<< Back to Blog Home

What’s the Difference Between a Boundary Survey and a Topographic Survey?

boundary survey topographic survey

Looking to buy, sell or develop a parcel of land? There are two kinds of land surveys to consider– depending on your project, you’ll want a boundary survey or a topographic survey. These surveys are key factors in the buying, selling, developing or even redeveloping process. Let’s take a look at the difference between boundary surveys and topographic surveys.

Boundary Survey:

A boundary survey is exactly what it sounds like: It’s the mapping out of the boundaries of the property. Prior to purchasing, sub-dividing or building on the parcel of land, a boundary survey needs to be performed. The overarching goal of conducting a boundary survey is to establish exact measurements of the parcel of land so that improvements or other projects do not encroach on adjoining property lines. Your boundary survey will give you:

Topographic Survey:

Topographic surveys paint the full picture of your land parcel. While boundary surveys show you a single dimension of your land, topographic surveys gather information about your parcel’s approximate elevation and contour. They collect data on structures both above and below the ground. This data includes the locations of both natural elements and man-made structures, such as:

When you are redeveloping a parcel of land, a topographic survey is essential for future use planning, especially if you are considering using the land in a way it has not previously been used. If your project involves new construction, you may also need an as-built survey.

Don’t have any plans drawn up for your project until the team of boundary and topographical specialists at Roger Ward Engineering has completed a full inspection of your parcel.

About Roger Ward Engineering

Roger Ward Engineering (RWE) is a locally owned civil engineering and consulting firm based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Founded in 1999 by Roger Ward Jr., Roger Ward Engineering specializes in site-civil engineering development consulting and construction engineering for various types of projects such as multi-family, institutional, commercial, industrial and residential markets.

In 2013, Roger Ward Sr. joined the firm, bringing extensive experience in the public sector markets as well as water and wastewater facility consultation. Roger Ward Sr. is now the firm’s majority owner and chief executive officer.