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Benzie Surveyor: Land Surveyor Tools

Land surveying requires an in-depth understanding of mathematics, measurements, and various land surveying tools. Northern MI land surveyors (like Benzie County Surveyors) have access to an arsenal of tools that help them make accurate and dependable property measurements. These tools include levels, tripods, surveying rods, and global positioning systems, to name a few.

Land Clearing Tools

Northern MI land surveyors, including Benzie County Surveyors make routine use of various types of land clearing tools, such as brush cutters, in order to gain access to remote pieces of land during a survey.

Stakes and Sledgehammers, Tape Measures and Rulers

Perhaps the oldest means of surveying a piece of land is performed with stakes. Stakes are used to mark specific locations within a piece of land. These locations are used as a means of measurement when referenced in comparison to other specific locations. Rulers and tape measures are still used routinely today when making various types of land measurements.


Levels serve as an important tool for land surveyors. Remember, land surveys are not two-dimensional. They also dictate the property owner’s rights in the air, as well as underground. Mechanical and optical levels are used to determine the exact location of an aerial or underground boundary.

northern mi land surveyor theodoliteTheodolites and EDM’s (Electronic Distant Measurement)

Theodolites and EDM’s are two tools that have been combined into one tool to measure exact angles and distances. The Theodolites of today allow surveyors to measure not only horizontal angles, and vertical angles, they also measure horizontal and slope distances.


Global positioning systems, or GPS, are used by many modern land surveyors. GPS devices allow land surveyors to determine their precise location and create accurate measurements of their location in comparison to other known locations on a particular piece of land. GPS measurements depend on satellites, which orbit the earth, and a method of measurement known as triangulation.

Calculators and Computer Systems

In previous years, surveyors had to use paper and pencils in order to perform detailed mathematical calculations. These calculations were used to determine the exact location and measurement of the piece of land that had been surveyed. These measurements were then hand-drawn onto graphs to create topographical maps. The maps provided government agents and property owners with a detailed drawing and depiction of their property boundaries.

Today, land surveyors use calculators and various types of computer software in order to create computerized drawings and land surveys. The surveyor takes the necessary measurements, enters them into the computer software, and the computer produces a detailed topographical map of the land in question.

If you are in need of a land survey in the Northern Michigan area surrounding Antrim, Benzie, Kalkaska, Grand Traverse, Leelanau or Manistee counties contact Benzie surveyor at DPS Surveying and Mapping located in Traverse City, today to schedule an appointment.