Topographic surveys have many uses and are used to delineate the surface of the ground with contours and spot elevations along with existing improvements. Many times the topography map is the first map acquired to determine the existing site conditions and is a key element used by design professionals.

A topographic survey is a survey that gathers data about the elevation of points on a piece of land and presents them as contour lines on a plot that are used to delineate surface elevations, land contours, drainage patterns and other key items. The purpose of a topographic survey is to collect survey data about the natural and man-made features of the land, as well as its elevations. This type of map may also show site improvements such as buildings, structures, walls, trees and streets.

Topographic maps are may times requested by architects, engineers, geologists, and building contractors and used as a basemap for design of proposed improvement plans.