In this country’s beginnings, many historic figures were land surveyors such as the following presidents: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson as well as the infamous Lewis and Clark and David Thoreau. Throughout the years, the land surveying profession has grown. As a licensed land surveyor today, we now use state-of-the-art technology and the most advanced instruments. We are part architect, engineer, surveyor and archaeologist. When it comes to the history of the lay of the land and use of the structure and whether grandfathering applies or not, we are a historian and lawyer. We are required to study and know the law, real property boundary, land use, zoning, environmental and not to mention general business law and pertinent case law.
The oldest types of surveys in recorded history are boundary surveys, which date back to about 3,500 B.C. In the Ancient Egyptian era, surveyors laid out parcels each spring along the Nile River region after flood waters receded and aligned the pyramids so that their edges were aligned in the cardinal direction of north-south and east west.
George Washington spent a portion of his life subdividing and monumenting lands in the District of Columbia. It has been stated that over 80% of the world’s economy is based on land transactions. As property values increase, the importance of an accurate survey, monumentation, and written records has also increased.