Land Survey

surveyor equipment theodolite at construction site

Land Surveyors are measurement specialists and are legally responsibile for all surveys involving boundaries and land title. They are also involved in planning, project development and professional consultation.

   

The land surveyor divides his/her time between field work (measuring the terrain) and office work (processing the information and the development) and then further field work (setting out on the ground what he/she has designed). There are five categories in which a land surveyor can specialise, namely:

Geodetic surveying

Geodetic surveying ascertains the size and shape of our planet. The main function of this is to provide a framework of accurately coordinated and heighted beacons and benchmarks to which other surveys and maps can be connected.

 

Cartography

Map making is usually accomplished by means of photogrammetry after which the map data are subjected to cartographic processes for reproduction and distribution. The cartographer provides the map-user with information in an understandable and useful form.

 

Cadastral surveying

Cadastral surveying involves the survey of land (townships or farms) and buildings (sectional title) for the purpose of delimiting property boundaries and/or rights to that property. By law it is the exclusive function of a land surveyor to do cadastral surveying.

A land surveyor works partly in the field. He/she uses advanced technology and computers. He/she often works on his/her own and is therefore dependent on his/her own judgement and decisions. The land surveyor also works with the public and it is therefore important for him/her to be able to maintain good human relations.

Career opportunities for land surveyors exist at government departments like the Surveyor-General, universities, municipalities and in private practice.

Most land surveyors open a private practice or go into partnership with other land surveyors .

The field work can be physically demanding, good health is essential. Some land surveyors do however specialise in the cartographic and geographic information system environments which take place in an office environment.

A land surveyor works partly in the field. He/she uses advanced technology and computers. He/she often works on his/her own and is therefore dependent on his/her own judgement and decisions. The land surveyor also works with the public and it is therefore important for him/her to be able to maintain good human relations.

After acquiring a University degree from an approved instituition one needs to register as a land-surveyor-in-training with the Council of Land Surveyors whilst being employed or supervised by a registered land surveyor.

A 270 days work experience is required in various areas of cadastral survey. If one is ready to write the law exam which deals with the statutes concerning land survey, they apply to the Surveyor-General and then sits for the said exam. If one passes then they continue to do practicals and reconstructions calculations. After these exams one is given a certificate of recognition by the Surveyor-General which enables one to apply for registration as a land surveyor with the Council of Land Surveyors.

Mine Survey

The safety and productivity of mines depends on the mine surveyors. Often working in very arduous conditions, they prepare plans of underground and surface works, control tunneling and cutting operations, and where necessary calculate precise areas and volumes.

Mine Surveying

Spartial Information Management

Mine Surveying

This entails the storing, managing and display of data with spatial relationships in a computer environment. This data, when combined with relevant attributes has multiple uses not only in the field of surveying. With SIM information is readily available for everyday use be it for decision making or for developmental purposes.

Engineering & Topographical Survey

The topographical and engineering surveyor measures and records natural and built features on the earth’s surface in order to create accurate maps for design and construction. They also perform the surveys necessary to control, set out and monitor the construction of buildings, roads, bridges, dams. The work is varied and often requires high responsibility. Training is over 4–5years at University of Zimbabwe, Midlands State University for a Degree in Surveying, Harare Polytechnic and Bulawayo Polytechnic for a diploma in Surveying.

Spatial data

  

The topographical surveyor prepares maps necessary for all physical planning and development. Before any work can begin, the sites for dams, bridges, canals, roads, airports, agricultural projects and other projects must first be surveyed.

The engineering surveyor compiles a topographical map before an engineering project is started. He/she sets out the proposed site and monitors progress of the project to ensure that it remains within the limits as surveyed and set out by him/her.

Topographical and engineering surveyors use the trigonometrical beacons, which were erected by the Chief Directorate of Surveys and Mapping throughout the country, as points of reference. They make use of angular and distance measurements when recording, making calculations and setting out construction sites.

The topographical surveyor also collects information on the names of places and annotates information on aerial photographs by taking notes of the topographical features of the area. He/she can prepare detailed topographical maps with the use of modern photogrammetrical equipment.

Working conditions of topographical and engineering surveyors vary between fieldwork and office work. They sometimes camp out in the field for days. Examination of survey records, diagrams and plans, the work with photogrammetrical equipment, draughting and calculations are usually done in the office.

This field involves the use of modern equipment such as drones. The use of such technologies makes the work out of office more enjoyable.

Topographical and engineering surveyors need good intellectual ability and must be objective scientific observers. Mathematical aptitude, especially in Trigonometry is a necessity because of the application in the work. Computer literacy is essential. They must be able to work on their own or with people.

Opportunities for employment exist at government departments such as the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Irrigation Department and various engineering and building contractors.

The field work can be physically demanding, good health is essential. However, some large organisations do employ qualified technical surveyors to solely perform the office functions associated with survey work, such as calculating and draughting. Draughting and map compilation are increasingly taking place at computer workstations.