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3D Land Mapping& Surveys

Land, and the spatial context of its location are the fundamental elements on which the built environment exists. The division of this commodity into different uses and ownerships has formed the fabric of society throughout the ages. In the modern, fast developing world the measurement, delineation and mapping of land is essential for property administration and management.

The measurement and capture of topographic, terrain and boundary detail forms the bedrock of MSA’s services and is usually the fundamental starting point from which most development progresses. Our detailed and accurate surveys are produced in either 2D or 3D format and provide Architects, Engineers, Planners and Developers the very best detailed information relating to their site, site envelope, the built environment and surrounding infrastructure. Utility tracing, drainage and CCTV investigations as well as terrain modelling and analysis also form part of depth and breadth of services offered by MSA.



Topographic Surveys

Site and topographic surveys form the foundation of almost every development or planning application and are often the first service to be commissioned. The topographic survey captures and records the topography of the ground surface together with both natural and man-made features within the built environment. It is intended to provide the accurate extents and location of a site, site buildings as well as a good understanding of the levels, physical features, boundaries and drainage in the immediate adjacent area. These plans often form the backdrop to many other services such as boundary determination, engineering works, drainage analysis and utility mapping.

Topographic surveys have traditionally been produced in a 2D format, however, we understand that providing this information in a 3D format greatly improves the design accuracy by providing a coherent and integrated solutions which deliver considerable cost savings. 

Utility Tracing

MSA offers a wide range of surveys aimed at the detection, location and verification of buried and underground service utilities, all in accordance with the latest BSI standards “PAS 128 – Specification for Underground Utility Detection” and The Survey Association (TSA) guidance notes. This can range from a Desktop study of existing utility records (Survey Type D) to a full Verification exercise using various non-penetrative field equipment supplemented by visual examination and potential access (Survey Type A).

Working alongside our Topographic Survey team, we use Electro-magnetic (EML) and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) techniques to deliver reliable and comprehensive layouts of underground utility apparatus which, when combined with written reports and photography, provide an invaluable resource.



Boundary Surveys

With land such a valuable resource, particularly in densely populated environments, it is essential for property owners and developers to have a clear understanding of their sites constraints.

A measured boundary survey is therefore intended to do exactly that and to identify key physical boundary elements. Boundary details such as walls, fences, buildings, hedges are measured and compiled on plans that can be checked against Deeds, Land Registry Plans and Ordnance Survey Digital Data drawings. Such information is invaluable for a boundary expert and will be used to formulate recommendations and opinions when used in conjunction with the property Title Deeds or negotiated agreements. These Surveys are often commissioned to assist in boundary disputes where the delineation of the boundary is unclear and contentious or to establish the site extents so as to maximise development potential.

Terrain Modelling

A digital terrain model (DTM) enables an accurate assessment of the profiles and contours of a site using surveyed field measurements to represent spatial elevation data in a graphical environment. Usually based on a triangular grid, the resulting model can be used for a variety of Civil Engineering and Visualisation applications to deliver more accurate and enhanced solutions.

MSA’s extensive survey based experience has provided the backdrop to numerous terrain modelling projects including runway and taxiway ponding analysis, volumetric assessment of landfill sites and the provision of several accurate urban street models for pedestrian based improvements in Central London. Accurate terrain and surface modelling reduces the uncertainty, improves the assessment of the bill of quantities and enhances the planning and engineering design of infrastructure projects. Terrain models can be enhanced with the modelling of other physical features to provide a fully integrated 3D topographic survey. 


Scan, Model, Create and Animate

Drainage Surveys

MSA is often requested to undertake a drainage investigation in conjunction with a topographic survey to provide a complete service. The intention is to provide a more accurate assessment of site drainage arrangements and to identify cover locations, drainage runs, pipe sizes and depths. This provides a more comprehensive site picture and clarifies how foul and storm water is managed on a property and how this then connects to adopted systems. Further understanding can be gained by a CCTV survey of the site drainage. 

CCTV Surveys

A CCTV survey is the quickest and most accurate way to establish a detailed understanding of the condition of underground drains and pipework. The approach is entirely non-intrusive and early detection of underlying problems can prevent costly damage. The information supplied is used to detect blockages or defects that can result in structural damage to property or impact on continued site operations. An effective CCTV investigation provides certainty and can prevent the cost and inconvenience of invasive intervention needed to resolve a fault.

The resultant imagery when used in conjunction with other drainage investigations provides an accurate picture of current arrangement and conditions. This informs development design and is essential when undertaking a Due Diligence exercise for a property. 

Our Key Services

"Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it."

H. James Harrington |

Entrepreneur and Author