A topographic or architectural survey, is a detailed survey that is used to create a detailed map or plan of a piece of land, including both natural and man-made features. The purpose of a topographic survey is to document the shape and contours of the land, as well as any structures, trees, bodies of water, and other physical features that are present on the property.
A topographic survey typically includes some or all of the following information:
- Elevation contours, which show the shape of the land and how it changes in elevation
- Spot elevations, which show the precise elevation at specific points on the property
- Location of natural features such as trees, bodies of water, and rock outcroppings
- Location of man-made features such as buildings, roads, and utility lines
- Property boundaries, which show the location of the property lines and any easements or rights of way that may be in effect.
An architectural survey, on the other hand, is a type of survey that is used to document the details of a building or structure, including its size, shape, and construction materials. This type of survey is typically used to assess the condition of a building, to plan renovations or repairs, or to document a building for historical or architectural research.
In New York, architectural and topographic surveys are used by architects, engineers, developers, and construction professionals, to plan new buildings and infrastructures, renovate existing ones, and also for other purposes such as site planning, land use, zoning and historical research. The type and extent of information on an architectural or topographic survey will vary depending on the specific project and the needs of the client, but generally they provide a detailed representation of the property or building, with enough information to allow professionals to make informed decisions.