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Everything posted by jwahl

  1. The 'geographic center' has the large stone monument and plaque and I have been there a few times while passing through Kansas. There is a huge amount of disinformation on the net confusing this with Meades Ranch. The two have virtually nothing to do with each other. The incription on the brass plaque shows a diagram of a tie to a control point from which it was positioned after it's location was computed., I have a few slides of it somewhere. The following link shows the monument and the plaque, and is typical of sites that come close to associating it incorrectly with Meades Ranch. I see that if you read it carefully it shows the geographic center point but discusses the other as "a few miles away". Example.. Here is another: Pictures... Lots of pictures... Apparently some work was done to compute one for North America not just the U.S. North America.. There may be a recomputed site for U.S. after Alaska and Hawaii were added... - jlw
  2. My first guess is that the cap you see was a rehabilitation of the older station which may have been damaged, vandalized, or otherwise damaged, or else a cap was set in an older mark which were often of the form of just small rods or drill holes. Usually the data sheet will say this. So now I check and you see the sheet first describes what they found in 1948 "DESCRIBED BY NORTH CAROLINA GEODETIC SURVEY 1948 (RCB) THIS IS A TRAVERSE STATION. STATION IS LOCATED IN THE CITY OF MOCKSVILLE IN THE PAVEMENT OF A CIRCULAR ROAD AROUND THE CITY SQUARE. IT IS 78 FEET WEST OF CENTER OF U.S. HIGHWAY 158, 37 FEET NORTH OF NORTH SIDE OF BANK OF DAVIE AND 26 FEET NORTH OF A CURB. THE MARK IS A 6 X 6 INCH GRANITE POST SET IN THE PAVEMENT OF A CIRCULAR ROAD AROUND THE CITY SQUARE. THE MARK IS FLUSH WITH THE PAVEMENT WITH A CROSS INSCRIBED IN THE TOP WITH THE LEGEND NCGS USCS 1899. A TRAVERSE CONNECTION WAS MADE FROM TRIANGULATION STATION MOCKSVILLE. THE DISTANCE WAS 130.90 FEET, 39.898 METERS." The sheet shown here does not seem to indicate that it was reset except for a later notation that it is a C&GS mark. - jlw
  3. There is a utility which will work in Western States including New Mexico that I use all the time. It will convert a township, range, meridian and section into a lot long position within a quarter mile or so. The original program was a DOS program, but a university in Montana has web enabled a version of it and it is very useful, and can also go to reverse, from lat long to TRS. The web version report gives you a lot of other information including the quad it is on and adjacent quads. It does not effectively link to any maps, so I usually then go to topozone to hone in on the area and extract coordinates, or use usaphotomaps with topo or photos with the lat long provided. The program is primarily useful for getting you in the right area. Topo maps and photos are much more specific in identifying and locating the actual section lines if they are locatable. Here is the link: http://www.esg.montana.edu/gl/trs-data.html or TRS2LL web - j wahl PS Tadpole, if you want to post or email me the legal, I can go through the process. I have done this several times for similar users in NM. I see this system converted my http to a link so now it is there twice.
  4. Okay, wonderful, the notes are on line. I had to use IE browser to get them but at this link: http://www5.or.blm.gov/lo/Notes/srvy/zNote...197OR0108001100 Is the opening of the notes for the subivision of the township. That is the insides of the township not the exteriors. There is usually in index in one of the next few pages ... Okay here is your index diagram on page 110 using the little combo select at the top. Intro p 110 This says that the line coming up into your sec. corner is on page 57 of this set of notes (not the volume, there are usually multiple sets of notes in a volume, this is volume 197 and page 110 of that volume...) Okay I find it on page 167 of the volume being page 57 of the notes, oh neat deal I can edit the link the last digits are the page range, so this will get you the pages I want 167 and 168 becomes 01670168 at the end. line between 7 and 8 There it is right in the middle of page 197, and that record repeats the BT's also, darned. Anyway that is what they look like. Now lets see if those remon notes are in here for the corner to the south... nope. Well I went over and followed the link for records after 1998 and found them here: PDF of remon notes You should be able to have some fun with that. I just learned a lot of neat stuff finding that on line...!! - jerry
  5. Well you can try in graduated effort 1) the county courthouse, ask at the surveyors office if they have one or tax assessor or GIS dept. next. Ask if they have a copy of the BLM/GLO field note microfiche. In some states these were sent to each county, but I am not familiar with how it was done in Oregon. 2) It is possible that a local BLM office might have it. 3) the main place is here: http://www.or.blm.gov/or957/cadastral/platsandnotes.asp According and wander around to find a contact phone. From the one link for earlier than 1998 surveys, I see they are scanning and putting up notes also, so there is a chance, I am running a query right now. The fact that it has an entry makes me think that there may be something there, but it is taking a while to come up. If I get something I'll try to get back, otherwise you can try it and see what happens. - jerry PS Mounds of stone are very common accessories to corners. Even if the corner itself is a stone, it is almost always set in a mound of stone, or a mound is set in reference to it, such as to the west. Of course there are a lot of other mounds that get created out there that may be from other sources.
  6. I will continue my evening guessing spree. Level lines are run between points, along roads, railroads, etc. but at some point they have to check into other level lines forming loops. I would guess that a BM that is a junction point is one that is common to two or more level lines and thus forms a connection between the network. - jlw
  7. I took a quick look at Cadastral field notes for that township today and it describes the original corner as a stone 24x12x12. Doesn't describe any marks. It then describes 2 juniper bearing trees. 1) a juniper 10 ins. diameter, S. 32d E., 58 links distant, and 2) an 18" Juniper S. 40dW 164 links distant. There is a problem with them however. In the line coming up to that section corner from the south, at the 1/4 section corner half a mile south, is a stone 24x10x8, and two bearing trees that are described exactly the same. This probably means there is a transcription error and the copiest (these are copied by hand) lost their place and copied the same two trees. That means that at one or the other I don't have a record that I can trust, and probably at the second corner, which is the one you are interested in. That's the bad news. The good news is that the records I have access to are hand transcribed COPIES and it is possible that the transcription error occurred in their creation. The original set is what is in Oregon State Office Cadastral Survey BLM in Portland. There may be microfilm copies of those in a lot of local areas, and of course microfilm doesn't make such errors as long as you can read them. Also there is a 1997 BLM remonumentation in the township, in particular at a lot of corners around sections 16 and 17. A remon is a survey where BLM sends out a surveyor who is able to positively identify and original corner and sets a new monument in it's place and may take new Bearing trees also. On one of these which is one mile south of yours, he notes finding the stone 'but no visible marks'. This could mean the stone is soft and weathers, or they were poorly marked or not marked at all by the original surveyor. Section corner stones are usually marked with either grooves on the sides, or notches in the corners. I would like to echo the caution mentioned earlier about trying not to disturb the monuments or their accessories, or as little as possible. With these older corners it can be almost like a miniature archeology site best left to methodical exploration by a surveyor who should leave behind a thorough record of what was found and what was done with it as well as an analysis of the evidence. As for geocachers it can be helpful to future surveyors to document what you find and get a good coordinate on it. Digital pictures are great. At some point it might be useful to work on setting up a clearinghouse for such information, as it can definitely be useful to 1) help correct mapping such as GCDB by providing a more up to date coordinate value. 2) guiding future surveyors to the corner evidence you have found 3) helping preserve a record of such evidence as of a certain date. - jlw PS note a link is 1/100 of a 66 foot chain or 0.66 feet or 7.92 inches. To convert links to feet multiply by 66 and divide by 100.
  8. Right, I would guess a highway ROW marker that shows the project segments under which it was contructed. - jlw
  9. Artillery opens up a lot of options. My first guess is that the coordinate by be in kilometers or thousands of yards. So say you set up artillary on this point and have been given another particular point to shoot you have to compute some things. 1) know where you are (thus the coordinate here) 2) which direction the coordinate system is oriented. Thus the list that follows is probably a list of the azimuths to those objects in mils. There are 6400 mils in a circle. I have no training in artillery, but I have heard that mils are used for that purpose and they may have a correlation to actual units of distance at a certain distance. That is if I miss by 50 yards left and the target is 2000 yards away, I have to adjust 25 mils. But this is just a guess. Anyway the first test would be to see if they fit anything left on the ground. I suspect the coordinate system is based on a local 'practice battlefield' map. You would have to get someone with WWII era artillery to help out. Anyway once they know where they are and which way to orient, they can then work out which way to rotate the gun and what elevation to fire to hit a specific target coordinate. Now the Azimuth test 1) Water Tank on Hill 5503.9 ?? I think This would put it at map azimuth 309d35' or if their map is oriented to true north (we don't know, maybe it is magnetic north in 1940...) would be N. 50d 24' W. There is a tank on a hill to the NW. One could go on, but a lot of this stuff is going to be based on the way it was in 1940 and not now. - jlw
  10. Post a picture please. With the small numbers give, i.e. numbers less than 20 it is hard to tell. Most mapping projections deal in large numbers. Even local surveys use 1000,1000 or 10,000 10,000 for starting coordinates. So it is probably something else. - jlw Examination of Terraserver imagery it looks to me like this point is west of some kind of large antenna array and nearly in line with one axis of the array. However that may be a co-incidence. It may be some kind of referenc mark offset or angular related to that array.
  11. You have a couple of problems when hunting for section corners. First, what they are: In some areas the original surveys which may have been done as long ago as the 1850's may have only been monumented with wood posts and referenced with pits in the ground. In some areas lines were resurveyed at a later date and newer iron post monuments were set. If there is not a red + symbol on the quad it is often an indication that it is an older survey and only some of the monuments were found when USGS did it's mapping. Furthermore, if it is vacant BLM land there is often no economic reason for a resurvey. On private lands section and 1/4 corners (the ones you found in between section corners) may also have been found and perpetuated by other surveyors such as state, county and private surveyors since they often control the boundaries of private lands. To find out what monument may be at the corner may take a trip to the local county courthouse and possibly some other agencies in that area. Again though if it is vacant BLM land there may be nothing on it except the original government surveys. The information about them is containd in field notes at the Oregon BLM office, and the locations described on plats. I believe the plats are on line, but probably not the notes. The notes will describe the survey in detail, the nature of the monument set and if you are lucky accessories to the section corner. If there are trees in the area that data back to the original survey, you may find blazes, scars or even scribing on the trees. If this is a typical pinon and juniper land cover, their may be some bearing tree evidence remaining. Second, where they are: The old surveys are often not highly accurate and sometime even contain blunders or errors so that it is difficult to precisely determine their location. Since the quad does not show that corner specifically, and there is scant evidence of lines on the ortho photos, a surveyor would typically locate the nearest found corners in the area and compute using the latest survey records to the position and attempt to find it based on this 'search area'. Coming from different directions may yield different results. Another much more complex source of information is the BLM's GCDB. This is a set of files that represent a computation of the location of all the corners based on available information. If you know the files, you can get a coordinate to searcn for and idea of the age and quality of the surveys in that area. You still do not have WHAT to search for., i.e. a wood post, mound, stone, or whatever. The oregon plats can be found from this link Oregon Plats You are looking in T17S R15E Willamette Meridian. There is only one survey plat in there and it is: Cadastral Plat You will see upon examining it that it was surveyed in 1879. Pretty old stuff and anything before 1908 will not have iron post corners unless a local surveyor has perpetuated it with something. Of course there may be fence lines that go to the corners, but less likely on vacant BLM land it is possible. You will also note from the plat that it is not a full mile from the west boundary of the township. It shows 73.55 chains which is 4854.3 feet or 0.9194 miles. So if you locate positions on the west line you would have to take that into account in computing where to search. The GCDB for that township gives a computed position for the corner you are looking for (which their system identifies as corner id 200600) 200600 44 07 09.8 latitude 120 58 03.7 longitude NAD27 which can be translated to 200600 44 07 09.24 latitude 120 58 07.80 longitude NAD83 Actually pretty close but slightly south and west of where the topo shows it. However that is only computed position based on the old survey data and could be off also. - jerry wahl PS you were searching very close to the position I came up with above. But it may be hard to find without getting the notes and determining what was set and gaining experience in interpreting and recognizing those things.
  12. It doesn't look that used to me from my observation. More like someone just filled the marks with plaster or toothpaste or something of that kind for decorative purposes. Because the date is stamped, it could have been left over from a batch that were premarked with the date, but for some reason could not all be set or someone didn't count correctly. It could have been discarded or lost at a site, or kept by a hand when the job was done. Also, note the stem behind it seems intact? 'So Joe, we're ready for that tablet now... I already gave you one, where did you put it? I duuno, I don't see it here, just give me another one so we can get this done...' - jlw
  13. They are probably referring to what are commonly called state plane coordinates which are used a lot in land surveying. Corpscon is one tool, for only a few coordinates though there is also an on line tool at the NGS website it is: NGS to and from State Plane Coordinates - jlw PS, actually that link is to a program that tells you what zone you are in. Here is the link to all the State Plane coordinate related on line programs. NGS SPC programs
  14. Of possibly tangential interest to MRH - terre haute. Arthur D. Kidder's home town was Terre Haute, IN. - jerry
  15. I confirm that the 'wood' is as identified by another post, a typical 4-foot stand. These are found on a large percentage of old stations that are on mountain tops, or otherwise required no higher tower to have line of sight. The stand would be used both for lights and the observing theodolite in turn. As these stations were then used up until GPS became readily available around 1990 for surveyors to tie into control and so they (as I did on many occasions) would erect target poles for daylight work, often a 2x2 guyed by 3 wires. After dozens of years the lumber builds up at some stations. - jerry wahl PS note the walkway around the stand, this is to minimize the observer disturbing the stand during observations.
  16. I too believe that a compass is useful, particularly when in the woods, and/or somewhere where your WAAS isn't working. As a surveyor who uses a handheld to find previous points, I find it useful once you are in the area get a good fix at a stand still and use the compass and distance shown to get closer to the point. Then repeat, or as some have mentioned you can intersect lines coming from several points in the area. The point is that the compass will give you reasonably accurate bearing when you are standing still, but the GPS nav screens will be subject to vagueries of the particular reception and will not show your current direction if you are standing still or moving slowly. You usually can get a better fix in the woods if you find a good spot and stand still for a minute or so holding the GPS so that it can get the most satellites. Garmin's have the option of showing true north or magnetic so that even a keychain compass can be helpful. Of course it would be better to have one that can set off declination so you don't have to switch your GPS setup around. I would guess other GPSR's have those options also. Now days GPS units may display distance in fine units, but I learned using the older GPS12 types where distance resolution is at best 0.01 miles. Thus using the bearings to intersect into the specific location provides a more precise method. By keychain compass, these are often given away free and have a wind chill thermo and table on them. Perhaps they are for cross country skiing. Brunton 9045 TAG-A-LONG PLUS is one example. I am not recommending this as the best option, but have found that even the minimal compass is useful. And it takes no battery power to run. - jlw
  17. From the picture for GM0519 S view, it is clear that the tall monument (looks like concrete to me) is very close, I would eyeball 50 feet or less? and certainly on the west side of the railroad which is not evident in that picture. I would thus speculate that it was set at a different time, probably much later, and is not the monument called out by Kidder on the east side. The kidder called RR state line sandstone is about 38.8 feet distant from and perp to the c/l of the RR, so the ROW could be anything, as it is not necessarily on the ROW line, but probably within it. Anyway at this point I would not consider any evidence that we are talking about the same monument. - jlw
  18. Here is a link to a document which has excerpts from the Supreme Court boundary commissioner's field notes, volume 2. There is a link on there to a PDF, but I decided it might be to large for some people, so built a html page also. Excerpts of Vol 2 Field Notes NM vs CO boundary Kidder is one of our hero's, so we are always interested in his stuff. - jerry wahl
  19. California has a lot of these, and in this case it is rough country in the sierra's. There can be many reasons, and it would take a considerable amount of time examining the records to guess the particular reason here. Commonly the original surveys would not survey a complete township, but only enough so that those areas that were fit for agriculture, timber or mining were identified. Shortly thereafter what is called a 'completion' survey would be made to finish the work. To tell the truth I am not sure if there was a change in land office policy, or what but this situation you see time and time again in mountainous country from Colorado to California. In this case the order that townships were being surveyed may also have played a part, so that the surveys were coming into the rough country from the west and possibly up from the south and east. At any rate, if you examined the dates of survey for each line or section I suspect the western few 'tiers' of sections (which look fairly regular) was probably first. then the southeast part of the township next. At some point either then or later, they would have become aware that there was a 2 to 2.5 mile excess between the two, so that there was no way they could put the two parts together. This left a gap of unsurveyed land between the two 'halves'. The completion survey then came in and placed new work in between in this gap, and was forced to use sections over 36 in number to cover the excess in area. I think I may have seen this particular township before, or one very much like it, as there have continued to be title problems in it up until recently. Why would there be such a gap, well some of the early surveys were not executed very accurately and errors could build up. California is also notorious for fictitious or fraudulent surveys which were only partially completed and often have large irregularities. If the township and range are correct, it would appear it is off the Mount Diablo meridian and the center of this township would be: 36° 26' 34"N, 118° 50' 12"W (from topozone) Topozone 1:100K So in this case the first survey in the west was run to identify agricultural lands in the river valleys and then the guy gave up when getting into rough country to the east. To fully investigate a given situation you would first get the survey plats and notes from BLM and see what they have to say. There may be additional files that involve the township, investigations, etc. reports that describe what happened. Without that we could possibly identify the dates of survey of each line by examining the BLM's GCDB files which are on the internet. If anyone is interested I could explain that in more detail later. - jerry wahl
  20. The Al White book is an invaluable resource, but it was before GPS. In the time since he visited most of these points many have been positioned and/or rehabilitated by surveying societies. In the course of the process of starting the rewrite of the BLM Manual of Surveying Instructions, 1973 (which does have a list of the points and their approximate latitude and longitude), a new list has been put together. As a result I have updated values for many of those in the east (East of the Mississippi), and you may find updated values for many of the western points. If you get to the Chickasaw Initial point, let me know. I don't think Al White was looking in the right place. - jerry wahl
  21. USGS did a lot of mapping control that was third order or worse up until the 70's. When NGS created the NAD83 many of the third order stations were dropped. In those days you could go to USGS and get paper copies of USGS bench marks (level runs) and control points (triangulation stations), and you did the same with NGS which was then C&GS. No NGS only automated and put into the database stations that were incorporated into the NAD83 adjustment. So that means a whole lot of this lower accuracy control was just dropped as the data was never automated and not published in the new datum anyway. There are a lot of them out there and since USGS did them for mapping, they show on the quad maps. This cap looks like it is both a tri -station and was levelled to for elevation. I have heard that you can order the old control information from the USGS eros data center. Some of the USGS control was included in the NAD adjustment and so you will find some stations in the NGS database. - jerry wahl
  22. I verified just now that I do have those notes. I may scan a few pages of interest regarding the mile 163+22 post etc. If you really want to look them up on the microfiche, you had one listing that corresponds to the volume that contains these notes. The notes are entitled after a citation to the case "Report of the Boundary Commissioner Part Two of Three From Sangre De Cristo Range To Continental Divide" and inside table of contents page 57 "Darling's 160th mile corner to Darling's 168th Mile Corner" Those correspond to some of the microfilm notations [card 9?]you indicated previously. The area of concern, the re-establishment of the 163rd mile is on pages 60-62. If I scan this, does this site have a place to post them, or do I put them somewhere and place a link here in a message. I am not familiar with how this forum handles such things. - Jerry Wahl
  23. Hi, was struck by map at top of this thread asking questions about convergency. Thought I would note that there is in fact more than the 5.x miles of convergency for a figure of that size. I didn't get a sense of what the real issue was. On another note, I work for Cadastral Survey BLM, and may have a copy of the Kidder notes for part of the line you are discussing. (The supreme court stuff) in the office. There is a story that because he was not paid, he did not release his work. The Government negotiated with his widow to get the returns which were not finalized (possibly by Thoma) until the late 60's. The state lines in that area are pretty interesting, and there are in fact nice monuments along part of the line marked for the state line, that are not the state line.. Anyway when I get time to go back through this and try to find what corners you were interested in, I will try to see if we have records for them. Otherwise feel free to email me. - Jerry Wahl
  24. I am BLM Cadastral Surveyor, and even surveyed near this monument in the early 1980's. FYI The PR on the bottom of the markings are for the "Public Reserve", that is 60 feet wide along the mexican border. Most of the public land surveys 'close' into the reserved strip and not the border itself. As someone mentioned, it was probably set flush with the surface but the sands shift. Someone had the forsight to drive a fencepost or something. The records that describe this type of monument are found in BLM state offices, Cadastral Survey function in that office. In this case, for California that would be in Sacramento. - jerry wahl
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