Land Surveyor Community Forum


  • It seems you have stumbled onto some surveyor slang... And it varies from region to region and country to country.  Here in Indiana there is only one Initial Point and it is the starting corner of the US Townships in nearly all of the Original Northwest Territories as established by the Land Ordinance of May, 1785. (Used interchangeably with the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 at times) 

    This Initial Point was laid out at the intersection of the 2nd Principal Meridian and the Base Line (from Clarks Grant to the Wabash River), both of which were established in accordance with instructions from Jared Mansfield.  After a short time of Putnam's instructions governing surveying in Indiana, Tiffins Instructions of 1815 came in effect and covered nearly the entire remaining areas of Indiana and parts of eastern Illinois for the layout of the US Section, Township and Ranges therein.

    So this, in the Midwest is THE Initial Point.  See attached photos.

    As to P.O.B. or Point of Beginning, we treat it as the first point described in a legal description.  Example "Commencing at a 4"x6" limestone with a cut "+" marking the Northeast Corner of the Northwest Quarter of Section 9, Township 18 North, Range 3 East of the 2nd Principal Meridian; thence South 30 degrees 24 minutes 43 seconds West 280.65 feet to the Point of Beginning of this description and a 2" Iron pipe found 8 inches above grade; thence....."  or somethings along those lines.  

    So, as I said before, surveyors "local slang" can vary.  

    Hope this helps.

    • Mr. Allen is correct! I mistook "initial point" for "point of commencement." Sory for misleading

      • Asa I said ... "slang" haha

  • Most often the "Initial Point" is an easy to identify point, e.g., section corner, flagpole in front of post office, &c. It is the place from which one is guided to the property in question, usually to the Point of Beginning of the boundary proper.


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