The previous chapter addressed guidelines for meeting the clients and determining their vision for the landscape. This step culminates when the “Proposal for Design Services” is signed by both the designer and the clients, thus formalizing the agreement between the two parties. The designer is now ready to gather as much information as possible about the site so that the resulting design proposal sensitively fits all aspects of the site. This typically starts with obtaining accurate measurements of the site from legal documents, digital sources, and on-site measuring and concludes with the preparation of a base map. To make the most efficient use of time, acquiring site measurements may also coincide with site inventory and analysis. Doing these tasks in a thoughtful and organized manner saves many headaches later in the design process.
This chapter addresses site measuring and base map preparation including (1) terms related to this phase of work, (2) sources of information, (3) guidelines and techniques for taking and recording field measurements, and (4) procedures for drawing a base sheet and base map. Chapter 7 discusses how to undertake a site inventory and site analysis.