History of Surveying

Ancient Egyptians used land surveying for the taxation of land plots in 1,400 B.C. Egyptians used measuring ropes, plumb bobs, and other instruments to measure the dimensions of plots of land.  Land Surveying is an important aspect of land ownership.  It is the process of determining parcel points on a property, as well as the distances between them.

Many of the founders of this country, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln, were all surveyors.  Their work helped map and define our land, leading to its habitation and prosperity.

From its early history, the state has recognized the importance of the practice of land surveying.  The Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying has been an independent Board since 1955.  Before that, in 1919, the State of Texas created a board to license State Land Surveyors to provide a pool of qualified surveyors to the Land Commissioner for official surveys to be filed in the General Land Office.  In 1955 the State of Texas created the TBPLS to license and regulate Registered Public Land Surveyors to provide qualified surveyors to survey land for private landowners.  These two boards were combined in 1979 to form one board to license and regulate surveyors for the survey of public and private lands. 

On June 16, 2019, Governor Greg Abbot signed a historic piece of legislation that merged the regulation of the practices of engineering and land surveying into one board.  Effective September 1, 2019, HB1523 creating the Texas Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors (TBPELS).