Topographical survey is carried out in several stages
- preparatory: the technical task is being formed, all the necessary source documentation is being collected, its analysis is being carried out, the geodetic survey basis and justification are being studied;
- designing and linking the filming network to the state geodetic network;
- performing linear-angular measurements of terrain elements from points of the survey network;
- drawing up topographic maps, plans and schemes on the basis of spatial information obtained during field measurements and as a result of comparison with the data of the city-planning cadastre (if the survey is carried out within the city limits), tablets of forest rangers and water farms, etc.;
- the final stage is the transfer of topographic materials to the customer. They can be issued either on paper or in electronic form.
The registration of materials of topographic and geodetic works is clearly regulated by the instruction for conducting surveys of an appropriate scale (1: 500, 1: 1000, 1: 2000, 1: 5000), which contains a system of generally accepted conventional signs. A topographic survey is additionally filled with attributive (semantic) information (description of communications, thickness, height and species of trees, etc.), is not displayed on the drawing through a greater density of structures or communications, however, it is entered into the database.
The scale of a topographic survey depends on its intended purpose. The survey is carried out with the help of geodetic instruments: an electronic total station and, sometimes, a tracker (in order to identify or clarify the location of underground utilities).