Surveying property

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Rob30, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. Rob30

    Rob30 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Any ideas on how hard it would be to mark property edges? I am looking to run some fencing. I know where my front proerty stakes are. What would I need to know? What equipment would I need? I know how to use a compass, and I have a small scope to sight the lines, I have an old gps, but not sure how to use it. Any suggestions?
     
  2. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Well-Known Member

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    Get a new GPS, and learn how to use it. shadowwalker
     

  3. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If your survey has degree markings, you can get remarkably close with a compass. Line up on the appropriate heading and start blazing a trail between corners. Once/if you can see from one corner to the next, you've got it made. Good luck.
     
  4. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We found ours with a compass and a 100' tape.
     
  5. Yvonne's hubby

    Yvonne's hubby Murphy was an optimist ;) Staff Member

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    If your corners are clearly marked, running the lines isnt too tough, a pocket compass will direct you where to temporarily mark from one corner in a rough line to the next, if you dont come out exactly on your corner, reverse direction and go back the other way, splitting the difference back to the first corner again, work this way a couple times until you have a straight line of flags between the two corners, then move to the next line repeat the process. If your corners are not clearly identifiable ask your neighbors that join you, usually they know where the lines are. Do NOT start fencing lines until you are in agreement with your neighbors, there is nothing quite like a good fence to create good relationships with neighbors, nor anything quite like a boundary dispute to create a feud that can run for generations. if there is any doubt whatsoever, get a professional licensed surveyor to mark the boundarys with agreement among all parties. Good luck! =)
     
  6. ace admirer

    ace admirer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How long a shot do you have to make? how hilly, how many trees on line? are their tree cuts on line? how old is last survey?

    magnetic bearings shown on old surveys are of little use. magnetic declination changes each year. the magnetic bearings are of use only during the short period during the survey.

    gps will only get you with in 20 or thirty feet (unless you have fairly high dollar stuff.)

    you will need transit, range poles (you can make them of emt conduit and white and orange paint) surveying tape, good tape measurer.

    set range pole at each property corner marker

    can one be seen from other? with transit?

    if not you will have to do an offset sight (if there is a clear pasture or field adjacent to property markers. (give a little more information about your situtation and more help will follow.
     
  7. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The problem is, you aren't licenced, so all you can do is set up some posts, and if that upsets any neighbors, you will have the 100 year fued someone else mentioned.

    A transit & sight stakes & 100 foot tape is the 'normal' way to do it. Easy if a couple acres, striaght line of sight from one corner to the other. Very difficult, if trees & hills & angled borders block you all the way....

    My understanding is that you do not know where 2 of your corners are?

    If so, I would strongly consider having this professionally done, and see if the neighbors agree that their placement is correct _before_ putting any fence posts in. This heads of the typical 100 year fued. Somewhat.

    GPS is fun, but you need to spend _huge_ money to get accurate enough for survey work, what you own might get to to within 20 feet or so.

    If you know all 4 corners, it is just a matter of making a straight line between the stakes. A good big compass gets you close, if you repeat several times as mentioned.

    --->Paul
     
  8. Rob30

    Rob30 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think I will try my compass. As far as my nieghbours go, no one is going to care if I am close. It is more for my interest.
     
  9. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    Good place to start is the County Courthouse and get whatever information that is available in terms of plot maps. Very helpful to have the plots of neighboring areas, especially if landmarks are noted. Such as streams, stonewalls or other things that can be referenced in the field.

    My present property was surveyed as part of a road construction / utility upgrade. That survey has metal rods driven with ID numbers but they never got transferred to the official plot maps. There are other survey maps that show these rods, you have to know to ask about them. Just never got put on the small plots at the courthouse.

    So the more you know about your area and what has been done prior and by who, the better you will be. I have done my own surveys on relatively small areas like city lots. It is amazing how far you can be off, if compared to a properly well done professional job.

    You can also web search for shareware software that deals with surveying and has instructions how to DIY. Used to be a guy in KY that had a DOS program that was pretty good. If the land is perfectly level is ideal, rough ground is a challenge. He went into a lot of the details and why two different survey teams can get different results on the same ground. Had some good tricks.

    I did forget to mention, any survey is only as good as the base line that is its starting point. In many areas, property is stated to be "On or About". That really true in New England. One war story, my old house, the base line that laid out the entire section changed from the initial overall survey done in 1923 to the new map dated in the 1950's. The two base lines ran off at an angle to one another. Could be off 3 feet or as much as 10 feet depending on how you wanted to read it and where you referenced.

    The Pro surveys all where based on some point on those baselines. Other the years, they shot a line back to my street and put a special nail in a stone wall that became the "Local Master Reference Point" that everybody started from. If you wanted to dispute any survey, you could get any answer desired by ignoring that Master Point and going back and re-establishing it from whatever your little heart desired on which ever section baseline you decided was the correct one. "On or About" had real meaning, first guy who put up a fence won the argument in the real World. Empty lots were the real losers and everybody "On or About-ed" what they were missing from them.

    Surveyor heaven and full employment act. The winner was the last guy standing and willing to pay for more.