A survey in which the shape of the land is measured in the field and converted to a contour map. This map uses lines at certain elevations to represent the corresponding land features. It the course of a “normal” survey, the planimetric (or improvements, such as roads, buildings, wells, etc.) are located. For a topographic survey, these are also located but so is the shape of the land. This service can be a stand-alone map for developers and architects or as an add-on to a lot or boundary survey.
There are several means of collecting and placing the contours on the map. The most accurate, and most costly, is to physically “shoot” the ground in the course of a survey. There are also other services that utilize aerial photography or remote sensing functions. These are less accurate, but are typically less expensive.