What is a Land Surveyor?

Land Surveyors


A land surveyor means a person carrying out professional surveying work, the adequate discharge of which work requires possession of the following qualifications:

  • they have a qualification that will admit them to a Degree of Bachelor of Surveying at an Australian or New Zealand’s Otago University; 

  • they hold a licence or registration as a Surveyor in an Australian State or Territory or in New Zealand.


Land Surveying


Land surveying is the definition of land boundaries by the application of survey procedures and exercise of judgement in accordance with precedent and statute law. It includes surveys for the layout of cities, sections, roads and streets; the disposition, subdivision, alienation, resumption, amendment of title and other dealings in land and interests in land. It also includes the collections of material facts and the giving of evidence for courts of law in cases of damage, title boundary disputes, the rectification of titles, etc, the preparation and giving of professional opinions, and interpretation of descriptions and other documents pertaining to land and interests therein.

Land surveying is regulated by the laws (Acts and Regulations) of the various States and Territories of Australia and of New Zealand, relating to land dealings.

Other Types of Surveying


All jurisdictions register Land Surveyors in accordance with the afore mentioned requirements, however there are many other surveying disciplines, the more common forms are described below. In some jurisdictions a surveyor may be required to be registered in one or more of these occupational disciplines. Further information on the compulsory or voluntary nature of such registration requirements can be found on individual jurisdictional web sites.

The International Federation of Surveyors (known as FIG) has defined the functions of a surveyor

Geodetic Surveying

Geodetic surveying consists of first and second order surveys and occasionally very high precision work together with the computation and adjustment thereof, such surveys being of a magnitude that the required accuracy and precision can be obtained only through processes that involve investigation into the figure and size of the earth.

The results of a geodetic survey is generally a continuous series of marked ground stations over the earth’s surface in respect of which the latitude, longitude and radius vector from the earth’s centre have been accurately determined. These ground stations form a series of coordinated points to which topographic, land and engineering surveys can be related to provide globally coordinated points for mapping and other purposes.


Topographic Surveying

Topographic surveying consists of the establishment of contour height levels, being height intervals of the earth’s surface above and below sea level based on a particular control survey system. These surveys may be undertaken by aerial, photogrammetric or ground survey, or a combination of these methods, and are concerned with the recording of natural features, such as hills, streams, valleys, and cultural features, such as roads, bridges, railways, and other constructions or alterations of the built environment. It also involves the creation of topographic plans or maps, or hydrographic charts at particular scales, contour interval and accuracy specifications, including all surveying processes, calculations and compilation procedures.


Engineering Surveying

Engineering Surveying consists of reconnaissance, investigation and topographic surveys specifically required for the location, design and construction of engineering projects and installations, the survey control of engineering works, long line infrastructure and the measurement and calculation of volumes. Such surveys may involve all degrees of accuracy from low to very high precision and the production of plans and maps for engineering design, set out and work as executed quality assessments.

Hydrographic Surveying

Hydrographic Surveying consists of the survey of the marine environment and the preparation of nautical charts and bathymetric maps (analogue, digital and electronic) to international standards and employs many of the elements of Engineering Surveying .


Mining Surveying

Mining Surveying pertains to above ground open cut mines, below ground mines and tunnels, and embraces all the elements of Engineering Surveying.

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