Geographical Surveying

Topographic Surveys

Topographic surveys are plans that show the physical properties of a site. These plans may be used by Engineers and Planners to assist with the design of a development proposal, but are not the plans used for the development application. A topographic survey may compliment a development application. It shows the physical constraints that the proponent must consider in a development application, or a detailed design of a site for development purposes.

The surveyor often provides the topographic plan, which shows vertical elevations or contours, as well as physical details above, on and below the ground. Contours are lines on the drawing that join points that have the same elevation on the ground. Contour lines never cross each other, and the closer the lines are to each other, the steeper the slope. Conversely, the further apart the lines are from each other, the flatter the slope.


Hydrographic Surveying

Clarke Surveyors practice the science of measuring and describing the physical features of rivers, lakes, and oceans. Hydrographers survey and chart waters for navigation, determine water depth and measure tide currents. Hydrographic applications include the preparation of navigational charts, tide and current tables, sailing directions and related publications for commercial, industrial and recreational use.

When Clarke Surveyors preform Hydrographic surveys, they are conducted from a moving platform where depth, time, date and position are collected, collated and recorded. Onboard navigation, differential GPS and data logging systems ensure that the survey vessel follows predetermined tracks to give appropriate coverage of the survey area as depth soundings are recorded.

Clarke Surveyors produce Hydrographic surveys for the production of nautical charts, which are graphic portrayals of the marine environment and are essential for safe navigation. They are used to define courses and navigate ships and boats by the shortest and most economically safe route. Hydrographic surveyors compile sounding information, climatology, water clarity data, tidal information and past survey data when preparing a nautical chart, which shows the nature and form of the coastline or shoreline, the depths of the water and general character and configuration of the sea, lake or river bottom. Locations of dangers to navigation, the rise and fall of the tides, locations of man-made aids to navigation, and the characteristics of the Earth's magnetism may also be noted.

Hydrographers also conduct surveys for dredging and construction projects, submerged pipeline and cable crossings, location of wrecks, and maritime boundary delineation. On a national scale, the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) is responsible for surveying Canadian navigable waterways, and for producing a number of nautical publications, including nautical charts in both paper and digital formats, sailing directions, bathymetric maps, tide and current tables and other related publications.

Mining Licence and Permitting

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources require that any mining require a mining permit or licence. These licences involve the preparation of a mining and rehabilitation plans map as well as a report extensively detailing the sites current status, and post mining land use.

Horizontal & Vertical Control Surveys

Horizontal and vertical controls are developed to create a framework around which other surveys can be adjusted. These control surveys are used for accurate mapping projects in the construction of underground utility systems, roadways, power lines, tunnels, and many other high precision projects. Clarke Surveyors Inc. incorporates a complete range of Global Positioning technology including Static GPS, Real Time Kinematic (RTK) GOS and Differential GPS to provide high precision solutions for horizontal and vertical control monumentation.

Horizontal Control Surveys

Horizontal control surveys coordinate horizontal positional data. These positions can be referenced by parallels or plane coordinate axes. Because they are used as a framework for other surveys, these surveys must be precise and accurate. These surveys provide a network of monuments or points on the ground that can be used as the control for any other surveying project, such as a boundary or construction survey. The advantages of using a horizontal control survey is that lost monuments can be replaced accurately, surveys can be coordinated, more than one network station can provide a check to the work, and a reduction in the cost of the project can be achieved. Most horizontals should (and will) be connected to the control network.

Vertical Control Surveys

A vertical control survey determines elevation with respect to sea level. These surveys are also used as a benchmark upon which other surveys are based and high degree of accuracy is required. These surveys are useful for tidal boundary surveys, route surveys, construction surveys and topographic surveys. In a vertical control system, at least two permanent benchmarks should be used, but more may be required depending upon the needs and complexity of the project. These projects are needed for the construction of water and sewer systems, highways, bridges, drains, and other major town or city infrastructure. These surveys can be done alone, but are often done in conjunction with a horizontal control survey.=

Land Information Systems

The Central Production and Verification Services Branch of Service Ontario manages and operates 54 Land Registry Offices throughout Ontario which register, store and manage documents such as deeds, mortgages and plans of survey. Registration of real property is done under either the Land Titles Act or the Registry Act. In the new Polaris system

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POLARIS (Province of Ontario Land Registration Information System) database is the computerized system that stores and manages ownership data for each property in Ontario. All of the information in the POLARIS database is taken from the actual Land Registry Office documents.

Historically, searching title in Ontario has often been a complicated and time consuming activity. Each search required a personal visit to a Land Registry Office to view paper indexes, original instruments and plans. Now all that has changed thanks to Teraview software

POLARIS consists of three databases:

  • The Title Index Database (which replaces the paper abstract indexes and parcel registers)
  • The Property Index Database (which provides a visual index map to properties)
  • The Image Database (which contains images of active instruments in the Title Index Database as well as plans)

The POLARIS database is a transaction-based system and is updated as new documents are registered. The property index map database is also updated as new documents are processed by Land Registry Office staff and subsequent amendments to property boundaries are made to the respective maps.

The Image Database is updated with images of newly registered documents. These documents are captured from Land Registry Office microfilm created after the said documents have been certified by Land Registry Office staff. Images of electronic documents created through the e-reg capability are available shortly after registration.

Teraview software provides remote access to the POLARIS database and streamlines the process of searching title into one manageable, automated system that uses a subscriber's own PC.

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