What Technologies Do Land Surveyors Use Today?

Drone shot of a land

Did you know that Egyptians were the first surveyors to record their techniques? In 1400 B.C., the Egyptians utilised ropes, plumb bobs and sighting and leveling instruments as their surveying tools. Naturally crude by comparison to today’s tools, these primeval devices provided accuracy that allowed the surveyors to determine land boundaries to protect wealth.

Cutting Edge Techniques

Fast forward to today and you’ll find land surveyors have access to a wide range of tools and techniques. These devices allow businesses and government agencies to make decisions about land development projects.

Catobolam.co.nz lists some of the innovative techniques land surveyors use, including LIDAR and terrestrial-based scanning and geographic information system (GIS) data collection, which works on mobile devices.

Here are technologies that pave the way for more cutting edge approaches in land surveying:

Robotic Total Station

Various industries have robotics for a wide range of applications; land surveyors use them to capture data accurately and efficiently. Robotic total stations can document measurements from long distances. Surveyors can control the robot remotely, saving time and money while improving field productivity.

3D Laser Scanners

3D laser scanners can help architects, builders and stakeholders in any land development project visualise the land. Through “point clouds”, which are data points in a coordinate system, surveyors can deliver survey quality files for Building Information Modeling (BIM) and CAD drawings.


Adoption may have been slow when this technology came out. Today, however, you’ll find these unmanned aerial vehicles circling over lands and capturing data. It is suitable for mapping and aerial photography. The small aircraft enables efficiencies in building project, cutting down man-hours by 60 per cent.

There are other technologies that ease, improve and sometimes simplify workflows for surveyors. The bottom line is that innovative devices enable accuracy and speed, providing businesses and government agencies with adequate information to make the right decisions on projects.