Surveying Tulsa | AAB Engineering Clients

Tulsa engineering expert and AAB founder Alan Betchan shares about the steps involved in helping to develop a neighborhood at 131st and Sheridan. 

Learn more about AAB’s Tulsa topographic surveying services:

DEFINITION – A Topographic Survey is a survey that gathers data about the elevation of points on a piece of land and presents them as contour lines on a plot. … Topographic maps are used to show elevations and grading features for architects, engineers, and building contractors.


  • What type of gear and equipment do you need to do topographic surveys?
    1. TopCon GPS Products – 


  • When did you first buy topographic equipment?
    1. At the age of 30.


  • How much does it cost to buy topographic equipment?
    1. $100,000 + of investment was needed to buy Alan’s initial set of topographic equipment.
    2. What is a hypotenuse? 
      1. The longest side of a right triangle, opposite the right angle.
    3. What is lidar? 
      1. Lidar is a surveying method that measures distance to a target by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflected light with a sensor.


  • Who needs topographic surveying?


    1. Anybody buying land.
    2. Contractors prior to moving dirt.
    3. Land owners who are getting prepared to move land.
    4. Anybody looking to do border surveys.

Learn more at: 

Definition – Tax Increment Finance District – Tax increment financing (TIF) is a public financing method that is used as a subsidy for redevelopment, infrastructure, and other community-improvement projects in many countries, including the United States. The original intent of a TIF program is to stimulate private investment with a blighted area that has been designated to be in need of economic revitalization. Similar or related value capture strategies are used around the world.

AMPLE EXAMPLE – The Broken Arrow Arrow Rose District 

AMPLE EXAMPLE – The Brookover Corner project – 

AMPLE EXAMPLE – The Tulsa Hills shopping development


  1. Step 1 – A client asks how to configure a piece of property
  2. Step 2 – Alan suggested to go after TIF money
  3. Step 3 – AAB must go to the city to start negotiating and educating the city about the process.
  4. Step 4 – When I’m done with the project the developer can earn up to half of the ad valorem. 

This week AAB Tulsa Engineering is working on the following projects and more:

  1. Dollar General in Collinsville, Wichita, Miami
  2. 175 lot subdivision
    1. Turning a piece of land into a development
    2. Layout
    3. Configuration
    4. Zoning
    5. Civil plans
    6. Road grade
    7. Sanitary sewer
    8. Cost – $3,500 – $4,500 per acre
    9. Badland – Floodplain, zoning issues, wetlands
    10. Remediation – The action of remedying something, in particular of reversing or stopping environmental damage.
  3. Construction staking in Glenpool
  4. New project in South Dakota and Kansas
  5. Hire an engineer before you buy the land



  1. Letter of Map Revision