What Is Primary Surveying in Oklahoma Civil Engineering?

Oct 28, 2022 | Civil Engineer

Expansive Oklahoma civil engineering projects, such as electrical grids, roads, and sewer systems, significantly impact their surrounding areas. These structures are important, so the planning and construction entities must have as much accurate data as possible to ensure success. Land surveying is a key part of the process because it provides essential information on the land itself.


Surveying and Civil Engineering Tulsa: Understanding the Types of Surveys

Before searching for a “surveying company near me,” it helps to understand more about land surveying and its role in civil engineering. The types of surveys can be classified as “primary” or “secondary.”


The Primary Types of Surveying

The two primary types of surveying are plane and geodetic. Plane surveying is done by state and private agencies for areas that are fewer than 250 km2. Instead of considering the Earth as a sphere (as this large scale is not needed for the survey’s minor dimensions), the mean surface of the ground is observed as a flat plane.

Geodetic surveys are conducted by a nation’s survey department for areas greater than 250 km2. The objective of this survey is to calculate a precise position on the ground’s surface; to get the greatest possible accuracy, the curved shape of the Earth is considered while making measurements.


The Secondary Types of Surveying

These surveys are classified based on their nature, instruments, or purpose; as such, there are various types of secondary surveying. For example:

  • Topographical, hydrographic, and aerial surveys are classified by their nature.
  • Chain, compass, and theodolite surveying is named after its main instrument.
  • Geological, mine, and military surveys are conducted for a specific purpose.


How Does Surveying Contribute to Oklahoma Civil Engineering?

Most civil engineering Tulsa projects will involve plane surveying as its primary type. The secondary type of survey conducted will depend on the specific project. Land surveying professionals should start contributing to a project at its very beginning.

Before construction starts, a survey technician will conduct a highly comprehensive survey. After researching legal documentation and thoroughly examining the area’s boundaries and topographic features, the information can ensure that the project has the best possible placement. The survey technician will also help by:

  • Contributing to infrastructure development.
  • Maximizing overall project efficiency.
  • Preventing damage to the surrounding area.

All of this will help the project run smoothly and contribute to the security and safety of the completed structure.


There are many more ways that a technician can contribute to a project’s success. For example, depending on the specific needs of the planning and construction entities, the technician can assist by:

  • Reducing the risk of property-related disputes with accurate boundary maps.
  • Marking out the exact positions of significant works on engineering maps.
  • Showing the lines between commercial and residential spaces with cadastral maps.
  • Describing a property’s natural and artificial features on topographical maps.
  • Showing the best routes and required earthwork on helpful contour maps.


Looking for a Civil Engineering and Surveying Company Near Me?

During any part of a project, it is essential to work with the right team of professionals. With decades of experience in both engineering and surveying, Sisemore & Associates can help make your next significant project a success. Please contact us to learn more about our services.