What is Geospatial Surveying?

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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Geospatial surveying refers to the process of gathering precise data about the physical environment and locations on the earth’s surface. It involves integrating field measurements with geographic information systems (GIS) and other mapping technologies.

Key aspects of geospatial surveying include:

  • Land Surveying – Measuring and mapping the landscape in detail, including natural and manmade features. This provides in-depth data about boundaries, elevations, distances, and contours.
  • Photogrammetry – Taking measurements from aerial photographs to create topographic maps and 3D models. This provides overview perspectives.
  • LiDAR – Using light detection and ranging remote sensors to scan the environment. This creates detailed elevation models even below forest canopies.
  • Hydrographic Surveying – Surveying water environments including seas, rivers and harbors. This provides navigational and engineering data.
  • Cartography – Compiling the collected geospatial data into visual maps, charts, and dynamic digital maps/models.

Geospatial surveying requires use of advanced technologies like global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), robotic total stations, 3D laser scanners, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The accurate data gathered through geospatial surveys serves many purposes including infrastructure and construction planning, navigation, urban development, mining, natural resource management, and more. It provides critical environmental intelligence.


Steven Galvin

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