Land Surveying; Did you know…

Did you know Land Surveying is the second oldest profession in the world?

Land Surveying, the second oldest profession in the world, is not really understood by most people. Land surveying is the profession of measuring and mapping land for development, construction, or other purposes. Land surveyors create maps and charts that show property boundaries as well as information about the natural features on a parcel of land such as streams, wetlands, vegetation cover types and contours. A map created by a land surveyor will be used to determine where buildings should be constructed or where trees can be cut down. Land surveys are also done to find out how much minerals exist in an area so companies know what they could mine there.

This industry spans back thousands of years to ancient civilizations all around the world, but land surveying has only become widespread in the last few hundred years. The first known use of a grid plan is traced back to 500 BCE during the early civilization of Mesopotamia (in present day Iraq) where it was used for tax purposes. It wasn't until 1784 when Thomas Jefferson proposed having a survey of the United States to map out its boundaries. In 1879, congress passed a law requiring all land west of Missouri and north of Texas be surveyed into sections before it could be sold as property.

In the early 1950s, U.S Congress established The Federal Real Property Council which was responsible for bringing together several federal agencies involved in the acquisition, disposition and use of federal real property. This council was responsible for making sure the government had a common definition of terms used in land surveying so everyone would be on the same page when it came to understanding what surveyors were doing.

Today there are about 90,000 professional licensed land surveyors that work around the world helping communities by creating maps for development and construction as well as boundary surveys for property owners.