The Six Best Programs for Topography.

The best surveying software

Surveying is a discipline that involves describing and representing the shapes of the terrain in plan and relief. The use of digital tools has become essential in this branch of engineering.

Surveying software allows for the creation of surveys, plans, digital models, topographic maps, etc.

Presentation of different types of surveying software

  1. Computer-aided design (CAD) software

    CAD software is used to create plans and synthesis drawings. It allows for the editing of precise and professional plans in a short amount of time.

  2. 3D modeling software

    3D modeling software allows for the creation of very precise digital models of terrain, structures, and buildings. These models can be created using survey data collected on the field or from point clouds obtained through photogrammetry.

  3. Satellite image processing software

    Satellite image processing software can obtain information about the terrain such as relief, vegetation, and snow cover. They are particularly useful for geomorphology and ecology studies.

  4. Topographic data processing software

    Topographic data processing software can transform raw data into useful geographical information. They are useful for creating plans, maps, digital terrain models, etc.

Top 3 best CAD software for surveying

  1. AutoCAD

    AutoCAD is the most widely used CAD software in the world. It offers precise drawing tools, a large object library, and an intuitive interface.

    Advantages: precise, comprehensive, object library, easy-to-use interface.

    Disadvantages: expensive, long learning curve.

    Usage examples: road network plans, building plans, urban planning plans.

  2. QGIS

    QGIS is a free and open source software, specialized in cartography. It offers spatial analysis, image processing, and data attribution functionalities

    Advantages: free, open source, simple and easy-to-use interface, easy customization.

    Disadvantages: not suitable for synthesis drawings, poorer graphic rendering.

    Usage examples: topographic maps, vegetation cover distribution plans, city maps.

  3. Civil 3D

    Civil 3D is a software specialized in the design and planning of land infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, tunnels, and water management. It also allows for the creation of digital terrain models.

    Advantages: specialized for infrastructure, workflow management, advanced use of terrain data.

    Disadvantages: expensive, long learning curve.

    Usage examples: road networks, urban projects, integration of public lighting systems.

Top 2 best modeling software for surveying

  1. SketchUp

    SketchUp allows for the creation of simple but very precise 3D models adapted to surveying.

    Advantages: intuitive, possibility of creating image sets that show a 360 view of complex plans.

    Disadvantages: not suitable for complex infrastructure projects, limited to form modeling.

    Usage examples: digital terrain models, building models, road models.

  2. 3DReshaper

    3DReshaper offers a comprehensive range of functionalities for 3D point cloud processing, visualization, and editing.

    Advantages: possibility of real-time visualization of point cloud modifications, recording of modification history.

    Disadvantages: expensive, advanced topography skills required for advanced use.

    Usage examples: survey point clouds, LiDAR data, photogrammetric data.

Top 1 best topographic data processing software

  1. Global Mapper

    Global Mapper is a comprehensive GIS software that offers topographic data processing and analysis tools.

    Advantages: possibility of using many layers, easy-to-use, possibility of working with different types of raster and vector files, excellent treatment of LAS files.

    Disadvantages: high license cost.

    Usage examples: cartography, data analysis and publication, point cloud processing.


Surveying software offers considerable advantages to professionals in this branch of engineering, allowing for time savings and increasing the precision of surveys.

Depending on your needs, it is important to choose the software that best fits the tasks you wish to perform as well as your budget.