Land surveys

4 facts you didn’t know about land surveys & land surveying


While land surveys might not be the most interesting thing in the world to a lot of people, it’s hard to deny that there’s certainly some pretty cool and unique history behind the profession. As a professional in site engineering and an experienced land surveyor Essex-based MG Surveys are here with 4 facts from the world of land surveys that we think are pretty neat!

1. You may have heard of Captain James Cook, who is arguably one of the world’s most famous navigators and explorers and is best known for exploring New Zealand and Australia, places that were otherwise untouched at the time. What you may not have known is that he was also a land surveyor, and one of the most important in history.

Being one of the first to sail every ocean, step on every major continent, and the first to sail across both the Antarctic and Arctic, James carried out land surveys as he went and was able to document all kinds of new discoveries and help people better understand the map of the world. His discoveries through land surveys meant he was able to map new islands and coastlines for the first time in detail. This scale of surveying was never previously attempted and he was the first western explorer to do so, making him a very important part of land surveying history.

2. One of the most famous lines in history, The Mason and Dixon line, is actually a survey line! Together with the Ohio River, the Mason-Dixon line was considered the dividing line in the civil-war period between slave states and free-soil states. Its importance is down to its historical significance and representation of the freedom of many African Americans escaping Southern state slavery. Two surveyors were hired to mark out a 233-mile line that separates Pennsylvania and Maryland to settle border disputes. The agreed-upon line took 4 whole years to mark out and cost $75,000. What’s more, the line is completely accurate!

land surveys

3. Dating back to the first land ownership record recorded in Egypt around 3,000 B.C, land surveying is one of the oldest known professions and one of the most respected. Surveyors throughout history have been held on a high pedestal, as having a good understanding of mathematics and working with scientific tools is required for the job, which a lot of people didn’t have the education to do in early history. Land surveyors, especially in ancient Greece and Rome, were held to the standard of education that we consider lawyers and doctors to hold today.

4. A lot of early American presidents were actually formerly land surveyors! John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and even Abraham Lincoln were all previously land surveyors before coming into presidency. Perhaps the most influential was George Washington, who was a former map maker, land surveyor, and soldier before becoming president of the United States. Washington’s land surveys days earned him the reputation of being a good and honest man, which went in his favor to help him become the first president of the United States.

So there we are, 4 highly historical and interesting facts about land surveys you perhaps didn’t know!

While technology and equipment have significantly developed since Egyptian times, the profession is still a highly valued service and requires some serious skill. As important as it was in 3,000 B.C, land surveys are still used in secure and accurate construction.
If you are looking for a measured building survey, Essex’s finest is here to help. To find out how we can help, get in touch with MG Surveys today!