Our Surveyor SERIVCES in Black River Falls, WI

Maps of Survey

Perhaps the simplest format for a survey, a Map (or sometimes called a Plat) of Survey can be used to show a survey of an existing parcel of land or the division of a parcel that does not require a CSM. They can depict an entire boundary, just one line of a parcel, or, in come cases, just document the location of one corner. These maps must meet the requirements of Chapter AE-7 of Wisconsin Administrative Code and are filed with the County Surveyor.

Certified Survey Maps

Certified Survey Maps, also called CSM’s, are commonly used for dividing 1 to 4 lots out of a larger parcel of land. Most counties require CSM’s for the creation of new lots under a certain size, this size can vary by county. CSM’s may also be used in the resurvey of existing lots, resulting in a clearer and more concise legal description of the lot. CSM’s must meet the requirements of local ordinances and Section 236.34 of Wisconsin Statutes. They are recorded with other land records at the county Register of Deeds office.


Subdivisions are used to divide land into multiple lots (usually more than 4). They must meet the requirements of local ordinances and Chapter 236 of Wisconsin Statutes. They are subject to review by county agencies and sometimes, depending on the size of the lots, state agencies. They are recorded in the county Register of Deeds office.


Perhaps the ultimate boundary survey, an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey is prepared under strict guidelines adopted by the American Land Title Association and the National Society of Professional Surveyors, in addition to state and local survey standards. The guidelines list responsibilities of the surveyor and the landowner (usually working through a land title professional). The guidelines give basic requirements and a list of optional requirements from which the landowner (or whoever orders the survey) may choose. The final map shows or lists any interests (such as easements or overlapping deeds) held by others that are revealed by a title search in public records.

Engineering Surveys

Engineering Surveys are usually made in preparation for new construction. They are very similar to topographic surveys, but usually show more detail of existing utilities and other features.

Topographic Maps

Topographic Maps are typically used to depict the changes in elevation on a piece of land. They can also include the location of physical features which may include buildings, trees, fences and many others. They are typically not made public record unless they also include the location of the parcel boundaries.

Elevation Certificates/LOMA Applications

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has mapped what they consider a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) along many lakes, rivers and smaller streams. Landowners who have improvements in these areas and have a mortgage on the property are required to carry flood insurance. In the course of mapping these areas, FEMA inadvertently included some areas that have a very minimal chance of flooding (less than a 1% chance by their computations). These areas can sometimes be removed from the SFHA designation by a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) from FEMA, and no longer be subject to the insurance requirement. If the property cannot be removed from the SFHA, an Elevation Certificate may provide a means to reduce the insurance premium. A qualified land surveyor can provide an Elevation Certificate or submit the documentation for FEMA to make a determination for a LOMA.