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
  • As-Built Surveys
  • ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys
  • Title Research
  • Photogrammetric Control
  • LOMA Requests
  • Aerial Photo Control Surveys
  • Construction Stake-Out
  • Preparation of Legal Documents
  • Legal Descriptions
  • Easement & Right-of-Way Investigations
  • Floodplain Elevation Certification

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 Surveys

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.


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.

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


1250 Wrights Lane
West Chester, PA 19380

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

Terrain - A Howell Company

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

Phone: 410-266-1160

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