Frequently Asked Questions
HOW IS A BOUNDARY SURVEY PERFORMED?
The first step would be initial contact with the client, where property description, location and any questions or concerns about what needs to be done will be addressed. With the amount of data readily available to surveyors on the internet a site visit is not always needed to come up with a plan of action to best achieve the client’s goals. Once a plan of action has been agreed upon the next step would typically be for the surveyor to start doing research.
The surveyor will start the process of gathering all the data they will need to help them with the rest of the survey process. These records may include but are not limited to deeds, maps, legal descriptions, easements, highway plans, benchmark information, government corners and control points. Record keeping is a very important part of the surveying profession, without the proper knowledge going into the field the final boundary determination could vary significantly. Once the research has been completed the next step is to perform the field work.
All available evidence (monuments, fences, roadways) that pertain to the subject property are found and measurements made to create a direct relationship between all the pieces of the puzzle. Often times all structures and various other improvements on the parcel are also located including (driveways, water bodies, wells) or anything that looks like it may encroach onto the parcel or an adjacent parcel. Once everything in the field has been located the process of computing the boundary can begin. (back)
Boundary computations can be done in a variety of ways. A smaller more simple boundary can often time be solved right in the field with the help of the surveyor’s data collector and reliable field notes. More complex boundary solutions are often solved in the office on the computer using drafting software that can show the whole picture in a much clearer detail. All professional surveyors are regulated by the state and have had to prove their competency through various testing, education and experience requirements. Once the surveyor comes to the final boundary solution the lot is ready to be monumented. (back)
Monumenting the parcel boundary can be accomplished in many different ways. Sometimes there will be acceptable monuments already in place that will be held as the corner of referenced to the actual corner if within tolerance. Other times no monuments exist and the surveyor will place all new monuments at all the corners of the parcel boundary. A map will be provided to the client showing all monuments set and or found and their relationship to the boundary. (back)
Once the survey has been completed a map will be provided to the client and to the appropriate recording agency with the county. This map will be a visual representation of the parcel as well as any other pertinent information that needs to be shown. The map will show the basic solution of the surveyor’s computations for all land surveyors to reference in the future. All questions and concerns the landowner had prior to the survey should have been addressed by this time and the client should have peace of mind knowing exactly where their property lines are. (back)
WHY HAVE YOUR PROPERTY SURVEYED?
Having your property surveyed can eliminate many unnecessary problems that may arise in the future due to negligence on behalf of the landowner’s in not knowing what they actually own. Building a fence, garage, or driveway on someone else property can be a costly mistake. You may get along with your neighbors now and agree on where you think the property line is, but that agreement may not have much merit and may be difficult to uphold in court. Having a relative, realtor or neighbor tell you a fence post or utility pole is your lot corner can be and often times is very misleading information. Having a registered professional survey your land is the only way to assure you know exactly where your lot lines are. (back)
WHAT FACTORS AFFECT THE COST OF MY SURVEY?
There are many variables that determine the cost for a land surveyor to complete a survey:
- Type of survey services needed
- Existing surveys and maps near subject parcel
- Land terrain and accessibility
- Foliage and crops from season to season
- Availability and adequacy of current land records
HOW DOES GPS WORK?
Global Positioning System satellites have a known position in a fixed orbit in space. These satellites then transmit signals to GPS receivers on the ground.
These transmitted signals depend on a very accurate time reference, which is achieved through the use of atomic clocks. Each GPS satellite has an atomic clock on board and transmits data that indicates its location and the current time. All GPS satellites synchronize operations so that these repeating signals are transmitted at the same instant. The signals, moving at the speed of light, arrive at a GPS receiver at slightly different times because some satellites are farther away than others. The distance to the GPS satellites can be determined by estimating the amount of time it takes for their signals to reach the receiver. When the receiver estimates the distance to at least four GPS satellites, it can calculate its position in three dimensions.
A GPS receiver "knows" the location of the satellites, because that information is included in satellite transmissions. By estimating how far away a satellite is, the receiver also "knows" it is located somewhere on the surface of an imaginary sphere centered at the satellite. It then determines the sizes of several spheres, one for each satellite. The receiver is located at the point in space, or in our case on earth, where these spheres intersect. (back)