Monday, December 3, 2007

Surveying Property Properly

James Jackson came by today to survey my property. It is muy muy importante to make sure that you are building in the right spot. Since this whole area has been subdivided so many times, there can be errors in the deed and corresponding GPS coordinates given by the companies who sell the land out here. If years down the road, it was found that I were building on a neighbor’s property, they would get to keep my structure and any other fruit of my labor. This has happened before in this area, but most times, neighbors have agreed to redraw the lines. But technically by law, that neighbor could have chosen to keep the free infrastructure and also forbid the builder from stepping foot on that land ever again.

The surveying process is very interesting. And James Jackson has many years of education and experience in this field. He explained it to me, but it was too much technical information for me to absorb all at once. Basically though, there are iron corner markers which are spread out throughout this region, and they are officially recognized by the court if there were to be any discrepancies or arguing over land ownership. They are sometimes spaced out miles apart. So, in figuring out the true coordinates of my five acre tract, we have to bounce a signal from those officially recognized corner markers. Using simple mathematics to measure the angles and distances help to find out the exact corners of the property. The main tool is the total station. This is what measures the reflection of light from the prism pole. I carried the prism pole to the iron corner marker about a half mile from my property and then pointed it back at James, who aimed the total station at it. With the help of walkie talkies, I was able to adjust the prism pole to where James can see it in the view finder. Luckily out here, there aren’t many tall trees to get in our way. If there were, we would have to measure multiple segments of unobstructed path and and then add them together.

James is in high demand in these parts. I am grateful that he took the time to help and explain the surveying process.

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