Surveying on Mars | Corona, CA

June 2, 2020 | Kellee Ireland

Here on this very website, we describe surveying as, “the measurement and mapping of our surrounding environment using mathematics, specialized technology and equipment”.

But where does that leave alien environments?

The surveyors of yesteryear were explorers of a kind, discovering foreign lands and mapping them as they went. Those documents proved invaluable records of our past geographical discoveries.

As humanity reaches out to the cosmos, surveying techniques once again are called upon to mark our place in the universe. What is surveying’s role in exploring Mars?

Surveying the next frontier

Since the 1950s, humanity has made strides to get closer to Mars. There were orbiter fly-bys that collected photographs and images in the 1960s. Then in 1976, the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) successfully sent their Viking 1 and Viking 2 orbiters to Mars, with a lander making Earth’s first touchdown on the planet’s surface. Since that day, we’ve made use of increasingly sophisticated technology in an effort to truly understand Mars.

And to understand it, first we have to map it.

Just like satellites aid modern surveyors on Earth, satellites could be used to map the surface of Mars. A particularly important step in Martian exploration was the successful launch of the Mars Global Surveyor in 1996.

The Mars Global Surveyor was designed to scan and map the entire surface of the planet from orbit. The high-resolution images it harvested showed us the highest peaks and the deepest ravines of Mars’ surface. In time, the entire planet’s surface was scanned.

The mission was to last a full decade. In this time, the Mars Global Surveyor even managed to observe the formation of new gullies, boulder tracks and craters. Meanwhile, there were ground units hitting Mars’ surface to gather additional geographic data: the Mars Exploration Rover vehicles Spirit and Opportunity spent a collective 8,000+ days roaming the planet’s surface.

One of the most recent and most exciting tools in the Mars exploration arsenal is NASA’s InSight lander.

InSight stands for Interior exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport. The lander is the first mission dedicated to looking deep beneath the surface of the planet, and it does this using technology similar to that which surveyors use here on Earth.

Researcher Katarina Miljkovic was one of several Australians who collaborted on InSight. Talking to Spatial Source, she explained, “InSight is different to previous Mars missions. It is not a rover or an orbiter. It is a geophysical station to be placed on the surface with passive instruments that will sense the interior structure. The aim is to understand how Mars has formed, how it differentiated and how much is it different to our planet.”

It’s thanks to NASA’s InSight lander mission that we now know that Mars experiences quakes just like Earth. We also now have a much better understanding of Mars’ interior structure and its evolution – and some of its magnetic anomolies. This is information that will be of great use in the future.

What if there was life on Mars?

But what of that future? What might traditional surveying look like on Mars if we were to ever step onto the planet’s surface?

Historically, Earth-bound surveying made use of the compass as a standard tool. With technological advances that is seldom still the case; all the same, it is worth noting the unusual magnetic activity on Mars that was noted above will impact how we might approach surveying and geodesy,

Mars has no global general magnetic field – though its pockets of magnetic rock and other magnetic anomalies would have to be accounted for by experts when they develop Martian surveying equipment.

Modern surveyors often make use of the Global Navigation Satellite System, and it is clear that something similar would be required when surveying on Mars.

What does the future hold?

It’s an intriguing prospect to think about how surveyors might adapt to entirely different planet’s environment. Certainly, it’s a much bigger leap than surveyors of the past who have just had to contend with new countries, or continents.

All we can know for certain is that technology will keep advancing, and that will impact what surveyors can achieve – both on this planet and the next.

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

Calvada proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.

The Importance of Getting an ALTA Survey | Corona, CA

When you buy property, it is important to make a thorough assessment of what exactly you are purchasing. Not only to have peace of mind about what you’re buying, but because the bank and title companies will likely expect it. This is easily done by having an ALTA survey done on the plot of land. Once you fully know what you are buying, it will also be easier to build. Here are more benefits of getting an ALTA survey:

Verify a purchase. When you buy a property, you and your lender will have to make sure that the property is worth the proposed amount and is free of problems. If the survey gives a negative report, you can make decisions accordingly prior to finalizing.

Depicting easement size and location. Having adequate knowledge of easements on the property you acquire is important and an ALTA survey will reveal these details.

Locating improvements and encroachments. An ALTA survey depicts all the buildings and structures existing on a property, every property improvement and any encroachment of other people’s property.

Property access. When you buy a property, knowing the routes to your property is important. A survey will show all roads, alleys, highways, and routes that grant access, impeding structures that restrict access and other necessary easements.

Help identify and locate utilities. Whatever might be the reason for you wanting to buy a property, you will want to know if the property has the utilities you require and this can be done by showing all the utilities on the property and their various locations.

To find out more about ALTA surveys, 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.