About Us


Welcome to the Society of Land Surveyors of Iowa

The Society of Land Surveyors of Iowa was formally founded in 1957 in Ames, Iowa.  Annual meetings for the betterment of land surveying can be traced back prior to that time.

Through the years, technological advances have changed the appearance and product of the professional land surveyor, but the core principle of impartially protecting interests in land by superior knowledge of history, related law, evaluation of evidence, and prior surveys has not changed.
SLSI is committed to keeping the professional land surveyor abreast of the latest in technology while holding to this core principle.

Our Purpose

1. To advance the science of land surveying and mapping
2. To raise the standards of land surveying practice
3. To advance the professional status and economic welfare of land surveyors
4. To contribute to the public education of the necessity for professional land surveying
5. To establish a central source of reference for land surveyors

What Surveyors Do

According to the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS), there are a number of services that only a licensed Professional Surveyor is allowed to provide, specifically those related to the location of property boundaries, but Surveyors also provide a wide variety of land related services such as location, topography, spatial position, and land use planning. Basically, anything related to land location and use will generally require the services of a Professional Surveyor. 

A few of these services include: 

  • Boundary line surveys and consultation
  • Subdivision of land
  • Topographic maps and accident site maps
  • Construction surveys for placement of planned buildings, facilities, utilities, etc.
  • Flood insurance maps (FEMA Flood Certificates; Letters of Map Amendment, etc.)
  • Hydrographic maps (maps of the topography underwater)
  • Volumetric calculations for stockpiles (coal piles, etc.)
  • Control networks to reference property within a specific local, state, or national geospatial framework

When you need a Surveyor

Not every individual may require the direct services of a Professional Surveyor during their lifetime, but everyone benefits from the services of Professional Surveyors in some way.  The NSPS outlines many examples where we may find a professional surveyor's work.

If you walk down the street, drive on a highway, take off or land at an airport, enjoy a boat ride on the lake, ride a train across the countryside, take your children to the neighborhood park, or ride/walk on public trail that activity has been in some way facilitated by the work of a Professional Surveyor.

If you are a seller or potential purchaser of a home or property; a title attorney; loan officer; real estate agent; or real estate attorney you rely on the expertise of a Professional Surveyor who has established, or will at some point establish or identify, the location of property boundary markers, and whether there are potential issues, such as whether, and to what extent, the property lies near or within a designated flood zone. Simply stated, the Professional Surveyor provides for purchaser’s peaceful occupation of the land.

If there are features (driveways, fences, buildings, plants/trees, plots of timber, recreational amenities such as pools, etc.) on land you own, or on property you intend to purchase, only a Professional Surveyor can officially determine whether those features lie partially, or completely, on that property.

If you are a developer, architect, engineer, or other professional involved in the division or development of land, you will require the services of a Professional Surveyor in any number of ways. Those can include a boundary survey; a topographic survey; construction layout survey; the location of potential impediments to development such as flood zones, wetlands, physical boundary-line encroachments, easements, accessways, etc. The Professional Surveyor does not always determine whether these impediments exist, but is the one who is responsible (generally by law) to identify their location relative to the property’s boundary lines, and to other features on the land. Although not all Professional Surveyors possess the expertise to identify the above mentioned issues, many do, so it is important to inquire whether the Professional Surveyor will both identify and locate them, or will locate them based on identification by some other expert.

Generally speaking, among the variety of professional services providers, the Professional Surveyor is the only one that is likely to be involved in a project from beginning to end. He/she is the first on the property to verify its boundaries and acreage; the one to provide official maps/plats utilized to purchase or identify the useable space for any intended purpose, and to create official plats for any division of the land; the one to provide reference points for the construction of streets, utilities, buildings, etc.; the one to confirm that features constructed on the site are located in the correct horizontal and vertical location, and thus ready for use.

Whether you realize it or not, your life is affected every day by the expertise, dedication, and skills of a Professional Surveyor.