If you are developing a site, you typically need to start with a site analysis. As you look for a professional to handle this task for you, you need to be prepared to discuss what you want the analysis to include. Here are some elements you may want to be included:
Physiography refers to the physical features of the land. You can get this information from a contour map which includes details on the elevation of the site, or you can get even more detail from a digital terrain model. You need to decide if you want a bare earth map which just shows the land or a surface model which shows trees, man-made structures and other elements besides just the land.
This refers to how water moves on the site, and it is something that you typically want to be included in your site analysis. For example, these details can help you determine how you are going to route stormwater through the site. However, if you plan to level the land, you may not be concerned about these elements as they are going to change when you implement the new landscape.
Depending on the type of development you are planning, you may want the site analysis to include some data and analysis on context. Context doesn't have to do with the site itself. Rather, it refers to the elements that surround the land. For example, what's the neighbourhood like around the site? Does the surrounding infrastructure support your development ideas? Are there any issues you need to be aware of based on the site's location.
Sun and Wind Movement
If you want to create buildings and outdoor areas that are as efficient as possible, you may also want the site analysis to include information on how the sun and wind move through the area. If you're putting in a community garden, you can choose the areas that get the best morning light. If you're building a playground, you can ensure that it is not blasted by the sun's hot rays. Similarly, when you put in buildings for homes or businesses, you can orient them in a way to reduce their solar heat load. In terms of wind movement, you can ensure that your landscaping can handle the wind and that you aren't going to be faced with unnecessary wind erosion.
To get more ideas, talk directly with a site analyst. They can help you determine exactly what you need for your development.