Geodetic Surveys – Surveys that take into account the true shape of the earth. Used mainly to establish control networks on a mathematical datum that closely approximates the shape of the earth. The introduction of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) made this type of surveying essential in most projects.
Plane Surveys – Surveys that assume that the earth is flat. This assumption simplifies the procedures and computations of surveying projects. For small, isolated and local projects this assumption may introduce only small and negligible errors.
Control Surveys –Made to establish the horizontal or vertical positions of arbitrary points to be used as a reference in prior and future surveys.
Property Surveys – Surveys that include retracement and establishment of property boundaries including highway Right-of-Way. These are also known as land or boundary surveys.
Topographic Surveys – Made to determine the configuration of the ground.
Engineering Surveys – Surveys performed for the design and cost estimating of fixed works.
Route Surveys – Surveys performed for locating, designing, and constructing transportation facilities.
Construction Surveys – Surveys that establish stakes in the ground, and other like reference points, at known horizontal and vertical positions to define location and size of fixed work contract items, enable inspection of contract items, and serve as a basis of payment for work.
Hydrographic Surveys – Surveys that determine the configuration of the bottom of a water body.
Aerial Survey or Photogrammetry – A method of measurement which is applicable to various surveying activities. Normally, it utilizes aerial photographs and specialized office equipment to perform control, engineering, topographic, and other surveys.