Based on the purpose (for which surveying is being conducted), Surveying has been classified into:
Control surveying : To establish horizontal and vertical positions of control points.
Land surveying : To determine the boundaries and areas of parcels of land, also known as property survey, boundary survey or cadastral survey.
Topographic survey : To prepare a plan/ map of a region which includes natural as well as and man-made features including elevation.
Engineering survey : To collect requisite data for planning, design and execution of engineering projects. Three broad steps are
1) Reconnaissance survey : To explore site conditions and availability of infrastructures.
2) Preliminary survey : To collect adequate data to prepare plan / map of area to be used for planning and design.
3) Location survey : To set out work on the ground for actual construction / execution of the project.
Route survey : To plan, design, and laying out of route such as highways, railways, canals, pipelines, and other linear projects.
Construction surveys : Surveys which are required for establishment of points, lines, grades, and for staking out engineering works (after the plans have been prepared and the structural design has been done).
Astronomic surveys : To determine the latitude, longitude (of the observation station) and azimuth (of a line through observation station) from astronomical observation.
Mine surveys : To carry out surveying specific for opencast and underground mining purposes.