A church with an surveyor


Monitoring Survey

The relative location of a structure, wall, landmass or any other object can be monitored for movement either horizontally and vertically with respect to a fixed location such as Control Points or Bench Marks. This type of survey is utilized generally to determine how a foundation or other improvement moves with the expansion and contraction of the soil and is required by some governmental agencies during the course of construction.

Route Survey

This is essentially a topographic, boundary and utility survey limited to the proposed right of way of either an easement or a road or highway. It is generally ordered by an engineer, governmental agency or utility company when acquiring or proposing a new road or easement. Preparation of exhibits for parcel acquisitions and the required survey for partitioning the land are frequently made in addition to the above.

Land Development

We do various forms of Land Development including:


A key service offered by Chris Nelson and Associates is the preparation of ALTA/ACSM surveys. These acronyms represent American Land Title Association and American Congress on Surveying and Mapping. These two agencies have jointly prepared and adopted a set of minimum standards regarding the preparation of boundary surveys and as-builts.

An ALTA survey illustrates property improvements, easements, rights-of-way, and any other elements impacting the ownership of land. The purpose is to provide the title company with the information required to insure the title to the land and improvements to the high degree that a commercial development may require. In addition to the minimum standards set forth, a table of optional elements is included in the ALTA/ACSM standards. A careful review of the elements from the optional "Table A" is helpful in delineating a clear scope of the land surveyor's services.

A current title commitment is required before an ALTA Survey can be completed. The surveyor will refer to the title commitment for the legal description of the property and for the legal description of any encumbrances (exceptions). Areas of ownership, improvements and encumbrances will be shown graphically. If the survey discovers any encroachments, they should be shown graphically, and a note indicating the nature of the encroachment may also be added.

The certification language of the ALTA Survey should include the names of the affected parties, including as appropriate the buyer, seller, title company, and lender. The surveyor must work in close association with the title insurance company, as the surveyor and the title company are relying on each other’s work to show the matters affecting the ownership of the land and improvements in a comprehensive manner.


A Topographic map is a site map that illustrates both natural and man made features of a project site depicted through the usage of contour lines, spot elevations and >>> Generally these types of surveys are provided to engineers, architects, geologist, and building contractors for design and build purposes. This means that we will collect any information that might affect the site design. Some examples of natural features include drainage patterns, rock outcroppings, hills, ditches, slopes, wetlands and vegetation. Man made features can include buildings, above and below ground utilities, detention ponds, roads, drives, parking lots and more. Topographic contours can be shown at any interval that is specified by the client. In areas of steep terrain a larger contour interval can show the topography without crowding the map that would be introduced by a smaller contour interval. In areas of relatively flat terrain, a smaller contour interval is necessary to show the detailed changes in topography in a meaningful way. For smaller sites, the information may be gathered by traditional survey methods using a conventional total station, robotic total station or real-time kinematic GPS. For larger sites, it may be more appropriate and cost-effective to use aerial mapping methodology.

As-Built Surveys

An as-built is a survey that delineates the post construction improvements or features and verifies to a regulatory agency. It is the job of a Professional Land Surveyor to verify the facts and certify a drawing or map that accurately illustrates what was finally built.

The typical As-built that is ordered by our clients includes roadways, schools, shopping centers, sub-divisions, factories, landfills, sanitary sewer collection systems, storm drain collection systems and site grading.

Typically, when as-built survey is ordered we will locate not only the physical features that were built but we also verify that the property corners in the ground and in the proper location. This allows us to depict the boundary lines on our certified map. As-built surveys are also used to verify the height of structures and structure setbacks from property line.

Boundary Services

If your boundary needs are for a small lot survey to a large parcel of land, our team of experts can perform this service for you in a professional and timely manner.

The primary idea behind a boundary survey is to re-establish or recover the property corners of for any given piece of property and to then produce a map that delineates the property. This is a highly regulated process and the law requires a Professional Land Surveyor to supervise the project and to place a state authorized seal & signature on the final map.

Boundary surveying is a highly detailed and intricate process that requires a variety of skills. The basic steps involved include the initial client consultation, the governmental and title research of the subject property and surrounding properties, field inspection, field measuring, collection of evidence, comparison of field evidence to governmental and title research, determination of boundary lines, re-setting missing property corners, preparation of the final Record of Survey or Corner Record and delivery of survey map to the client.

Construction Surveying

A key service provided by Chris Nelson and Associates is various forms of Construction surveying. Construction surveying is the service of providing survey control to enable the contractor to construct the project in conformance with the provided plans. We employ the use of robotic surveying instruments and Global Positioning Systems to insure that we stay competitive with our prices and accurate in our layout process. Construction Surveying is the translation of construction plans into physical points on the ground that can be used as a basis for the actual construction. The results of construction surveying are seen in almost any urban, suburban, and even rural setting. Almost any graded area, roadway, building, or other man-made improvement probably had some amount of construction surveying involved. Construction surveying provides not only the horizontal location of new improvements, but also the vertical information required to ensure that surfaces drain or pipes flow as required.

A successful construction project requires a dependable timeline. Chris Nelson & Associates, Inc. prides itself on prompt service and will be onsite in 48 hours or less from authorization to proceed and receipt of the necessary plans.

Flood Elevation Certificates

A key service offered by Chris Nelson and Associates is the certification of the location of any particular property as related to Flood Insurance Rate Maps. The FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) prepares Flood Insurance Rate Maps also known as FIRMs that depict the extent of Special Flood Hazard Areas and other thematic features related to flood risk assessment.

Special Flood Hazard Areas are subject to inundation by a flood having a one- percent or greater probability of being equaled or exceeded during any given year (this is also known as a 100-year flood event). This flood, which is referred to as the base flood, is the national standard on which the floodplain management and insurance requirements of the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) are based. The mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements of the 1973 National Flood Insurance Act apply only when a structure is located in an SFHA in a community that is participating in the NFIP. Such a structure is required to be insurable by the NFIP under their rules. Even though a portion of the land parcel upon which the structure is planned or built may be within an SFHA, the mandatory purchase of flood insurance is triggered only if the structure itself is within an SFHA.

Determining whether a structure is located in an area of special flood hazard requires the examination of the location of the structure in relationship to the areas of special flood hazard as shown on the applicable FIRM. FIRMs do not include all roads within communities, nor do they depict address, property boundary, or structure location information. Additionally, the FIRMs are usually drawn at a large scale covering great areas of land, making precise determinations of flood risk difficult. As a result of these factors, determinations frequently can be made only by using an ancillary source of data, such as a land parcel map, to determine the location of a particular property on the FIRM.