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Surveying Question


alanfreed
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Hello! My neighbor is buying some property in West Virginia where he's planning to build a cabin. He has been given a rather crude drawing that gives property line details, and he's hoping to locate the property markers with this information and a GPSr, if it's possible from what's here.

 

The markings on the drawing resemble coordinates, but they don't make a lot of sense to us. Obviously we know nothing about surveying... but I thought I'd post a note to see whether someone could shed some light on what's on this paper.

 

Is it possible to find the corners of the property with a GPSr based on what we have here? Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!

 

plot1.jpg

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it is a metes and bounds description. (Sometimes referred to as a legal description) In order to read you need the POB, which is point of beginning. You walk a survey from POB using compass directions, which are set forth on the paper, but much more detailed than your Silva or Brunton handheld. They are set out with a transit, modern transits are laser instruments with computer assist. Surveys also reference back to the Benchmarks and Survey Disk, look in Benchmark hunting. You can only place if you have the full description laying our the filed map and the references. A survey must always close, which means as you walk it , you will come back to the POB. I see no POB on that map. So the answer is no, you can't place corners with what you have there. The directions are compass and the other measurements are in feet. You could probably walk it with a gps, using the compass headings, but remember the accuracy factor. A laser and a tape measure are far more accurate.

Edited by Packanack
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it is a metes and bounds description. (Sometimes referred to as a legal description) In order to read you need the POB, which is point of beginning. You walk a survey from POB using compass directions, which are set forth on the paper, but much more detailed than your Silva or Brunton handheld. They are set out with a transit, modern transits are laser instruments with computer assist. Surveys also reference back to the Benchmarks and Survey Disk, look in Benchmark hunting. You can only place if you have the full description laying our the filed map and the references. A survey must always close, which means as you walk it , you will come back to the POB. I see no POB on that map. So the answer is no, you can't place corners with what you have there. The directions are compass and the other measurements are in feet.

That's what I was looking for -- thanks a lot for the information!

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alansfreed Posted on Mar 29 2005, 03:43 PM

Is it possible to find the corners of the property with a GPSr based on what we have here?

Yes these numbers are standard Surveyor Data. Note: I am NOT a Surveyor.

 

I will check the numbers to see how well "the Box closes". In other words, do those numbers fit together.

 

Then you would need to provide 1 GPS Coordinate on the end of one of those lines. Preferably on a corner.

 

Then because those Degree, Minute, ans Second numbers are based on Magnetic North, I would need to know how old those numbers are (Because Magnetic Declination changes over time).

 

Read this thread about the last time I responded to an identical question. Read all the warnings about why you should really hire a Professional Surveyor if this has to stand up to legal scrutiny. Read about all the accuracy limitations which will only make the answer an ESTIMATE.

 

The information I provided to the poster in the Link below has not been field tested. I anticipate a report this summer.

 

Exact Same Question I Answered Previously

 

Even before I get this posted I see you are already being advised you will NOT get professional results. Are you looking for an EXPENSIVE professional result, or a FREE educated guess?

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Are you looking for an EXPENSIVE professional result, or a FREE educated guess?

I guess you could say he's looking for a potential "free professional result" only because he knows that the corners of the property are actually marked with wooden markers. These markers aren't likely to be in good condition, but if they exist, he can at least save himself some $$.

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alansfreed Posted on Mar 29 2005, 08:41 PM

I guess you could say he's looking for a potential "free professional result"

Well, obviously that's not going to happen.

 

Also you should know that your drawing is NOT complete. There is a missing line about 45 Foot long not indicated, and the "Box" doesn't close.

 

If you are willing to:

 

#1 do more research to identify the missing information

#2 get a GPS Coordinate from ANY corner

#3 find out how old the data is

 

I can give you enough information to at least search for any possible remnents of markers.

 

But it reallly sounds like your friend needs a Professional Surveyor.

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First thing I would do is go to the town or county clerk's office, and get a copy of the tax maps. Looks like the map info and parcel numbers are right there.

 

The "official" map should have the date the survey was done, and by whom.

Should also list info on the POB.

 

Again, tho, depending on how old the "official" map is on record, when buying property, it would be in his best interests to have a professional survey redone, using todays standards, and have the surveyor replace the wooden markers with metal ones.

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Steps to follow to get position:

1. Find out what county in West Virginia this property is located in. Go to the county seat and locate the office that has Deed Book 136 and open to page 819. The deed for this property should now be read. The surveyor, date, and other information should be outlined in this deed.

2. Note that this is a hand written copy, and that the property does not have closure. It is possible that there is a copying error. Verify all numbers.

3. The initial point where the survey starts in many states will read a distance and direction from an easily found point. An Example: Starting from a point on the centerline of X Road 2,345.67 ft northwestly of the intersection with Y Road. If this is all the information you are given, the job is difficult.

4. In some states the deeds are required to be in “State Planar Coordinates”. If this was required it will make the rest of the work simpler. (I do not know what the local laws are.) West Virginia uses two state planar systems, one for the north and one for the south. It also may be either NAD27 or NAD83. The Army Corps of Engineers has a free downloadable program named “Corpscon” that will convert the State Planar to Lat-Long or UTM.

5. Before going into more details on how to proceed, please study the deed and any documents the deed references.

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