BLAIR — Land surveying is about more than just where to put up fence posts to mark one’s property line. Surveys help set property values and determine if a construction site is located at a safe location.
Though the field does pertain to land plats and keeping territory properly marked, surveyors are involved in other areas.
In some cases with the S.C. Department of Transportation, accident cases require surveyors to measure skid marks or document the land on which an accident took place.
The roads people travel, be they less traveled or not, and the homes they live in would not be possible were it not for surveyors. To determine safe banking and curving of highways, it takes surveys.
“Roads didn’t just happen,” said Mike Mills, an owner of Glenn Associates surveying in Blair. “Civil engineering depends on surveyors to collect data they use for design.”
Surveying helped SCANA determine nuclear plant expansion could happen in Fairfield County and surveying helps utility companies find the best places for utility line construction. Infrastructure and work force are two of the key things industry looks toward when settling in a county.
“Surveyors have always been pathfinders,” said Mills.
Of the four early presidents shown on Mt. Rushmore, Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson were surveyors.
“As one of the earliest settlements in the New World, it is no surprise that South Carolina has a rich history in land surveying,” said Kent Hudson, president of the S.C. Society of Professional Surveyors. “For settlers to get land grants they had to go through a rigorous process which included surveying of the land.”
South Carolina currently has about 1,700 licensed surveyors. Today’s surveyors must have knowledge of mathematics, physical and applied science and surveying law along with an understanding of the history of surveying.
As National Surveyors Week comes to a close, surveyor Brian Bonds with Glenn Associates reminded property owners in Fairfield County to have up-to-date surveys done by professionals to ensure one knows the boundaries of his or her property. Those surveys are required during estate settlement before an inheritance of property can be divided.
If you hire a professional land surveyor, have the following ready: your name, current address, phone number, name of the current landowner, Tax Map Number, property location, and the deed book/page number of the current deed.
When it is determined that a land survey is needed, only a Professional Land Surveyor, licensed by the S.C. State Board of Registration for Engineers and Surveyors, is legally permitted to survey land in South Carolina. Every Professional Land Surveyor must follow the requirements listed in the Standards of Practice for Land Surveying in South Carolina.
Bonds pointed out that a well-qualified land surveyor asks a potential client of his or her needs then puts technical procedures such as 3-D mapping into layman’s terms and explains why certain charges are required.