Followers 1

# Land surveying

## Recommended Posts

I figured this is the best place for me to ask this question.

I am trying to find the corner of my property. I have a map with some coordinates on it but not like what I am used to. Can some one tell me how I can enter this on my Garmin 72?

N36°43'46"E

Any help would be great. Is there a way I can convert this into something that I know?

Simply put, you can't put that into your GPSr. Those are not coordinates, but bearings of a line. Two lines actually. The first is a bearing of a particular line. The second indicates a radial bearing to the begining of a curve.

As a general rule, property descriptions are written in a method called 'metes & bounds'. You begin a particular point and then the courses are described with a compass bearing and distance. Geodetic coordinates cannot be derived from them unless at least one point within the courses is related to a geodetic coordinate. This is rarely done, with exception to larger, and usually government surveys.

- Kewaneh

You need the full llegal description of your property. Then you need to find the point from which the descriptoin is taken. That point should be able to be found (usually the intersection of section lines or quarter sections etc.). You need to know the datum and/or basis of bearing for the description. Using that you can then us the legal description to do some COGO (coordinate geometry) and derive the property corners.

With math you can come closer than your GPS. But with your GPS on the correct datum you should be able to get fairly close to the corners so you can find the pins. Assuming you still have pins, or had property pins to begin with.

There is a distance measurement missing from your post. But, N36°43'46"E means 36 Degrees 43 Minutes 46 Seconds CLOCKWISE of North. I think that is referenced to MAGNETIC North - at the time the survey was done (because Magnetic North changes over time). With enough information I have had some luck helping owners find their property line pins. If you have all the property line information and know the coordinates of two of them I can probably get pretty close to the rest. Email me.

FYI:

N36°43'46"W = 36°43'46" COUNTERCLOCKWISE of North

S36°43'46"E = 36°43'46" COUNTERCLOCKWISE of South

S36°43'46"W = 36°43'46" CLOCKWISE of South

Modern property descriptions are written with their bearings relative to TRUE NORTH, not magnetic. Magnetic declination does change; true north is a constant. Past surveyors knew about variations in declination and compensated for it when they could, although it was not always possible. (When magnetic bearings were used, that fact was often noted in the description or on an accompanying plat.) Usually, the North Star (Polaris) or the sun was sighted to calculate a bearing on a line relative to True North to be used as a 'basis of bearing' for a survey.

Bearings of a line are measured from the North or South, and then an angle turned to the East or West. A bearing of N36°43'46"E would be measured by facing North, then turning 36°43'46" to the East. Surveyors use bearings in four, 90 degree quadrants (NE, NW, SE, & SW). A bearing of a line more than 90 degrees is an azimuth bearing. Azimuth bearings are measured clockwise from North. If a GPSr is used to measure a bearing, the datum the unit is set to is irrelevant. Bearings and distances do not change with datum, as a datum determines the point of origin for a coordinate system, not a metes & bounds description.

Renegade is correct that need to look at the whole property description to determine the locations of your property corners & boundaries. Trigonometry or coordinate geometry can be used to calculate those positions. Also, at least two common and known corners described (or implied) in the description must be located on the ground in order to correctly determine the locations of the remaining corners.

Reading thru a property description to find ones property corners, or for the math exercise isn't a bad thing, but trying to determine boundaries with the intention of marking those boundaries - particularly if those boundaries are unclear or unmarked - may be illegal. It should be said here that a Professional Land Surveyor should be consulted to properly and correctly interpret any property description.

- Kewaneh

Edited by Kewaneh & Shark

my take is it kinda depends on where you live, and what your lot is like. do you live in a subdivision? and if so, how old is it? if it's relatively new, then property corners may be set already. borrow a friends metal detector and go to town in the general areas of the corners on the map. get a hit and dig it up.

even older farms and country parcels may have monumented property corners that you just need to find.

if you are in need of a legal survey, then you're gonna have to pay unless you know somebody that'll sign off on it.

if you just want to know where they are to build a fence, i say just try looking for corners. although, if your property is some crazy old freakishly drawn out lot, then that'll prolly do you no good. good luck.

Reading thru a property description to find ones property corners, or for the math exercise isn't a bad thing, but trying to determine boundaries with the intention of marking those boundaries - particularly if those boundaries are unclear or unmarked - may be illegal. It should be said here that a Professional Land Surveyor should be consulted to properly and correctly interpret any property description.

So true but it also can rile up your neighbors.

This past Thursday was watching a public info program on local PBS channel (edu) where you can call in and ask the lawyers/Judge legal questions. One of the questions was along the line of; my neighbor put some survey stakes along our property line and what can I do about it? Then the discussion went on the talk about some problems that can arise from this. This property owner was advised to consult a lawyer because of the legal implications of marked lines in error.

Edited by Z15

it is true that you could face some potential problems if you are placing markers at your corners to determine lines of possession. however, if it is a matter of roughly determining your corners just for piece of mind, then who cares. if your neighbor really has an issue, tell him to pay for a survey and you'll have them marked for you at no cost! besides, it's not like you would be setting your own legal property corners anyways.

now, if you are planning on erecting a fence and you cannot find definite property corners then you need to seriously consider a professional survey. that could bite you down the road if your neighbor sells their house. i guess the answer to the original question also depends on why he/she wants to know in the first place.

Edited by d-town cachers

In all this and the many other discussions on this we have had here.

1. Only the Judge has the Authority to decide in any case.

Regardless.

If you and the adjoining land owner agree it is very simple.

If you do not it can be a long drawn out battle.

I hope you guy's don't take this the wrong way(Surveyors),

Legal Authority of the Surveyor.

A resurvey may be run to settle a controversy between owners of adjoining property.

The surveyor should understand that,although he may act as arbitrator in such cases,it is not within his power legally to fix boundaries without the mutual consent and authority of all interested properties.

In the event of a dispute involving court action,he may present evidence and argument as to the proper location of a boundary,but he has no authority to establish such a boundary against the wishes of either party concerned.

A competent surveyor by wise counsel can usually prevent litigation:but if he can not bring his clients to an agreement,the boundaries in dispute become valid and defined only by a decision of the court.

In boundary disputes the surveyor is an expert witness,not a Judge.

So the best bet is to try and be a good neighbor but not be taken advantage of either.

This is a hard thing to do.

I speak this from experience and have had a long drawn out ....well it is slowly getting resolved.

Only the Judge has the Authority to decide in any case.

Regardless.

And the judge is not required to use common sense!

He can rule anyway he interperates the laws.

Judges often get overruled by higher courts.

Edited by Z15

Only the Judge has the Authority to decide in any case.

Regardless.

And the judge is not required to use common sense!

He can rule anyway he interpenetrates the laws.

Judges often get overruled by higher courts.

The surveyors I know all know eye rolling stories about judges making decisions on boundaries.

In all this and the many other discussions on this we have had here.

1. Only the Judge has the Authority to decide in any case.

Regardless.

If you and the adjoining land owner agree it is very simple.

If you do not it can be a long drawn out battle.

I hope you guy's don't take this the wrong way(Surveyors),

Legal Authority of the Surveyor.

A resurvey may be run to settle a controversy between owners of adjoining property.

The surveyor should understand that,although he may act as arbitrator in such cases,it is not within his power legally to fix boundaries without the mutual consent and authority of all interested properties.

In the event of a dispute involving court action,he may present evidence and argument as to the proper location of a boundary,but he has no authority to establish such a boundary against the wishes of either party concerned.

A competent surveyor by wise counsel can usually prevent litigation:but if he can not bring his clients to an agreement,the boundaries in dispute become valid and defined only by a decision of the court.

In boundary disputes the surveyor is an expert witness,not a Judge.

So the best bet is to try and be a good neighbor but not be taken advantage of either.

This is a hard thing to do.

I speak this from experience and have had a long drawn out ....well it is slowly getting resolved.

OK. I'll bite... but I think we're getting of the OP's topic....

The key here is 'expert'. Judges are not experts in boundary; surveyors are. Any competent judge would weigh the testimony of a expert much higher than his or her own knowledge, or lack of knowledge, in any a subject. It's true, in some cases, that judges do what they please, whether or not it's correct or even legal - the higher courts help with that - but too many misjudgments is a quick way to lose a bench seat.

Lawyers and judges are trained to understand how the Law works and functions as a whole. Surveyors are trained and do understand how to apply survey, boundary, and mapping laws to the best available evidence and existing field conditions. It could be argued here that most licensed surveyors are more knowledgeable and have more understanding of survey and boundary law than most lawyers and judges. (The exception being lawyers who practice boundary law.) Surveyors do occasionally have differing opinions resulting in boundary disputes, but they are very rare. In more than 15 years, I have only been involved in a boundary dispute that could have gone to arbitration and/or a judge once. (In that case, maps recorded at the County indicated that the dispute had been in existence since the 1930's. It probably existed prior to 1900. The argument was steming from a property corner placed in the 1870's.)

As to 'fixing' a boundary: that depends on the definition of 'fix', and whether or not the problem is with 1) the true position of the boundary, or 2) the people on either side of the boundary. A surveyor does not have any authority to move a line, on a whim. (There are proceedures for moving a line and it does require the consent of all affected land owners.) A surveyor DOES have the authority and obligation to show a line in its true and correct position, whether or not either (or any) of the parties, or even a judge, agrees upon it. A surveyor may act as an arbitrator, but that is usually best left to a second surveyor.

One distinction needs to be made: there are differences between lines of title, lines of ownership, and lines of occupation. Many people (including some lawyers) believe they are one in the same, and that's usually what they want 'fixed'. Most disputes that I've heard of involve occupation vs. ownership, or what a person believes they own versus what they really own. Simply put, a fence shows occupation, not ownership. A surveyor is obligated, by law, to show the true line of ownership. Whether or not either property owner agrees with that line is a different matter, and it's their prerogative to get another surveyor, or an attorney.

(As a side note: California requires surveyors to research adjoiners properties along with subject properties to find and resolve any possible boundary disputes, and to make sure that no disputes are being created or perpetuated. This is not required in all States.)

- Kewaneh

And they wonder why it cost so much to have property surveyed

Now that GPS is so widely known of by the public, people think its easy.

Edited by Z15

Thank you all for your replies.

I really do appreciate you guys/gals whether you think it or not.

It is not easy regardless of the process.

.

Edited by Geocord

## Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

Only 75 emoji are allowed.