Trust the team known for surveying excellence

Surveying Services

Professional land surveying is one of the services that helped  build the Howell reputation for exceeding expectations.

Based in Chester County, PA, we specialize in land surveying for residential and commercial projects of all types. So whether you’re a homeowner, developer, architect, engineer or site contractor, we have the tools, skills, experience and knowledge of the region to take care of all your surveying needs.

 As expert land surveyors, we pride ourselves in providing our clients with the precise, high-value information you need to achieve your project goals. Our years of surveying experience allow us to search, collect, compile and present that information in a complete, cost-effective package that will provide value throughout the life of your project.

We provide the following land surveying services:

  • Boundary & Property Surveys
  • Topographic Surveys
  • Subdivisions
  • High Definition Laser Scanning/3D Modeling
  • As-Built Surveys
  • Foundation/Building Location Certification
  • ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys
  • Title Research
  • Construction Stakeout
  • Photogrammetric Control
  • Lidar and Aerial Surveys
  • Floodplain Elevation Certification
  • LOMA Requests
  • Preparation of Legal Documents
  • Legal Descriptions
  • Easement & Right-of-Way Investigations
  • Construction Services

Boundary and Property Line Surveys

Map your property with precision.

A boundary survey locates, describes, and maps a parcel’s property lines as described in a deed. It also indicates any easements or encroachments and may show the limitations imposed on the property by state or local regulations. A boundary survey may be an original survey or a retracement survey.

An original survey is a subdivision of land into smaller tracts, such as the original warrant surveys for subdividing the lands of William Penn. Any subdivision of an existing tract of land is also an original survey. The performance of such a survey is dictated by the client’s needs, site considerations, state laws, and local ordinances governing subdivisions. However, before a tract of land can be subdivided, a retracement survey must establish its corners and boundaries.


A retracement survey re-establishes the corners and boundary lines of a parcel of land previously surveyed. This involves thorough research of both public and private records to arrive at a proper description of the property. Often the surveyor must include a historical analysis of property configurations in the general area. Such research may involve public records in other county courthouses or even original warrant tracts. Angular and linear measurements locating existing property corners and other evidence of ownership are then correlated with this title research.

Howell thoroughly researches the historical records relating to a property and often all lands surrounding it. After research, the field work begins—establishing a control network of known points which are then used to locate any existing monument points and other evidence of boundaries. Once this is completed, the survey team compiles all information in order to confirm their findings. They then return to the site and set the final monuments. In conclusion, our surveyors draft a plan, prepare a legal description, and provide a report.

Construction Stakeout

The right way to stake out your plans.

A construction survey stakeout is a layout of alignment and grades for the construction of roads, curbs, storm sewers, sanitary sewers, waterlines, stormwater management facilities, buildings, pipelines, power lines and other improvements to the land.

The Howell team works closely with you and your site improvements contractor for seamless communication and quick response to your construction stakeout needs, ensuring smooth workflow with no delays.


Topographic Surveys

Get the lay of the land for smarter plans.

A topographic survey locates the elevations and contours of the land and location of natural and manmade features such as streams, buildings, quarries, fences, roads, woodlands, etc.

This type of survey is of particular use (and typically needed) when you’re planning an addition or installing a pool.


ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys

Document every detail.

The land title survey map shows particular information discoverable from survey and inspection, including details that are not necessarily reflected in public records. Matters of particular concern for a land title survey can include unrecorded easements, access roads to other properties, physical encroachments of buildings, and other visible adverse uses of the property by other parties.

An ALTA Survey is a land survey developed by a partnership of the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM). This nationwide standard is used by land companies when dealing with valuable commercial properties and provides information to lenders, corporations, and title companies.

A current title commitment must be acquired before an ALTA Survey can be completed. Howell then refers to the title commitment for the legal description of the property and any exceptions. Our survey rendering shows areas of ownership, improvements, and exceptions. If we discover any encroachments, they are shown graphically along with a detailed description.


LiDAR and Aerial Drone Surveys

The high-tech approach for high-performance results.

Drones have proven to be a valuable tool in civil engineering and surveying, decreasing the amount of time it takes to get survey data or imagery of the job site. Using a drone has reduced some of our data acquisition time to roughly 25% of what it would typically take. A project that would traditionally take five days of hand field surveying to complete now takes just one day with the use of drones.

Incorporating LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) into UAS systems allows us to efficiently collect topographic information in varying site conditions to incorporate with the high-definition imagery.

The process is relatively straightforward. Depending on job site size and project scope, we will use UAVs to gather site imagery—similar to a Google map, but much more accurate. We then convert that imagery to AutoCAD-usable files.


Our Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) is a remotely controlled quad-copter equipped with a high-resolution camera. The high-resolution images it captures can be digitally stitched together to create a digital ortho-photograph—an image that has any distortion removed, thereby allowing for accurate measurements between points in the photo. Three-dimensional point clouds can also be generated from the photographs, allowing for measurements in 3D as well.

We look at the site using our drone processing software and outline the area of the job site we wish to capture.

Next, we design a UAV flight plan and set variables such as the drone flight height and image overlap to increase the accuracy of the final image.


The UAV follows the flight plan and collects data and imagery. We process the data and imagery and use it to enhance your project. We can create various types of exports, including flat, top-down ortho mosaic images that can range in accuracy from .5 inches per pixel to 20 inches per pixel. We can also get elevation imagery, a color-based image map that shows the elevation changes on the site.

UAS / Drone Use for Surveying and Engineering:

  • High-Resolution Aerial Photography of the project site
  • ALTA Surveys
  • Geo-referenced Tiff Image of the project site in world space
  • Area Calculations Using Photogrammetry
  • Topsoil Stockpile Dirt Measurements
  • Basin Volume Measurements
  • Sports Field Elevation
  • Impervious Coverage Calculations
  • Distance Measurements
  •  Asset Accounting such as cars or trees

3D Laser Scanning

Gather all dimensional data.

3D Laser Scanning has the ability to digitize your project by collecting high-density point clouds. This can all be collected non-intrusively and provide a level of detail that cannot be achieved through conventional surveying methods alone. This is most ideal when dealing with high-level tolerances, such as structural, mechanical, and utility construction.

Construction Services

Surveying excellence in action.

Elevate your construction with Howell's end-to-end surveying expertise. Our seasoned team excels in diverse site construction and seamlessly integrates our comprehensive services into your construction project workflow. 

We provide the following construction surveying services:

  • Site Control Network

    Ensure precision in both horizontal and vertical accuracy with a site control network prepared by Howell. We can provide you with established control points, benchmarks, GPS calibrations, and GPS Base Post positioning to ensure your design plans align seamlessly with the field conditions.

  • Data Preparation, Site Modeling, and Machine Control
    Stay ahead in the competitive site construction market by leveraging cutting-edge technology. Our adept team prepares your project's design information for optimal use in GPS or robotic positioning systems.

  • Construction Stakeout
    Experience precision in construction layout with our stakeout services. We expertly provide alignment and grade layouts for various construction elements, including roads, curbs, storm and sanitary sewers, and buildings.

  • Building Location Certifications & As-Built Plans
    Navigate municipal requirements seamlessly with our licensed professionals. We identify specific certification needs and prepare requisite documents to ensure your construction aligns with design plans.

  • Pipe Inspection

    Trust Howell for thorough CCTV video inspection of pipes. We offer CCTV video inspection for sanitary and stormwater pipes over 6" in diameter. Our advanced robotic CCTV inspection crawler is a safe way to view, verify, record and report on pipe installation and integrity. These findings can be sent directly from the field for instant results and feedback.

  • Drone Services

    Harness the power of drone technology to enhance project efficiency. Our FAA-licensed drone pilots can swiftly gather precise data, providing valuable insights for project progress monitoring, volume calculations and high-definition aerial photography.

Automated Monitoring with Trimble T4D Web Services

Monitor, Manage, and Collaborate with Live Monitoring in an Interactive Environment.

With this exciting survey-grade technology, our clients can keep their sites safer and more efficient while providing an economical solution for long-term, large-scale projects.


  • Railroad Construction
  • Highways and Bridges
  • Buildings and Structures
  • Dams and Mining
  • Geotechnical

With Trimble precision equipment and software applications, our clients no longer need to worry about scheduling survey field crews, waiting for reports, or questioning the integrity of the data. We offer project-proven delivery with a website interface known as T4D Web that allows clients and owners on the project to review the data live… keeping you in the know! Howell Surveying handles everything from installation and monitoring plans to daily monitoring and reporting, without the need for watchmen on rail projects or equipment being in the way and endangering workers on construction projects. Once installed, systems will operate 24/7 and monitor any project duration at any interval!


West Chester

1250 Wrights Lane
West Chester, PA 19380

Phone: 610-918-9002
Fax: 610-918-9003


5020 Ritter Road #203 Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

A Howell Company

53 Old Solomons Island Rd. Suite I
Annapolis, MD 21401

Phone: 410-266-1160

A Howell Company

1250 Wrights Lane
West Chester, PA 19380

Phone: 610-692-7007

Copyright © 2024 Howell Engineering. Howell Surveying. Howell Environmental. Terrain.   Terms & Conditions   Privacy Policy   Site by Smith & Howell Design Co.