Who are Surveyors?

Hey guys today’s blog was inspired by my friends and family who seem to know little about my career of choice, Surveying.  When people ask what I do, they often respond like “oh, you’re one of those guys that looks into those funny instruments“ or “yeah, you’re one of those guys on the side of the road that checks the level and stuff“ though these statements aren’t entirely untrue  I’d like to share with you the basics about what we really do. For this blog I thought I would briefly explain what we do, enjoy.

Pic 1

What Are Surveyors??

Surveyors are essentially expert’s at measurements with the help of mathematics and specialised equipment (like the one you see in this picture above). We analyse the data which presents information about the land. Surveyors are capable of measuring just about anything whether it be on land, in the sky or under the ocean.

How we obtain data to produce maps varies with the type of instruments we use, the precision or landscape. Traditionally, surveyors used modified chain linked together that once stretched would equal a set distance to measure land. Thankfully, with passing years we have obtained instruments that make our job a little easier, these instruments include Total station, GPS and Laser scanner.

Total Station: These are operated wirelessly by a control

Total Station: These are operated wirelessly by a control

Laser Scanner: These instruments operate independently to produce data

Laser Scanner: These instruments operate independently to produce data

Laser Scanner: these instruments operate independently to produce this type of data

Laser Scanner: these instruments operate independently to produce this type of data

GPS: operate like a total station but uses satellites to obtain data. They can be used anywhere

GPS: operate like a total station but uses satellites to obtain data. They can be used anywhere

GPS: operate like a total station but uses satellites to obtain data. They can be used anywhere

GPS: operate like a total station but uses satellites to obtain data. They can be used anywhere

A diagram of old school survey (note the chain used by the surveyor in the blue shirt

A diagram of old school survey (note the chain used by the surveyor in the blue shirt

Depending on the work you’re doing different instruments are chosen due to their accuracy and convenience while there are many instruments can be used by surveyors, these are the most common.

Where can our job take us??

Now that we have a fairly good idea on what surveyors are let’s have a look at areas that surveyors can become involved in. Like some specialized careers the sky is the limit, however there are generally three main areas common to surveyors.

Cadastral Surveying:

A cadastral surveyor is responsible for accurately defining property boundaries and understanding the laws of land and ownership. This job may include the identification of residential or rural boundaries, re-establishing boundaries that have been previously surveyed or creating new boundaries as part of a land subdivision process.  A cadastral surveyor has the skill and knowledge to interpret and advise on the location of boundaries and if there are any rights or restrictions relating to the property. Only a registered cadastral surveyor can certify survey plans for lodgment with the government.

An example of a Cadastral Survey Plan

An example of a Cadastral Survey Plan

Engineering Surveyor:

Engineering surveyors are generally associated with the design and construction of new infrastructure projects. These may include high-rise buildings, road freeway systems, road tunnels, airports etc. to ensure they are built in accordance with the design criteria with regards to location, size and shape.

Just another day in the office for an Engineering Surveyor

Just another day in the office for an Engineering Surveyor

Mining surveyors

Mining surveyors work in both open cut and underground mines for minerals mining industries.  Mine surveyors will basically have responsibility for surface and underground plans of the mine site doing activities that include for an open cut mine identification the extent on the resource for excavation purposes or marking the drill patterns for blasting coal. In underground mines surveyor will determine and control the location and direction of tunnels as well as the mapping of all underground tunnels. In both open cut and underground mines, the surveyor will prepare mine plans and calculate the volume of materials moved or mined.

A surveyor at an open cut mine

A surveyor at an open cut mine

A surveyor at an underground mine

A surveyor at an underground mine

Do not be fooled in thinking that these are strictly the areas we are kept to they are merely the areas that make up the majority of the work force. We’ll now take a sneak peek into speclised area of surveying to keep it interesting I’ve posted a video of each area which you are welcome to watch if such an area fascinates you.

Hydrographic surveyors

Surveyors who measure and map the location and shape of the land under the oceans, rivers and lakes are called hydrographic surveyors. They use specialized technology to identify underwater hazards, look for oil, guide dredging projects and measure erosion.

Forensic surveyors

Forensic surveyors map, analyze and collect data used as evidence during court cases. They testify in lawsuits over automobile wrecks, industrial accidents and boundary disputes. Forensic surveyors are good communicators since they need to share technical information in a way that’s easy to understand – especially by people who know nothing about surveying. These specialists must be very precise since their evidence is scrutinized by other forensic surveyors hired by the opposing side.

Archeological surveyors

Surveyors work with archaeologists to define the parameters of an archaeological search area. They also map out locations to identify points to excavate for particular objects, artifacts, human remains and cultural heritage land.

Ok, that’s pretty much the bread and butter of what surveying is all about while it only scratching the surface I hope it helped educate you on what we really do. Like any job there are very generic parts to it that even I find boring however, I hope I’ve shown you that it does obtain exciting combination of both indoor and outdoor activity that continues to grow and revolutionize as technology advances. I hope you’ve found Surveying as exciting as I do and as a reward I’ve posted some pretty funny video relating to surveying, enjoy.

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About Joseph

Hi, my name is Joseph Mcduff. I’m a university student finishing my final year of full time study of my Bachelor of Spatial Science (Surveying) in Toowoomba. This is my last year at university and currently super keen to hit the work force next year. Though, more than likely, I will begin to miss university and college life when I’m actually working. I like to think I’m a pretty easy going guy who love keeping people on their toes and keeping things fresh and interesting Over my studying career in Toowoomba I have met some pretty amazing friends so I try to spend as much time as I can with them and also my family. Currently my hobbies involve organizing exciting college events as President of the RSC (Residential Social Committee), watching Game of Thrones, my favorite character is Tywin, and studying Japanese – I have a good friend who helps me with my Japanese pronunciation. I am passionate about trying new things like Latin dancing and it turns out I wasn’t too bad at it either. I love my comics even at the age of 25 I still enjoy Tony stark playboy approach, Thor’s moral and epic quotes and how Spiderman just can’t seem to catch a break. I have a celebrity crush on Zooey Deschanel, and a fictional crush on Margaery Tyrell from Game of Thrones. Whilst this only briefly begins to explain who I am, I’m sure you’ll definitely find out more about myself, my studies and social life as semester progresses. Hope you enjoy reading about my adventures throughout the semester. Joseph

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