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Surveying with your GPS

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A neighboring lot through the woods was recently sold and building is getting underway.


Is there a way to use my GPS to ID my property line (rough I realize) to determine where the activity is in relation to my property. (or should I just cough up the money for a real surveyor?)

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you fail to say what kind of development is underway. here in nl nearly all developments are regulated by municipal governments and hence surveys are required, additionally surveys are reguired when you buy properties.


should you not have had a survey completed when you bought you property or dont have the details of a previous survey there is no harm in using your gps to lay out your property for your own reference, but the accuracy from a gps would not be grounds to prevent encroachment onto your property. it would be enough, however, to alert you if the impending development was encroaching on your property at which time you should contact a surveyor to complete a survey and to contest the development with local authorties and if need be the court system.


the other problem here is that if you allow the development to proceed and it does encroach on your property you may have time limits to file a complaint or lose the portion of property in question.


in short, if your are not sure of your boundaries get a survey done.

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Yeah, thanks. Certainly planning as outlined and have already contacted a surveyor. Scheduled for last week in Sept. My interest is to do the rough estimate thingie. Oh, and it's just another house through the woods. Not too concerned....but they may be when I put a small horsebarn on along an adjacent property line (only piece large enough to build on and not in a protected wetland)


Thanks for the feedback

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This issue is not related to geocaching, so it may not be appropriate to discuss it here, but it is an increasingly common question with very profound consequences, and surveyors everywhere are obviously deeply concerned and not amused about it, so I offer the following.


The short answer, of course, is yes, anyone can attempt to locate or even mark off their property lines using a handheld GPS device. However, anyone who believes it is a good way to save money, or a good idea for any other reason, is positively cruising for a bruising. Whether or not it is legally or physically possible for the property owner to do this is not the concern. The nightmare scenario arises from the consequences of either accidental or deliberate abuse of the technology by inadequately trained individuals.


While I agree with the concluding sentence of the message by D&J, I cannot agree that there is "no harm" in trying the do-it-yourself method. If the person marks off a line that is actually somewhere short of the true line, that party may thereafter be required by law to respect that line, losing their rights to the portion of their own land that they accidentally excluded in marking the line. On the other hand, marking a line that turns out to be on the property of another creates an opprtunity for that neighbor to resort to litigation seeking damages against the first party for trespassing and erroneously attempting to claim a portion of their land.


In any case, if any such conflict reaches a court of law and your neighbor has a document prepared by a registered land surveyor, while you have only your own personal survey results, I really hope that I do not have to tell you that you are, to put it bluntly, dead meat. So yes, you can do your own surveying, as long as you are prepared to pay several times the cost of the survey in legal fees and fines. A word to the wise - stick to geocaching.

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my comment was not intended to urge anyone to mark of property lines, rather to use information gained from the gps as a guage of about where the property line was and if there was encroachment then take it up with the authorties. obivously if you own property then you need a legal survey, i simply meant for an individual to use the survey description and the gps to gain some idea of where the property lines were.

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