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For the Public - International Definition of a Surveyor

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As Defined by the International Federation of Surveyors

A surveyor is a professional person with the academic qualifications and technical expertise to practise the science of measurement; to assemble and assess land and geographic related information; to use that information for the purpose of planning and implementing the efficient administration of the land, the sea and structures thereon; and to instigate the advancement and development of such practices. 

A professional surveyor will practise surveying for the benefit of society. The practice of surveying may involve, but is not limited to, one or more of the following activities which may occur either on, above or below the surface of the land or the sea and may be carried out in association with other professionals.

1. Acquiring, interpreting and manipulating geodetic data to determine the shape and size of the earth and its surface.
2. Designing, establishing and managing the spatial infrastructure and fundamental data sets needed to support economic development and environmental management at a local, regional, state or national level.
3. Maintaining a spatial infrastructure, as required, to support an effective cadastre and efficient land tenure systems that meet real estate market requirements.
4. Determining, locating and defining the boundaries of public and private land (including national boundaries), interpreting anomalies in the cadastre, and arbitrating on disputes over boundary location.
5. Designing, establishing and managing spatial reference systems to provide a homogeneous framework for geographic and land information systems.
6. Collecting, analysing and managing geographic data and designing, establishing and administering land and geographic information systems.
7. Measuring, controlling and monitoring the shape, size and location of physical features, structures, machines and engineering works and determining their spatial relationships.
8. Measuring and mapping seabeds, lakes and waterways; measuring tidal movements and current flows; providing information for navigation and maritime developments.
9. Providing information and advice, pertinent to property and its environment, to assist in determining the best sustainable land use and development.
10. Assessing the potential benefits or disadvantages that could accrue from property development and advising clients and government accordingly.
11. Contributing to the development and management of urban and rural properties by planning, advising, negotiating, and implementing procedures.
12. Planning, estimating, designing, measuring, and implementing projects such as construction works, mineral exploration, and mining; and applying prudent financial control and sound project management principles.
13. Producing for clients, plans, maps, files, data bases, models, charts and reports.
14. Advancing the science of measurement; the management and administration of land and land information; the effectiveness of surveying; and the assessment, management, and introduction of new concepts such as geomatics and geoinfomatics.

In application of the foregoing activities, surveyors take into account the relevant ethical, legal, financial, environmental and social aspects affecting each project.

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