Logged In Members Do Not See Ads

 

How to Read a Land Survey

Land surveys are an important part of heritage and history and without them who knows what the world would look like.  In fact, if it weren't for land surveys, we would not have maps. And although you should always consult a professional land surveyor regarding measurements on your property, let's look at how to read a land survey.

What is a Land Survey?

The term land survey can be considered to be very broad as it encompasses a wide range of different types of surveys. However, a land survey can more simply be defined as a certificate of land location that demonstrates the boundaries of a particular property.

Almost every home that is sold in the USA will have a land survey created before it is sold. This gives the new owners a legal document that indicates exactly what land is theirs when they purchase the property.

Land surveys can be very complex and not all land surveys simply pinpoint boundary lines. Depending on the purpose for the survey it may include other elements such as elevation of the land and features of the land among other things. We shall look at the different types of land surveys below.

Types of Land Survey

There are dozens of different types of land surveys produced, each with a different purpose and each containing different elements.  Also see this article:  

TYPES of SURVEYING

Some of the different types of land surveys include: hydrographic land surveys, topographical land surveys, geological land surveys, cadastral surveys, construction surveys and geodetic surveys.

How to read a land survey depends on the type of land survey that you are looking at. Many types of land surveys are very detailed and it is very hard to understand or read them without having prior training.

For example, construction land surveys are covered in a huge number of details such as position of fences, buildings, roads; horizontal positions; detailed dimensions and more.

Below we shall look at how to read a land survey.

How to Read a Land Survey

For the purposes of this article we shall look at the most common form of land survey - a boundary land survey. Understanding how to read a land survey of this kind is very simple especially compared to some of the more elaborate types that we looked at above.

A boundary land survey is used to establish the true property lines corners of a parcel of land. There are several reasons why property owners may request a boundary land survey including for the purposes of building a fence, to resolve property disputes with neighbors and to obtain building permits. In many cases boundary land surveys are also required as evidence in court.

So how to read a land survey? The first thing you will need to do is read the description of the property written in the appendix of the land survey. This will give you a general idea about what the land survey contains as well as basic measurements that are used on it.

You should then lay out the entire document on the floor or a table (they can often be very large) and find the legend for the survey so you understand what all the symbols on the map represent. The most common symbols include roads (or varying sizes), fences and natural and artificial landmarks.

On the land survey you will find a grid pattern across the entire survey - each grid represents one square mile. If you are looking for your personal property on the land survey then use identifiable roads and landmarks as a reference to locate your property.

 

Here is a Curated Collection of the Best Land Surveying Articles to get your started Becoming a Land Surveyor

Votes: 0
E-mail me when people leave their comments –
Survey Legend

Land Surveyors United Community

You need to be a member of Land Surveyors United - Global Surveying Community to add thoughts!

Join Land Surveyors United - Global Surveying Community

You are not logged in

 

Land Survey Guides

Write and Share Your Articles and Presentations

Do you have an article about Land Surveying that you would like to share?

Land Surveying is a timeless art and science and it is therefore, evergreen! You may also know that a lot of older publications have gone away, unfortunately.   If you have written or published land surveying articles in the past, we would be honored for you to share them here with us.  If it is an older article, you can even republish it here with updates and reflections.  

Tip:   If you published an article in the past on one of the older sites which no longer exist, you can use the Wayback Machine to find it.  Then just copy/paste the old article inside a new post here.  Just be sure to tell us where it was previously posted.

Want to embed a PDF Document?

 If you have a PDF document or article related to land surveying that you would like to embed inside an article post, simply copy/paste the following code block into the HTML view of the post editor and replace the BOLD part of the code with the URL of the PDF you'd like to embed.   

Code to use:

<iframe src="https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=https://landsurveyorsunited.github.io/cssfiles/manuals/Surveying-Photos-Submitted-Land-Surveyors-United.pdf&embedded=true" frameborder="0" height="500px" width="100%"></iframe>

TIP:  You can also upload your PDF using the file upload button and then copy/paste the URL of the document you uploaded with the BOLD part of the code above to get a flippable PDF like so:

Uploading PDF land surveying documents to Surveying Articles

Differences between Forums, Blogs and Article posts

Forum Posts are great for asking questions which have a definate answer.  Forum posts are best for a quick exchange of information between Land Surveyors United members.   Please note that All Community Hubs have their own dedicated Forums so if your post is related to a specific hub, it is best to ask your question or share your tip inside the hub in which it belongs for targeted answers.  For example, if your question relates to Leica equipment, ask your question inside the Leica Hub forum for best results as all members inside that hub uses the equipment in question.  Likewise if your question pertains to a Location, you should consider making your post inside the appropriate hub.

Add Discussion

Blog Postsdiffer from Forum posts because you can embed and upload different kinds of information.  Blog posts are best for presenting information and updates for feedback and sharing.  When posting a Blog Post, you can also publish a short excerpt at the bottom which is what most members will see before reading the blog post.  Blog posts are also great for posting new surveying projects and digests of links to multiple surveying topics or your own website.   Things that can be embedded into Blog Posts are videos, images, slideshows, powerpoints, spreadsheets, PDFs, documents and more.

Add Blog Post

 

Articles are similar to Blog Posts in all ways except one.  Articles allow for you to post an Author Block at the bottom with links to your contact info, website information, credentials, etc. Similar to Blog Posts, things that can be embedded into Blog Posts are videos, images, slideshows, powerpoints, spreadsheets, PDFs, documents and more.  Similar to both types above, Hub Owners can add article sections and features to any hub they control on the community.

Add Article

Share your Land Surveying Articles

Surveying Articles is a place for members to Share Land Surveying related articles, presentations and knowledge with the Land Surveyors United Community. Post or embed articles for future generations of land surveyors.