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Types of surveying

There are many types of disciplines in surveying and a surveyor during their career may decide to specialise in a particular discipline or may gain experience in all disciplines.  The main disciplines of surveying are:

Land surveying

Land surveying involves measuring and determining property boundaries, which are used as the basis for all property transactions including buying, selling, mortgaging and leasing.  Due to the importance of having a secure and strong property market, in NSW a land surveyor needs to be registered to be able to carry out a land survey. 

Engineering surveying

Engineering surveyors are engaged in the construction industry and ensure construction works are built in the correct location and as per their design.  They are generally found on construction sites setting out various types of works such as buildings, roads, bridges, tunnels and various other forms of infrastructure. 

Mining surveying

Mining surveyors are involved in the development and construction of mining operations and can generally be found above and underground taking measurements to determine volumes and setting out new excavations and tunnelling.  Mining surveyors in NSW are registered due to many safety issues involved in mining including ensuring mining does not encroach upon hazardous areas and future subsidence.

Hydrographic surveying

 Hydrographic surveying involves locating and measuring points under the sea and on the shore.  There measurements are used to design infrastructure such as docks and jetties as well as ensuring ships have enough clearance from the sea bed to safely travel around the world.  Using sonar scanners they are able to provide a picture of the sea bed without needing to get their feet wet and enabling the discovery of ship wrecks and other objects lost at sea.

Geodetic surveying

Geodetic surveyors are involved with undertaking very precise measurements to determine the shape and size of the world and track the movement of continents.  Their measurements are used in the monitoring of sea level rise, earthquakes, and the tracking of satellites.  Geodetic surveyors are involved in the development of co-ordinate systems and datums which are used in the productions of maps and plans.

Photogrammetry and remote sensing

Photogrammetry and remote sensing involves taking measurements of the world via photography or other wavelength bands such as infra-red or ultra-violet.  Measurements may be sources from aerial photography or satellite imagery.  Photogrammetry and remote sensing is used to map large areas and determine changes in the world over time.

Surveyor in open cut mine


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