The verb survey means to look something over. When you buy your first home, it's a pleasure to stand on the porch and survey your property.
Survey has several meanings, all of which come from Medieval Latin and Anglo words for looking over. As a noun, survey can mean a detailed study of something, but it also means a short summary with a broad view. A survey course gives an overview of a particular subject area, but doesn't make you an expert. Survey is also a verb. If you survey an area hit by an earthquake, you look closely at it to measure the damage.