A Guide to GIS Surveying

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GIS (Geographic Information System) surveying is a powerful tool that combines traditional land surveying techniques with geospatial technology to create detailed maps and databases. It allows users to organize, visualize, and analyze vast amounts of data for planning new construction projects or maintaining existing infrastructure.

How Does GIS Land Surveying Work?

GIS surveying begins with the collection of geospatial data using a variety of methods, including GPS, remote sensing, and traditional surveying techniques. The data is then processed and analyzed with specialized software to create detailed maps and models of the surveyed area.

These maps can include a wide range of information, such as property boundaries, elevation, vegetation cover, and infrastructure locations. Once the GIS land survey maps and models have been created, they must be maintained with new data and up-to-date software.

Types of GIS Surveying

  • 3D laser scanning
  • Hydrographic surveying
  • Topographic surveys
  • Expert testimony services
  • ALTA/NSPS land title survey
  • Land division surveys
  • Construction layouts

Who Benefits from GIS and Land Surveying?

GIS surveying has a wide range of applications and benefits for both public and private sectors. Government agencies use GIS surveying for urban planning, environmental management, and infrastructure development, while private companies use it for site selection, land development, and resource management.

The software also helps government departments automate the process of updating property information, which makes life easier for their staff. Real-time location data can also help dispatch resources more quickly, which is especially helpful for emergency response and natural disaster management.

Key Services for GIS Land Surveying

Data Collection

The first step of GIS surveying is data collection, which can include property boundaries, elevation, vegetation cover, and the location of existing infrastructure. The data can be collected quickly and accurately using GPS, remote sensing, and other technologies such as ESRI’s Collector, Field Maps, and Survey 123.

Asset Management

GIS surveying helps organizations manage their assets more effectively by providing accurate and up-to-date information about their location, condition, and maintenance history. This can include visualizations of the location of specific components, methods of tracking repairs, and the categorization of different materials.

Record Management

Having the right record management system will help you manage your data more effectively by providing a centralized database for storing, organizing, and accessing information. An experienced GIS surveyor can assist with creating a searchable records database with as-built drawings, images, video reports, emergency action plans, water service cards, and more.


Once you have all of the data collected and categorized, you can use GIS to get valuable insights into the project that can help your team make the right decisions. The spatial analysis of GIS can be used for a wide range of purposes, including optimizing school bus routes, delineating watersheds for proposed drains, rating asset criticality, and more.


GIS surveying helps organizations maintain their assets more effectively by providing real-time information about their condition and maintenance needs. This information can help you prioritize maintenance activities, reduce downtime, and extend the life of your assets.

ESRI ArcGIS Online Implementation

ESRI ArcGIS Online is a powerful platform for managing and sharing geospatial data. By implementing the software, agencies can access a wide range of tools and services for creating, sharing, and analyzing geospatial data. It can be used to create interactive web maps such as parcel, zoning, utility, and cemetery maps.

Work with Experienced GIS Surveyors

If you’re interested in building or improving your GIS surveying operations and database, the experts at Fleis & VandenBrink are here to help. We have decades of experience helping municipalities of any size with GIS and land surveying services.