I'm putting together some resources that will be helpful to landowners and wanted to ask my fellow surveyors what you wish that ALL landowners knew about our profession, about their land, etc.

For example:

  • How to find & read a tax map
  • How to find & read your deed
  • How to read your survey drawing
  • What are bearings and distances?
  • How to find your land on the FEMA flood maps
  • How to Understand Coordinates
  • How to Understand Land Areas
  • How to Record a Deed

What else do you folks think a landowner should know?

As an incentive, I'll give a $25 Restaurant.Com food coupon to the 5 best answers.


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  • I wish landowners knew:

    That we don't have your property corners by lat / long,

    That even if I did, it's give or take 30 feet in tree cover, 

    That we still operate by line of sight instruments (so help me out, and clear some brush)


    That the corner marker is the corner marker. I'm not telling you where the corner "really" is, because once that rebar is in the ground, buddy - it's the corner. You don't find yourself talking to the board for accepting found monuments.

  •  Hi Mr. Maxwell,

     My public email is on my profile page at this site.My associate request link does not work for some time now. Justin is looking into it he does not no why, but has someone trying to fix it.Did you do a request to me and it did not work. Anyway my email is billydb101@yahoo com. This is my pubic contact email. Will this work ??? . Associates can email each other at this site in the MY LSU  messages Inbox ,is that what you meant. PS  I liked your site.


    This domain may be for sale!
  • Hi Mr. Bowles,

     I have seen that happen on more than one survey,really a lot of them.

    Even in the field just as i finished the survey before any paper work had been done.

    The land owner asked me about the last line I had run. They thought they own  more land and my line was wrong. I then told them I am sure of it you have your 20 acres. Well ,I was then told we pay taxes on 23 acres and that was on there deed and tax receipt. But it said 23 +\-, I had to explain that. I told them I do not know who wrote this deed,but your new survey will change this. You need to talk to your attorney. Then they wanted to know if the county would give them a refund on paying for more land than they owned all those years. I say remember it said plus or minus. This was not the reason for the survey,they were dividing the lot for two of their children. So  Number 1 . When do I need a Land Survey ?

    Taxes,   The amount of acres being taxed in question. Thank you

  • Great idea!
    One of the most common issues I find is people paying more or less property taxes than they are suppose to be. Jurisdictions vary but here you can have the area you are being taxed on or paying assessments on changed to match the area shown on a current survey performed by a Registered Professional Land Surveyor. This saves them oodles of dough or prevents certain elements of Adverse Possession (at least here in this State) from being fully perfected. 

    • Deward,

      I can't find a way to get in touch with you since we're not Associated on here. So, if you want your $25 Restaurant coupon, go to USALandSurveyor.com and fill out a contact form. This will get to me.

      Just say food coupon in the Message, or just say you want to order a $25,000 survey. Either way you'll get my attention.


      USA Land Surveyor | Professional Land Surveyors in the USA
      USA Land Surveyor - Land Surveying in USA
    • Great point Mr. Bowles. I'll include that in my article about tax maps and land taxes.

      YOU get a dinner. Send me your email please..



      • bbsurveying at aol dot com 

        Great issue to discuss by the way.

  • Thank you Mr Maxwell,

    I had thought about doing this in a discussion for along time now,just never got around to it. After you asked  I decided now is a good a time as any and thank you for asking.  I have been busy writing new programs for the HP 35s where you could store and recall point numbers in the programs. This would make it more like a Data Collector and improve how the HP35s can be used.

     This uses IDAM in the calculators 801 additional storage registers. Jason Foose has some similar ,so I am using his as a routine guide. My subroutines will be a lot different on how they are XEQ and called.

     I also am writing survey programs for the HP Prime in HP PPL language and a very new macro RPN for it. The HP PPL language controls the macro RPN so your using two program languages at one time. This allows the calculator to use a type of RPN logic programming. What a great calculator.

     That is a very good  ? you asked after the survey is done, I am sure more will join this discussion.

    A lot of times one question will lead to another and there is a lot of good minds at this site.

     I will think about it,always loved surveying.

     and Thank you again, will look forward from hearing from you.


  • Thanks Mr.Krebs,

    glad you think so.


  • Hi Mr. Maxwell,

     Here is $25.00 worth. LOL

    Lets start with number 1

    When do I need a Land Survey ?

    1. When buying land,to protect the investment you are about to make.

    2. When selling land,to insure yourself that you are selling just that part intent.

    3. When land is not clearly defined by a plat or a description.

    4. Before land is divided by deed,Will, or by a court.

    5. When a money-lending agency requires a survey.

    6.  Before a building,house or fence is build close to an indefinite line.

    7.  Before a lot is to be conveyed from a larger tract and the lot has not been surveyed.

    8. Before timber is to be cut near a doubtful line.

    9. When purchasing a title insurance policy.

    10. When a line or corner location is unknown or in dispute.

    11.When you believe someone is encroaching on your land.

    12.When purchasing flood insurance policy.

    Number 2

    How much will my survey cost?

    1. The type of survey, personnel and the equipment required.

    2.The amount of deed research required.

    3.The number of unknown corners.

    4.The existence of fences,building and other structures.

    5.The vagueness of descriptions.

    6. The number of acres involved.

    7. The kind of terrain.

    8. The amount of vegetation.

    9. Accessibility to the land.

    10. Disputes over any lines.

    11. Whether the surveyor has made other surveys in the area.

    12. The surveyor should give you a schedule of rates, charges for travel time,mileage,property corner

    markers,flagging,nails,survey stakes and paint,etc...

    13. He maybe able to give you an estimate of total cost,or high or low figure,but he may not be bound to those figures.

    14. Low cost surveys can be poor surveys. A good survey that meets your need and legal requirements may cost more,but should be less expensive in the long run.

    15. A well prepared land survey will be the least expensive part of the total investment cost.

    16.let it be known that the services of a registered land surveyor will cost less in time and money than the worry and cost of moving a building or a dispute .

    Number 3

    What can a surveyor do for me ?

    1.Examine your deed and those of adjacent land owners and look for evidence on the ground to see if there is are problems.

    2. Advise you whether or not you actually need a survey.

    3.Find your property corners and mark them properly.

    4. Establish new corners  and markers.

    5.Mark and paint lines if needed.

    6. Route surveys,Boundary,Subdivisions,Court surveys,Mortgage Inspections, all phases of construction surveying,etc...

    7.Make Topographic contour maps and show elevation.

    8. Locate oil and gas wells,buildings, fences,right of ways,easements,encroachments,and other possession of evidence.

    9. Inform interested  parties of progress and results.

    10. Advise and cooperate with your attorney,title insurance company,realtor,broker,banker, engineer or architect.

    11. Appear in court as an expert witness in a lawsuit.

    12. Do all work in accordance with United States Surveying Laws and Practices,state laws,county laws, municipality laws and regulations, with a high degree of professionalism and ethics.

    Number 4

     What does a surveyor need from me ?

    1.The purpose of the survey.

    2.Your deed or an executed copy of it,or the book and page where it is recorded in the county chancery Clerk's office,any plats you have,and information about the location of corners and property lines.

    3. Brief history of ownership and past conveyances.

    4. Names and address of adjacent land owners.

    5. Information about disagreements over locations of corners and lines.

    6. Be able to walk over property with surveyor or provide an agent to do so.

    7.Agreement as to who is to pay the cost and when, In writing  and signed and dated .

    8. A copy of all title examination notes.

    Number 5

     How to I obtain the services of a registered land surveyor ?

    1. Ask the Chancery Clerk or the County Surveyor.

    2. Ask someone who has employed a competent surveyor or BBB .

    3. Look  in a phone book or search the Internet.

    4. Most states Board of Registration for land surveyors have a list on line on the Internet at there site.

    Number 6

    What should I receive from the surveyor ?

    1. Plat or plats showing all necessary information,suitable for recording.

    2. A description of survey that can be used in a deed.

    3. A report,certificate of survey or  a surveyors inspection report that tells how the surveyor made the survey and other important details about the survey.

    Number 7

     What if I have a complaint about a surveyor's work ?

    1. Ask him to explain, and tell him or her why you feel this way, may be this can be resolved .

    2. If you have a serious  complaint, contact that states  Association of Land Surveyors,

    also their  State Board of Registration of PE and LS .

    Number 8

     What can I do to protect my property lines and markers ? 

    1. Inspect the lines occasionally.

    2.  Have a surveyor to  inspect them to be retighten, pipes rebars , monuments and stone markers.

    Do not relocate then yourself if they have been moved.or damaged.

    3. Repaint marked trees,pipes,rebars,monuments and stone markers every ten years.

    4.Record the Plat and description even if the land is not conveyed.

    Number 9 

    Cautions for landowners ?

    1. Do not mistake preliminary traverse lines for true property lines.

    2. Do not move or relocate markers you are breaking the law.

    3. Ask a surveyor to show you proof that he or she is a registered land surveyor before hiring them.

    4. If you have already engage the services of a Non- Registered Surveyor, you may have the right to swear out a warrant for his or her arrest with local law enforcement. They have broke the law.

    5. Do not seek the cheapest surveyor,select one who will do a satisfactory job.

    6. Contact and engage the service of a Registered Land surveyor well before the survey is needed.

    7. Engaging the professional services of a surveyor are much like engaging the services of other professional,you must have confidence in the person you select.

    Number 10

     Why the Registered Land  Surveyor is the Best Qualified ?

    Since the Registered land Surveyor is the only person licensed to provided the services which the checking of land title descriptions through an actual land survey on location,it follows that a Registered Land surveyor is the most logical and the best qualified person to write the land title descriptions,Attorneys,title insurance companies,realtors,brokers,bankers,engineers and architects,know that title descriptions written by the licensed land surveyor,and based upon an actual land survey,should leave no doubt as to the land boundaries. The survey provides the findings necessary to prepare the description.

    Number 11

     Modern Land Surveying is a Science !!!

    The versatility of procedures and necessity of correlating old records and practices with modern usuage,legal and title methods,makes the profession of land surveying a complex profession. The day of rule -of- thumb surveying is gone. In it's place is a professional land surveyor,educated in the  principles of modern field and office analysis and practice,use and adaption of modern equipment,and who is able to exercise the faculties of sound judgement and experience.

    Number  12

     The most Important Rule

    " Remove not the ancient landmarks which thy fathers have set..."

    Proverbs 22:28

    Some of these were given to me  by  William E Creel PLS,who started surveying in 1949 .

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