Surveying Texas since 1945.
A.J. Needham began surveying in Coleman County during the 1930’s while serving as the County Engineer. During World War II he worked at Consolidated Aircraft in Fort Worth as an aeronautical engineer. After the war he returned to Coleman and to surveying in 1945. The Needham’s have been surveying the State of Texas ever since. In 1966 A. J.’s son, Jim Needham, became a Registered Land Surveyor. And Jim’s son, Jack Needham, became a Registered Professional Land Surveyor in 1996. In 2014 Jack opened a new office in Sweetwater, TX, while Jim continues to head the Coleman office.
The company name has morphed over the years reflecting the changes in ownership. Originally the company simply operated under the name A. J. Needham. It has since changed from Needham Surveyors to Needham and Needham, back to Needham Surveyors and now Needham Surveying PLLC.
The company has seen many changes over the decades. Probably the most notable is the type of equipment used. When the company was founded, field equipment consisted of a compass and chain which, when good field methods were employed, were capable of achieving an accuracy of 1 foot of error for every 1,000 feet measured. During the 70’s electronic distance meters and more accurate transits improved accuracy to 1 foot of error for every 5,000 feet measured. The 80’s brought the advent of the total station and improved accuracy to 1’ error for every 10,000 feet measured. And the 90’s ushered in GPS (Global Positioning System) which has forever changed surveying. GPS has improved accuracy exponentially such that now accuracy of 1’ of error for every 1 million feet measured is obtainable.
The decades have also seen the company working all over the state in a variety of projects. What began as simple surveys of small tracts of land in and around the Coleman area has grown into surveys of large ranches, pipelines, subdivisions, and dams all over the state. The company has surveyed in 88 counties to date, from Marion County on the Texas-Louisiana border to Hudspeth County near El Paso, and from Karnes County west of Victoria to Swisher County south of Amarillo. Over the years the company has worked on some unique projects including surveying a portion of the international border with Mexico, surveying a marble mine in west Texas, surveying the Brazos River bed at the bottom of Possum Kingdom Lake, and surveying a 32,000 acre ranch.