just attended a meeting at our corporate office in Boston on the status of the GPS satellite constellation. Little was known about this technology as the first GPS satellite (NAVSTAR 1) had only been launched months earlier. He told us that within a few years you would be able to put a “magic black box” on the surface of the earth and obtain XYZ coordinates. As an 18-year-old kid, it was impossible for me to comprehend as we were in the process of locating the percolation test holes with a turn of the century K&E transit, a handheld magnifying glass to read the vernier, a Philly stadia rod for distance interpolation, and a machete for cutting line. As I reflect on this story, I realize how lucky I am to have witnessed all these measurement technology enhancements over the last four decades.

Entrepreneurs and innovators like Charlie Trimble, Javad Ashjaee and Dr. Benjamin Remondi (the father of GPS kinematic principals) capitalized on this technology. The cost for one GPS receiver when they hit the market in the late 1980s was about $100,000. Three GPS receivers, software and state-of-the-art computers were needed since most of the survey applications required GPS static survey methodology, creating a half million-dollar investment on equipment alone and resulting in only a handful of companies adopting this emerging technology. But those who did became pioneers and industry leaders.

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To find out more about GPS, please contact us at (800) CALVADA or visit www.calvada.com.

Calvada proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.

Do You Know Famous Land Surveyors? | Corona, CA

You’re watching Jeopardy and the topic is infrastructure – ‘These are famous land surveyors throughout history.’ Do you have an answer? Are there ANY famous land surveyors? Yes, there are famous land surveyors, and their names might surprise you (at least three U.S. presidents). Let’s take a look at a few of the more notable surveyors through history, just in case you ever make it on the show:

George Washington. In 1749, at the age of 17, young Washington was appointed as the Surveyor General in Virginia. Washington wasn’t just our first President; he became the first Registered County Surveyor in America.

Benjamin Banneker. Benjamin Banneker, a self-taught African-American mathematician and surveyor, was appointed in 1789 by President George Washington to survey the area which would become Washington D.C., a project completed between 1791 and 1793.

Thomas Jefferson. Another Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, was appointed County Surveyor for Albermarle County in Virginia in 1773. One of Jefferson’s most famous presidential acts was to organize the Lewis & Clark Expedition to explore and survey the vast expanse of land known as the Louisiana Purchase.

Other famous land surveyors. Daniel Boone, another historical figure famed for his pioneering and exploration, was a land surveyor who resolved settlers’ claims to land titles. British explorer Captain James Cook not only sailed into every ocean, but he also surveyed the lands he found along the way. The surveying efforts of Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon survive in the “Mason-Dixon Line”, is still identified today as the unofficial boundary between the South from the North. Abraham Lincoln was working as a land surveyor when he was first elected to the Illinois legislature—making him the third presidential land surveyor.

To find out more about hiring a land surveyor, please contact us at (800) CALVADA or visit www.calvada.com.

Calvada proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.

Hiring a Land Surveyor | Corona, CA

When you need to have a land survey done, it can be a daunting task to someone who has no idea what it entails. Its time to hire a professional to ensure that it is done with accuracy and skill. Here are some of the more common questions to ask when hiring a land surveyor.

Can I do my own property survey?

You can complete your own surveys when you measure how much space you have to build a deck or patio. There’s certainly no law against checking how much space you have within your own property. What you can’t do is measure your own property and use those findings as legal documents. Since property is an expensive asset, only licensed professionals can conduct legal surveys to determine legal boundaries that affect property value. Professional surveyors are also skilled and trained at evaluating difficult terrain for construction projects as requested by engineers and lenders.

What does a land survey include?

It depends on the kind of land survey you choose. Most homeowners need a boundary survey that identifies the exact locations of their boundaries with a legal description. They’ll also include any right-of-way access or other easements. More extensive surveys like topography or ALTA surveys assess the terrain, ground stability, natural and manufactured features, and property rights. Do your research and ask questions.

Is a land survey more expensive for a bigger plot of land?

In general, yes. It costs anywhere from $50 to $500 per acre to conduct a survey, but that’s also dependent on how complex the terrain is. Some surveyors may charge a flat fee for a home in a standard-size subdivision, but any unusual or large properties will cost more to survey.

To find out more about hiring a land surveyor, please contact us at (800) CALVADA or visit www.calvada.com.

Calvada proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.

The Teacher Land Surveyors Need Right Now | Corona, CA

Why Thomas ‘Tommy’ Boatright’s instructive videos are what land surveyors need right now.

May 24, 2021 by Emell Derra Adolphus

When Thomas “Tommy” Boatright was around 12 years old, his stepdad introduced him to land surveying and changed his life. The two of them were driving home from church when they made a stop at a local job site in their local neighborhood of Pensacola, Florida. 

“I was wearing my Sunday clothes,” Boatright remembers. “We are walking through the woods following an old wire fence, and he finds an old wooden post.” A corner. “He was so excited,” Boatright says. “Of course, at that age I didn’t care. He explained the history about the corner – but in one ear, out the other.” 

Somewhere along the way in Boatright’s teenage years, his stepdad’s enthusiasm for the land surveying profession stuck. Working part-time on a survey crew, Boatright found his niche in surveying as a “whiz kid” who could build a solution for just about any problem in the field. Now in his video column for pobonline.com, “Tommy’s Surveyor Toolbox,” Boatright is a “whiz kid” at heart with a passion for showing and telling how land surveyors can make their jobs easier in the field.

“I love to teach. I love seeing that light bulb moment in someone else’s eyes,” says Boatright. “I have produced several crew chiefs and techs.”

Among those crew chiefs and techs is William “Bill” Smith III, who says his time with Boatright helped confirm that he was on the right career path.

“I at random was just looking for a job. I thought maybe I will give this a try, and I liked it,” says Smith. “(Tommy) was my first crew chief and pretty much everything that I know I learned from him. He’s always teaching the new guys and stuff, that was a passion of his.”

With knowledge, their working relationship evolved and Smith says land surveying in Florida is better for it.

“I kind of loved it when we would work together toward the end because it was usually myself, who had made crew chief by then, Tommy and maybe another crew chief. So we had three chiefs,” he remembers. “We would just work and not have to talk about it because we all knew what needed to be done.”

“He is one of those kinds of people that don’t mind sharing his knowledge with others,” says Oscar Pittman, Boatright’s former boss at Pittman & Associates. “He’s a born teacher. He’s not shy about it. And he don’t mind helping other people. He’s always trying to think ahead, which is good. And really he’s a good guy to have around.”

Watch Tommy’s Surveyor Toolbox at POBonline.com.

To find out more about land surveying, please contact us at (800) CALVADA or visit www.calvada.com.

Calvada proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.