Topographic Surveys

A topographic survey (also commonly known as a topo survey for short) is a detailed mapping of the natural and man-made features on a piece of land. This includes elevation changes, bodies of water, trees, buildings, and more.

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Topographic surveys are used in construction, development, and building projects. They help engineers and architects design safe and efficient structures. These surveys can also be used to assess environmental impacts of construction projects

Topographic surveys are usually conducted by qualified land surveyors. The surveyor uses specialised equipment to measure the land surface. The data from the survey is then used to create a map or other visual representation of the land.

These surveys are often necessary for the planning and construction of new structures or landscaping projects. Without a topographic survey, it would be difficult to accurately predict how excavations or grading may impact drainage patterns or the stability of a site.

They can also provide valuable information about potential hazards or areas that may require special attention during construction. In short, topographic surveys give landowners and builders crucial insights into the characteristics and topography of their land before starting any new projects. Without one, unexpected surprises could lead to costly delays or even dangerous situations. Overall, topographic surveys are essential tools in ensuring successful and safe development plans for any property.


Drones have revolutionised the surveying industry thanks to their ability to take high resolution aerial photographs. Through photogrammetry techniques, these photographs can be used to create 3D point clouds to generate topographic maps, calculate volumes of stockpiles, as well as measure distances and dimensions of features.

Drones are also able to reach locations that may be inaccessible or unsafe for surveyors on foot, making them particularly useful for surveying harsh terrain or areas which contain lots of heavy moving plant.

Drones also offer a cost-effective alternative to traditional surveying methods, covering large areas in a short amount of time with minimal manpower. Overall, the use of drones in survey has greatly improved efficiency and safety in the field.

There are several types of drone surveys used in a variety of industries, each with their own strengths and applications.

Construction SIte Drone Surveys


Photogrammetry uses overlapping pictures taken from the drone to generate measurements and 3D models. This method can be used for both aerial mapping and building inspections.


is a technology that uses laser pulses to accurately measure the distance between objects. Lidar is often used in topographic surveys or for creating high resolution models of complicated structures such as bridges or power lines.

As drone technology continues to advance, new survey methods are being developed and utilised in industries such as construction, agriculture, and forestry.

Drones offer unique advantages over traditional surveying techniques, including cost savings and increased safety for surveyors. No matter the project, it’s important to choose the right type of drone survey for accurate, efficient results.

At Pathfinder we run a variety of equipment, not only drones but traditional survey equipment as well, to ensure we provide a turnkey solution to your survey problems. You can see the list of equipment that we run here.

As a RICS Technology Partner, we pride ourselves on advising you on both the best and the most cost-effective solutions for your project. We can provide comprehensive advice to solve any problems you encounter whilst undertaking your projects and allow you to progress.

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