Land surveying is a rather solitary and focused job. However, the information gleaned from a survey puts professionals in a unique position to help resolve boundary disputes, legal questions, and even the occasional criminal case.
If you ever thought surveying needed a bit more excitement, here are 4 ways to stretch your skills and help your community.
#1: Property Boundary Disputes
It’s a story that’s as old as the hills. Where there is property, there are property boundaries. Where there are boundaries, chances are there’s a landowner who thinks the opposite side of the fence has more than its fair share.
Although a land surveyor can map the boundaries, sometimes that’s not enough to satisfy one or both property owners. That’s when a dispute may become a court case. Attorneys and judges need facts that the surveyor can provide. As an expert witness, land surveyors help the court system arrive at the right decisions.
#2: Criminal Case Expert Witness Testimony
Land surveyors should be trusted throughout the community because of their skills, record keeping and precision. Whether through a deposition or by taking the witness stand in court, the information gathered and recorded by a land surveyor can help an attorney prove a fact and the court issue justice.
The surveyor’s opinion isn’t just important for helping settle civil boundary disputes or torts. There’s a branch of the industry known as forensic surveying. According to the North Carolina Society of Surveyors Education Foundation, forensic surveyors may map crime scenes, which can help criminal cases end fairly.
#3: Land Development and Construction Issues
Where bare land is developed or previously used land is converted for new use, land surveyors help construction proceed with a better understanding of the measurements and any obstructions that exist above and below ground. That includes surveying the ocean floor.
Construction surveyors map the location of utility lines, existing improvements such as roads and other buildings, and every other obstruction that architects, engineers, and contractors need to know about. That’s according to the NC Society of Surveyors Education Foundation. They’re also called upon to help rebuild after a disaster.
#4: Easement and Right of Way Determinations
Property owners don’t always have exclusive rights to their land. If a utility company needs access, they can pay the owner a fair sum to acquire the use. This is usually a permanent situation. An Easement is the right to use, and a Right of Way is the actual piece of property that the easement empowers the acquiring body to use. Land surveyors map the easement location, but they may also be called upon to offer evidence in an eminent domain case.
Eminent domain gives the government or an agency the right to use private property as long as the owner is compensated for it. Although it’s generally considered the law of the land, not every property owner believes that it’s an equitable agreement. Where the owner disputes the government’s rights, or if the right of way is flawed, a land surveyor can provide vital details that clarify the boundaries.
Land surveyors use the same equipment and apply most of the same skills every day. Even so, every job is different. Sometimes, the call of duty extends to crime scenes and the courtroom. And sometimes, surveying skills help landowners erect a new fence in the right spot.
There’s never a truly dull moment in surveying, not when you think about all of the ways your skills help the community that you serve. To stay on top in your industry, we offer the right continuing education courses, right when you need them. When your next credit hours are due, find out what makes PDH Academy the best and most convenient choice for Land Surveyor continuing education.