Design and Data: Ten Stages of the Land Surveying Process

According to the principle of economic growth, any city or province that wants to develop should engage in land development projects. Knowing how economically prosperous Calgary is, they filled their days with such activities. For over decades now, it has been integral for Calgary to house the biggest land subdivision, road utility, and landscaping construction.

As the city continues to bring all industries into the 21st-century approach, a Calgary land surveyor must meet the standards imposed. Similarly, processes for conducting land surveys are also transitioning into a holistic system to benefit those engaged in the field.

Below is the standard process that land surveying companies conduct to prepare you for what to expect on the timeline and procedures.

Land Surveying Stages

Despite how easy it may look to you as you observe surveyors in the field, the land surveying process is quite intricate. It demands a more elevated rendition of the landscape and mathematical concepts.

Every land survey starts with the phrase “I need a land survey,” which is typically asked by you as a landowner, buyer, or seller.

Normally, land survey companies ask you to submit your information on their websites or contact them via telephone number. This is a necessary inquiry to allow an initial meeting of minds.

Stage 1: Finalization of the Survey Agreement

The commencement of the land survey starts with stipulating terms and conditions. Remember, you must work with an independent contractor, and the law requires a written agreement. The survey agreement typically includes:

  • Costing
  • Timeframe
  • Identification of ”to whom it may concern,” i.e., owner, buyer, seller
  • Output for deliverables

Please note that it also has penal implications for you and the survey company. For example, failure to abide by the payment schedule and deliver specific accomplishments on a particular date may cause repercussions.

Stage 2: Assignment of a Professional Land Surveyor

After everything is set, the first thing companies do is assign you a specific land surveyor. The assignment is not solely at the discretion of the company per se.

If you are benching for quality service, you can critique individual qualifications. However, it is advisable to choose at least one company that employs the best land surveyor. That way, you will save the time of scanning profiles.

If you love spending time studying professional qualifications, you can use these qualities as a basis of choice:

  • Licensed, accredited, certified
  • Multifaceted and versatile
  • Collaborative and a good communicator
  • Dissector in tool and equipment calibration and testing
  • Ethically uncompromising
  • Updated with the legal amendment and professional trends, and more

Stage 3: Internal Research

This activity is conventionally done for reasons involving old survey records in the company’s personal history of the subject property. This stage is necessary to lay out some frameworks to avoid complications when the new survey commences.

Stage 4: Courthouse and County Engineer Research

This external research is necessary to gather specific data like:

  • Your property deed
  • Neighbors’ property deeds to assess some gaps and overlaps
  • Senior or junior rights issues
  • Old surveys
  • Right of way information
  • Existing and historical road plans
  • Section corner information or certificates

If you need information but remain unavailable with these external sources, you may request to contact other surveyors for unrecorded surveys.

Stage 5: Conduct Survey

Surveyors usually use GPS equipment and a total robotic station at the commencement of a physical survey. The concerns of the land surveyor primarily cover a variety of things like:

  • Block corners
  • Section corners
  • Waterway or creek
  • Railroad tracks
  • Curvy roads
  • Encroachment, i.e., overhanging fences, retaining walls, buildings, trees, etc.

These land parts need to be carefully dissected, even the most inaccessible ones. But, of course, if it is a lot harder to survey because of terrain constraints, you will need to pay more.

Stage 6: Placement of Monuments at Corners

Set monumentation is an iron rod with a shapeable cap embossed with the surveyors’ last name and license number.

Specificities are as such:

  • Replete so that they can trim over it without harming the mower or the monument
  • Raised a few inches, usually set in banister lines so that individuals can notice them
  • Buried 12″ to 16″ underground to avoid getting ripped out
  • Mark with 4-foot wooden slat and pink flagging

Stage 7: Drafting Land Survey

This stage is where the graphical report of your land is now under construction.

It usually reflects things like:

  • What the surveyor found or set for monuments
  • Distance and bearing between monumentation
  • Answers to the queries like “who was the survey for?” And what was surveyed?
  • The current or new legal description

Stage 8: Reviewing the Land Survey

Your chosen company will allow you to review the draft for errors. If one is found, it will be immediately edited.

Stage 9: Invoicing and Payment

Payment will pave the way for recording the plat of the survey, including complementary corner certificates.

Stage 10: Distribution of Records

The output will now be given to relevant users, like:

  • Attorney
  • County
  • Municipality
  • Abstractor
  • Bank


This guided process will help you significantly follow the order of your timeline. Remember, this is just a part of your property development. Make sure to put these details on your whole expansion timeline.

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