# What is the proper way to word this?

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I am writing a description and I need some suggestions on how to word something.

I want to include a distance from a fenceline in my description. Normally I would say something like:

"22 feet south from an east - west fenceline.”

However, the fence that I now have to give a distance from runs along a line at about 167 degrees (or 347 degrees).

Would I say:

“30 feet east-northeast from a fenceline running at a bearing of 167 degrees”

Or,

“30 feet east-northeast from a fenceline running at an azimuth of 167 degrees”

Or, are those both wrong, and is there a better way to say this?

Thanks for any help,

167 degrees is roughly north-south, so personally i would just say "a fenceline that roughly runs from north to south, or more precesily at 167 degrees". or something like that.

Edited by dfx

You said East - West in your original post....

But 167 degrees is pretty close to North - South. I would just go with:

"... from a fence running approximately North - South..."

Wow - thanks for the prompt responses dfx and K&TBM.

You said East - West in your original post....

Oh - that was just an initial example.

But 167 degrees is pretty close to North - South. I would just go with:

"... from a fence running approximately North - South..."

The problem is that this mark has 4 fencelines running around it. I am trying to differentiate between them as best as I can. If there is some way to include the 167 (or 347) degrees it would be good.

I wasn't sure of the difference between a bearing and an azimuth for this case.

Wow - thanks for the prompt responses dfx and K&TBM.

The problem is that this mark has 4 fencelines running around it. I am trying to differentiate between them as best as I can. If there is some way to include the 167 (or 347) degrees it would be good.

I wasn't sure of the difference between a bearing and an azimuth for this case.

The question is "is one of them a Right-of-way fence?", or is there a fence corner Nearby? Is one of the fences unique is some fashion, as in having a gate or perhaps wood posts instead of iron posts? Is there a braced post nearby?

John

The mark is 22 feet South of the nearest point of a fenceline that has a true bearing of 167 degrees.

If you're going to be that exact about the bearing, and there's no real reason not to be, you should say whether the bearing is true or magnetic. Really though, if it is magnetic, convert it to True.

You could go crazy and give calls from all four fences!!

Perhaps give the distance from a tree....

I recommend including the type of fence(s), e.g. barbed wire, chain-link, split-rail, etc. Also, remember to list the reference distances from longest to shortest.

GeorgeL

NGS

Thank you for your advice gentlemen! I will use it and finish up my description.

Best regards

Perhaps give the distance from a tree....

or, how about giving the GPS coordinates?!

22 ft SW of a fence line running SSE/NNW

closer to South use SSE

closer to East use ESE

167° is 13° off of due South so SSE would be the term to use

Edited by Z15

Another question along this line...

When some of the previous description is still valid should you include that (write a new description that is complete)? Or if you only mention things that have changed is it understood that everything else is valid?

I struggled a bit with FV0137 on how much to include - comments?

thnx

When some of the previous description is still valid should you include that (write a new description that is complete)? Or if you only mention things that have changed is it understood that everything else is valid?

I struggled a bit with FV0137 on how much to include - comments?

thnx

I think it would depend, a lot on how much of it. For your FV0137, It seems okay, I'd word it a little differently IMHO, mention things from furthest away to nearest, and don't mention things that aren't there, like -

Depot in Atascadero no longer exists, CR F34B is known as S. El Pomar Rd. and CR F34A is known as Templeton Road. (If those aren't CR's anymore, then mention that, too.) Station is approx 9.8ft E of guy-wire cleat, 10.5 feet E of center tree in a row of three along fenceline, 26.5 feet west of centerline of S. El Pomar Rd, and 3 inches under ground level.

In that case, didn't mention the things that are no longer there, made distances from neares to farthest. Others here would probably do it differently - my personal flavor is to try and keep things as short as possible.

I'd be curious to see what others would say, tho.

I recently updated our specifications for contractors writing station descriptions and recovery notes, see below. These are not on-line yet, but will hopefully be in about a month.

GeorgeL

NGS

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ATTACHMENT S: WRITING STATION DESCRIPTIONS AND RECOVERY NOTES

Descriptions are one of the end products of surveying, along with the positions and the survey

marks themselves. All three shall be of highest quality. The descriptions must be complete,

accurate and in standardized format if the station is to be reliably and easily recovered for use in the future. Descriptions shall be in the standard National Geodetic Survey (NGS) format of three paragraphs as described in Section 2 “Description Format”.

1. GENERAL

1.1 DEFINITION OF DESCRIPTION VS. RECOVERY NOTE

A. A description details the location of a new survey mark, or one not previously in the NGS digital database.

B. A recovery note is an update and/or refinement to a description already in the NGS digital database, written upon a return visit to a survey mark.

1.2 LEVELS OF COMPLEXITY OF RECOVERY NOTES

A. No Changes - If an existing station's digital description is complete, accurate, and meets Blue-Book requirements, the station may be recovered with a brief recovery note, such as “RECOVERED AS DESCRIBED”.

B. Minor Changes - If minor changes or additions to the description are required, they may be added after the above phrase, such as “RECOVERED AS DESCRIBED, EXCEPT A NEW WOODEN FENCE IS NOW 3 METERS NORTH OF THE STATION”. See typical cases listed in Section 1.5 A.

C. Major Changes - Where major changes have occurred, major inaccuracies are found, or where required information is missing (in any portion of the description), a complete three-paragraph recovery note, with the same format as a new description, is required. If a measurement discrepancy is found, state that the new distance was verified, for example, by taping in both English units and metric units or by two separate measurements by two different people. See typical cases in Section 1.5 B.

D. Exemption - If a recovery note has been written for the station within one year and no changes have taken place, a new recovery note is not required. Note, this may cause an error message in the description checking software, which may be ignored.

1.3 SOFTWARE - Descriptions and Recovery notes must be properly encoded into a D-file by using software WinDesc. For WinDesc information see: http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/PC_PROD/pc_prod.shtml#WinDesc , use the latest version available. Also refer to the NGS Web site: http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/FGCS/BlueBook/, Annex P (Geodetic Control Descriptive Data), for information. Note: WinDesc may be used for both new Descriptions and for Recovery Notes.

For projects that have no new marks and are not being “Blue-Booked”, the NGS on-line recovery method may be used to submit Recovery Notes; see: http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/ngs-cgi-bin/recvy_entry_www.prl . Submit paper copies for any recovery notes submitted on-line.

1.4 CHECKING - Descriptions shall be written by one person and checked by another. Recovery notes shall also be checked. For example, a mark setter can draft a description immediately after setting the mark, and an observer can check the description during observations. For existing marks, the reconnaissance person can draft the recovery note and the observer can check it. Descriptions and Recovery Notes should be written while at the station or immediately after visiting a station so that all details are fresh in the writer's mind.

1.5 TYPICAL RECOVERY NOTE CASES

A. A brief, one or two sentence Recovery Note is adequate:

i. When the mark is found and the description is completely accurate, sample: (“RECOVERED AS DESCRIBED”),

ii. When the mark is found and there are one or two minor changes, (“RECOVERED AS DESCRIBED EXCEPT A NEW WOODEN FENCE IS NOW 3 METERS NORTH OF THE STATION”),

iv. When the mark is not found and presumed destroyed, (“MARK NOT FOUND AND PRESUMED DESTROYED. CONSTRUCTION FOREMAN STATES THAT THE MARK WAS DESTROYED YESTERDAY”),

v. When the mark is found destroyed, (“THE MARK IS DESTROYED AND THE DISK HAS BEEN SENT TO NGS” or “THE MARK IS DESTROYED AND ITS PHOTOGRAPH HAS BEEN SENT TO NGS”). Note, for a station to be considered destroyed by NGS, the disk or photograph showing the destroyed mark must be received by NGS. Otherwise, report the station as “NOT FOUND”.

B. A complete, new, three-paragraph Description/Recovery Note is required:

i. When a new, permanent mark is set,

ii. When an existing mark does not have a Permanent Identifier (PID),

iii. When an existing mark does not have an National Spatial Reference System (NSRS) digital description (i.e., description is not in the NGS database),

iv. When an existing mark has only a brief description not meeting the three-paragraph requirement (many bench marks have only short, one-paragraph descriptions),

v. When an existing mark's description is no longer accurate or complete.

2. DESCRIPTION FORMAT

The original U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey (USC&GS) Special Publication No. 247, MANUAL OF GEODETIC TRIANGULATION, page 116, states, “A description must be clear, concise, and complete. It should enable one to go with certainty to the immediate vicinity of the mark, and by the measured distances to reference points and the description of the character of the mark, it should inform the searcher of the exact location of the mark and make its identification certain. It should include only essential details of a permanent character.” NGS still follows these guidelines, so that a person with a minimal background in surveying and no local geographic or historical knowledge can easily find the mark by logically following the text of the description.

2.1 FIRST PARAGRAPH - The first paragraph is the description of locality. This part of the description begins by referring to the airline distance and direction (cardinal or inter-cardinal point of the compass) from the three nearest well-known mapped geographic feature(s), usually the nearest cities or towns. Use three references equally spaced around the horizon, if possible. In writing the Description, always progress from the farthest to the nearest reference point. Distances in this part of the description shall be in kilometers (followed by miles), or meters (followed by feet), all distances to one decimal place. Detailed measurements which appear elsewhere in the description should not be repeated in this paragraph. Points of the compass should be fully spelled out. Do not use bearings or azimuths. State the name, address, and phone number of public sector property owners (however, phone numbers of private property owners are NOT included). State any advance notice and security access requirements for reaching the station. Also state any unusual transportation methods that may be required to reach the station.

Sample first paragraph:

“STATION IS LOCATED ABOUT 12.9 KM (8.0 MILES) SOUTHWEST OF EASTON, ABOUT 6.4 KM (4.0 MILES) NORTHWEST OF CAMBRIDGE, AND ABOUT 3.6 KM (2.2 MILES) EAST OF SMITHVILLE ON PROPERTY OWNED BY MR. H.P. LAYTON, AND KNOWN AS OLD GOVERNOR JACKSONS ESTATE.”

2.2 SECOND PARAGRAPH - The second paragraph contains the directions to reach the station. This section is one of the most useful parts of a description. It usually enables a stranger to go directly to a station without a delay due to a detailed study of maps or of making local inquiries. It is a route description which should start from a definite point, such as (a) the nearest intersection of named or numbered main highways (ideally Interstate and U.S. highways, or at least those which are shown on commonly used road maps), and approximately where that intersection is, or ( some definite and well-known geographical feature (e.g. main post office or county courthouse) and give its name and general location. Odometer distances shall be given to tenths of kilometers (followed by tenths of miles). For roads with names and numbers, give both in the first occurrence.

A. The format for the first leg of the “To Reach” is:

i. FROM THE MAIN POST OFFICE IN DOWNTOWN SMITHVILLE, or FROM THE INTERSECTION OF INTERSTATE XX AND STATE HIGHWAY YY, ABOUT 4.8 KM (3 MILES) NORTH OF SMITHVILLE;

ii. GO A DIRECTION (north, northeast, northerly, northeasterly, etc.);

iv. FOR A DISTANCE (km followed by miles in parentheses);

B. The format for additional legs, as needed:

i. TURN LEFT OR RIGHT, OR TAKE RIGHT OR LEFT FORK, OR CONTINUE STRAIGHT AHEAD;

ii. GO A DIRECTION (north, northeast, northerly, northeasterly, etc.),

iv. FOR A DISTANCE (km followed by miles in parentheses);

v. TO SOMETHING (intersection, or fork in road, or side-road left or right, or station on left or right).

Repeat Section B as required.

All five parts of each leg shall be included in each “To Reach”.

Sample:

“TO REACH THE STATION FROM THE INTERSECTION OF INTERSTATE 300 AND MAIN STREET (STATE HIGHWAY 101) IN JONESVILLE, GO EASTERLY ON HIGHWAY 101 FOR 3.7 KM (2.3 MILES) TO AN INTERSECTION. TURN RIGHT AND GO SOUTH ON MILLER ROAD FOR 5.1 KM (3.2 MILES) TO A SIDE-ROAD RIGHT. CONTINUE SOUTH ON MILLER ROAD FOR 6.6 KM (4.1 MILES) TO AN INTERSECTION. TURN LEFT AND GO EASTERLY ON SMITH ROAD FOR 2.4 KM (1.5 MILES) TO STATION ON THE LEFT IN THE FENCE LINE.”

Use the word “EAST” if the road goes due east and “EASTERLY” if the road wanders in a general easterly direction. Use intermediate references, such as the “side-road right” off Miller Road above, if the distance in a leg becomes longer than about 5 miles. The place at the end of truck travel should be mentioned. If walking is required, note the approximate time required for packing. If travel to the station is by boat, the place of landing should be stated.

2.3 THIRD PARAGRAPH - The third paragraph provides details of the mark and reference measurements. A new, Third Paragraph shall contain the following information, unless the same information has already been entered into a special field in the WinDesc software.

(A) The station mark type;

( How the mark is stamped;

© How the mark is set;

(D) Reference measurements;

(E) Hand-held GPS observations;

(F) Primary Airport Control Station (PACS)or Secondary Airport Control Station (SACS) designation, if appropriate.

Older descriptions will usually be in this format:

SECTION EXAMPLE

(A) - What the mark is: THE MARK IS AN NGS HORIZONTAL DISK, or A USC&GS TRIANGULATION DISK, or A STAINLESS STEEL ROD, or A CHISELED “X”, ETC.),

( - How the mark is stamped (in dashes): STAMPED --JONES 1952--.

© - How and in what the mark is set: THE MARK IS SET IN A DRILL HOLE IN BEDROCK, or SET IN A SQUARE CONCRETE MONUMENT, or IS A ROD DRIVEN TO REFUSAL, ETC. A GREASE-FILLED SLEEVE ONE M LONG WAS INSTALLED.

Specify whether the rod was driven to refusal or whether it met the slow driving rate (this is specified in Attachment V, Section 4.0 as 60 seconds per foot or 90 feet). It shall also state the length of rod driven. Also state if a grease-filled sleeve was installed and its length. For a rod mark, the diameter of the stainless steel rod and the diameter of the PVC pipe with the aluminum cap should be in English units, and the length of the plastic sleeve should be given in metric units only.

- State if the mark projects above the MARK PROJECTS 15 CM (5 IN), OR

ground, is flush, or is recessed and the MARK IS FLUSH WITH THE GROUND,

amount, (for a rod mark state the above OR MARK IS RECESSED 20 CM (8 IN);

for both the rod and the logo cap): OR LOGO CAP IS FLUSH WITH THE

GROUND AND TOP OF ROD IS 10 CM

(3.9 IN) BELOW THE TOP OF THE LOGO CAP,

- State the depth of the monument, if known CONCRETE MONUMENT, 1.2 M (4FT) DEEP, OR, ROD DRIVEN TO REFUSAL AT 15 M (49 FT)

(D) - State reference distances and directions IT IS 20.7 M (67.9 FT) SOUTHWEST OF

from three or more permanent objects in the POWER POLE #2345, 15.2 M (49.9 FT)

mark's immediate vicinity (farthest to WEST OF THE WEST EDGE OF HIGHWAY 134, AND 3.4 M (11.1 FT)

nearest), and equally spaced around the NORTH OF A CHAIN-LINK FENCELINE.

horizon:

Examples of objects used as references: existing reference marks, witness posts, center lines of roads, edges of roads, edges of runways, ditches, power or telephone poles, and buildings. Start with the farthest distance. Horizontal distances should be used. If slope distances were measured, that fact should be stated in the paragraph. Specify whether the reference distance was from the center or the edge of the reference object, and specify which edge, like “north edge”. The distances shall be in meters (followed by English measurement units in parentheses, except as noted in © above), and the directions shall be cardinal and inter-cardinal directions, fully spelled out, such as “NORTH”, “NORTHEAST”, or “NORTH-NORTHEAST”. Magnetic bearings from the reference objects are recommended to assist in future recoveries.

(E) Provide a handheld GPS position for all new and recovered marks, and for all proposed mark locations. Include the position and the accuracy code of HH1 or HH2, depending on the type of receiver used. HH1 stands for Hand-Held accuracy code 1 (differentially corrected, hand-held GPS), and HH2 stands for Hand-Held accuracy code 2 (stand-alone, hand-held GPS), as follows:

Accuracy code 1 (HH1) = ± 1-3 meters

Accuracy code 2 (HH2) = ± 10 meters

GPS Data Formats:

CODE LATITUDE LONGITUDE SECOND PLACES

HH1 NDDMMSS.ss WDDDMMSS.ss (2 places of seconds)

HH2 NDDMMSS.s WDDDMMSS.s (1 place of seconds)

Use “N” or “S” for latitude and “W” or “E” for longitude. Use three digits for the degrees of longitude, adding one or two leading zeros if required.

(F) If the station is a Primary or Secondary Airport THIS STATION IS DESIGNATED

Control Station mark, the third paragraph shall end AS A PRIMARY AIRPORT CONTROL

with the appropriate designation of Primary or STATION.

Secondary Airport Control Station):

Sample for a rod mark:

“THE STATION IS THE TOP-CENTER OF A 9/16 INCH STAINLESS STEEL ROD DRIVEN TO REFUSAL AT A DEPTH OF 18M. THE LOGO CAP IS STAMPED --SMITH 2003--. THE LOGO CAP IS MOUNTED ON A 5 IN DIAMETER PVC PIPE. A ONE METER LONG GREASE-FILLED SLEEVE WAS INSTALLED. LOGO CAP IS FLUSH WITH THE GROUND AND TOP OF ROD IS 10 CM (3.9 IN) BELOW THE TOP OF THE LOGO CAP. THE MARK IS 32.4 METERS (101.74 FEET) NORTHEAST OF NORTHEAST CORNER OF THE HOUSE, 16.62 METERS (54.5 FEET) NORTH OF WATER PUMP ALONGSIDE OF HEDGE AROUND OLD FLOWER GARDEN, AND 4 METERS (12.96 FEET) NORTH OF NORTHEAST CORNER OF HIGH HEDGE ENCLOSING OLD FLOWER GARDEN. THE HH1 GPS IS: N304050.2, W1201020.4.”

Sample for a concrete monument:

“THE STATION IS AN NGS HORIZONTAL CONTROL DISK, STAMPED --JONES 2003-- SET IN A ROUND CONCRETE MONUMENT 1.2 M (4 FT) DEEP AND 0.3 M (12 IN) IN DIAMETER. IT IS SET FLUSH WITH THE GROUND. IT IS 32.4 METERS (101.74 FEET) NORTHEAST OF NORTHEAST CORNER OF THE HOUSE, 16.62 METERS (54.5 FEET) NORTH OF WATER PUMP ALONGSIDE OF HEDGE AROUND OLD FLOWER GARDEN, AND 4 METERS (12.96 FEET) NORTH OF NORTHEAST CORNER OF HIGH HEDGE ENCLOSING OLD FLOWER GARDEN. THE HH1 GPS IS: N304050.2, W1201020.4.”

3. IMPORTANT POINTS REGARDING DESCRIPTIONS

3.1 NAMES - Use the station designation (name) and PID, exactly as listed in the NGS database, in all survey records. Do not add dates, agency acronyms, or other information to the name, nor the stamping. Do not use abbreviations of the name. Note, frequently the stamping and the official station designation are not the same. For example, stampings include the year set, but designations generally do not.

3.2 TERMINOLOGY - Correct NGS survey terminology shall be used in all station descriptions and reports (see GEODETIC GLOSSARY, NGS, 1986).

3.3 DISTANCES - All measurements are assumed to be horizontal unless labeled “slope”. Distances measured from a line (e.g., the center-line of a road or a fence line) are assumed to be measured perpendicular to that line. The origin of measurements at the junction of two roads is assumed to be the intersection of center-lines of both roads. Measurements are assumed to be from the center of an object (i.e. power pole) unless stated otherwise.

3.4 REPAIR - Any work done to repair a mark shall be described completely in the updated recovery note. Note: a repair strengthens the mark but must not change its position, elevation, or orientation. For example, adding concrete or epoxy around a disk where some is missing is a repair.

3.5 REFERENCE MARK NAMES - Note, reference marks are abbreviated “RM x” in descriptions, but on “Reference Mark” disks they are stamped “NO. X”. Also, some reference marks and some azimuth marks have their own PID.

3.6 METRIC CONVERSION - Use the U.S. Survey Foot conversion, in which 3.2808333333 feet equals one meter.

3.7 ABBREVIATIONS – KM = kilometer, M = Meter, CM = centimeter, and

NM = nautical mile, MI = mile, FT = feet, IN = inch.

3.8 GPS OBSERVATIONS - Remember to enter "Y" into the satellite usage code field in the Header Record if the mark is suitable for survey-grade GPS observations.

For projects that have no new marks and are not being “Blue-Booked”, the NGS on-line recovery method may be used to submit Recovery Notes; see: http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/ngs-cgi-bin/recvy_entry_www.prl . Submit paper copies for any recovery notes submitted on-line.

Aw, crap. I haven't submitted any paper copies of recoveries for any of the ones I've submitted recoveries for! I'm way behind everyone else here, then. Also, I (finally) noticed the format for reporting HH coords. Interestingly I missed that before, thanks!

Mike.

thnx foxtrot

2. DESCRIPTION FORMAT

......

NGS still follows these guidelines, so that a person with a minimal background in surveying and no local geographic or historical knowledge can easily find the mark by logically following the text of the description.

....

hey... that's me. Until recently, my thinking was that if I could find it from a previous description then it must be adequate and not need any changes.

Paper copies of recovery notes are a requirement for our contractors only.

GeorgeL

NGS

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