Greeting – Survey Question Please Help

  • Greeting – Survey Question Please Help

    Posted by sirjohnboyd on May 19, 2022 at 9:42 pm

    I just joined this forum to ask one question.  I am under contract to purchase a 10 acre tract of land in TN.  The property does not have any clear indication as to where to property lines are.  I have a copy of a survey that was done about 5 years ago and it indicates that all the corners have been set with rebar and a cap.  Professional survey crews in my area are booked out for 6 months right now, so if I am going to verify where my property line is, I am going to have to do it myself.  I have never really looked at a survey before, but being a computer network engineer, it wasn’t very difficult for me to get the just of all the data.  I quickly figured out the format of the headings with degrees, minutes, and seconds, and of course the distances.  The problem is that all of the bearings and headings originate off of what is referred to on the survey as a steel post.  Below the words “steel post” are numbers, what I assume is some sort of gps coordinates but for the life of me I cannot figure out what the numbers mean.  I have researched online and discovered that there are a great number of gps delineating systems, but when I plug these numbers in they are nowhere near my property.  Someone please help me.  Attached is a snip of that “steel post” annotation on the survey.

     

    dave-o replied 1 year, 9 months ago 12 Members · 20 Replies
  • 20 Replies
  • bill93

    bill93

    Member
    May 20, 2022 at 4:29 pm

    Those look like State Plane Coordinates, although I haven’t checked that interpretation.

    I would think you would be better off ignoring those coordinates and working from the features like what appears to be a road or driveway.

    If you are using a compass, be aware that it points to magnetic north, and the survey could use a number of different reference orientations, such as SPC grid, geodetic, older magnetic (it drifts over decades), or assumed to match one line to an older abutting survey. So you may need to add or subtract some constant to adjust the survey bearings to compass readings.


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  • bill93

    bill93

    Member
    May 20, 2022 at 4:55 pm

    Using Tennessee State Plane Coordinates (Zone 4100), US Survey Feet I get N 35?ø 25′ 33.71″ W 84?ø 55′ 17.23″ and I would assume that is some realization of NAD83.  That does seem to fall near Lower River Road, Decatur, Tenn.

    You probably don’t have anything to read out coordinates with an accuracy better than 10’s of feet, and most likely would be reading WGS84 (despite what a sports GPS unit may label it) which is 3 or 4 ft different than NAD83, so those values won’t do much more than get you within sight of the post if it is still there.


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  • peter-lothian

    peter-lothian

    Member
    May 20, 2022 at 4:57 pm

    Also, be aware that the Northing value is also the Y value in the traditional coordinate grid of mathematics. Likewise Easting is the X value.

    Like so (N,E) = (y,x)

    or (E,N) = (x,y)

  • holy-cow

    holy-cow

    Member
    May 20, 2022 at 5:06 pm

    Those are probably State Plane Coordinates for Tennessee.  Ignore those.  Go with the relative relationships and lengths of each line around the boundary.  Surely you can find one corner monument.  That will greatly tie down when the next should be found.  Once you have that, it gets much easier.  But, then, nothing is easy in impenetrable and vertically-challenging terrain.

  • andy-j

    andy-j

    Member
    May 20, 2022 at 5:27 pm

     I’d insist that the seller (who I assume paid for the real survey 5 years ago) provide some actual help to you in the field.   If they refuse to answer my questions, I would assume they didn’t want me to know something.  

    Maybe all the local surveyors are busy trying to solve problems caused by people buying land without getting a survey first.    

  • andy-j

    andy-j

    Member
    May 20, 2022 at 5:36 pm
  • geoff-ashworth

    geoff-ashworth

    Member
    May 20, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    The circle is 100′ radius at the coordinates that you posted. 

  • kevin-hines

    kevin-hines

    Member
    May 20, 2022 at 8:27 pm

    It appears that the steel post is SW of the drive to the SE from Lower River Road.  L31, L32, L33, L40, & L41 appear to be an ingressegress easement to the property being purchased.  Google Earth Street View shows heavy vegetation at the approximate location of this this steel post, so you may have to get a k-blade to cut your way to it. 

  • kevin-hines

    kevin-hines

    Member
    May 20, 2022 at 8:28 pm

    Double post…how did this happen?

  • lurker

    lurker

    Member
    May 20, 2022 at 9:21 pm

    @kevin-hines  just a forum pin cushion.

  • bill93

    bill93

    Member
    May 20, 2022 at 9:28 pm

    There’s a button, as seen by the poster for a while, to delete a post.


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  • nate-the-surveyor

    nate-the-surveyor

    Member
    May 20, 2022 at 10:32 pm
    Posted by: @andy-j

     

    Maybe all the local surveyors are busy trying to solve problems caused by people buying land without getting a survey first. 

    Those soak up more than their fair share of time. 

  • nate-the-surveyor

    nate-the-surveyor

    Member
    May 20, 2022 at 10:36 pm
    Posted by: @sirjohnboyd

    I have researched online and discovered that there are a great number of gps delineating systems

    Yes, in some sense, all coord systems are arbitrary….. Can you get the seller, or anybody to take you to any corners?

    Once you find one, start working with it.

    You may learn stuff…

    N

  • sirjohnboyd

    sirjohnboyd

    Member
    May 21, 2022 at 3:42 pm

    Gentlemen,  Thank you for being so generous with your knowledge and wisdom.

    The property owner is a man and woman, the man of which has moved several states away for work and coincidentally has endured some injury and I have not be able to speak with him.  Naturally this raises suspicion, but I assure you I am closer to cynical than na??ve yet given the totality of information and circumstances, I do not suspect foul play, but I also cannot rule it out either, which is why I am on this forum.  My situation is further complicated by the fact that I am away for work myself, and the due diligence period is closing faster than I am able to get back and walk the property again.  I was really hoping to be able to overlay the points on this survey on Google Earth, but time is pretty much up and I am just going to have to hope that this survey is accurate and my 10 acres are there somewhere.

    Nate the surveyor, I guess I was hoping that someone could interpret the numbers below “steel post” for me, but I am starting to believe that they are rather arbitrary as you pointed out.

    Geoff Ashworth, the image you provided is interesting.  I am curious where your aerial imagery comes from.  It shows features that the latest Google imagery does not.  I should mention that I have an FPV drone that I put up and captured imagery with only a weeks ago.  The photo below is from my drone.

    Kevin Hines, you are right about the proximity to Lower River Road, but a driveway has been installed there since that street view photo was taken.

    I am attaching the whole survey and a drone shot.  For anyone curious.

    Thanks again.

    Note that up on the drone pic is almost perfectly NE.

  • bill93

    bill93

    Member
    May 22, 2022 at 12:14 am
    Posted by: @sirjohnboyd

    I was hoping that someone could interpret the numbers below “steel post” for me, but I am starting to believe that they are rather arbitrary as you pointed out.

    I tried to explain that in my posts above, and translated them to lat-lon.  What further question do you have about that?


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  • Norman_Oklahoma

    Norman_Oklahoma

    Member
    May 22, 2022 at 3:17 am

    12. BEARINGS FOR THIS SURVEY ARE BASED ON THE STATE GRID AND WAS OBTAINED USING SATELLITE OBSERVATION.

    I’ve seen worse basis of bearing statements, I guess, but I can’t remember when.  1 monument found and 15 set. I wonder what a survey of the adjoiners property would think of all these monuments? Maybe that is what works in Meigs County, TN. Certainly I saw similar products in Oklahoma. Such a survey would get my license pulled in Oregon.   

  • dave-karoly

    dave-karoly

    Member
    May 22, 2022 at 3:47 am
    Posted by: @sirjohnboyd

    Gentlemen,  Thank you for being so generous with your knowledge and wisdom.

    The property owner is a man and woman, the man of which has moved several states away for work and coincidentally has endured some injury and I have not be able to speak with him.  Naturally this raises suspicion, but I assure you I am closer to cynical than na??ve yet given the totality of information and circumstances, I do not suspect foul play, but I also cannot rule it out either, which is why I am on this forum.  My situation is further complicated by the fact that I am away for work myself, and the due diligence period is closing faster than I am able to get back and walk the property again.  I was really hoping to be able to overlay the points on this survey on Google Earth, but time is pretty much up and I am just going to have to hope that this survey is accurate and my 10 acres are there somewhere.

    Nate the surveyor, I guess I was hoping that someone could interpret the numbers below “steel post” for me, but I am starting to believe that they are rather arbitrary as you pointed out.

    Geoff Ashworth, the image you provided is interesting.  I am curious where your aerial imagery comes from.  It shows features that the latest Google imagery does not.  I should mention that I have an FPV drone that I put up and captured imagery with only a weeks ago.  The photo below is from my drone.

    Kevin Hines, you are right about the proximity to Lower River Road, but a driveway has been installed there since that street view photo was taken.

    I am attaching the whole survey and a drone shot.  For anyone curious.

    Thanks again.

    Note that up on the drone pic is almost perfectly NE.

    The bearings are relative to Tennessee State Plane grid north. The notes on the map are insufficient in my opinion. The distances are probably grid but they could be ground. State Plane systems are a map projection of the spherical earth onto a flat map. There is a difference between grid north and geodetic north plus grid distances are usually shorter than true distances over the ground.

    The survey could be easily plotted in Google Earth.

     

  • dave-karoly

    dave-karoly

    Member
    May 22, 2022 at 4:05 am
  • geoff-ashworth

    geoff-ashworth

    Member
    May 23, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    @sirjohnboyd The image that I referenced is from Microsoft/Bing maps.

  • dave-o

    dave-o

    Member
    May 24, 2022 at 12:19 am

    I have a contractor/friend who likes to quickly/roughly locate property corners for obvious reasons and I showed him an app I thought was cool (iOS in my case) called Regrid.  It accesses county database info in real space.  I’m sure there are a lot of these apps but he’s been impressed with how well it can guide him quite closely to corner locations (and possibly their associated monuments).  I don’t know how it can be better than their usually +/-10m GIS info available online but he swears it consistently gets him into the 3m range as he walks about the land.  I haven’t verified it but might be worth a go.

    As others have noted here the “TN State Grid” noted in note 12 is a ref to the Tennessee State Plane Coordinate system.  Although that’s unambiguous to a surveyor it’s unlikely that that coordinate itself would help you find anything on the ground unless you have a working knowledge of SPC and access to software or tabulated data (and probably hardware) to guide you.

    I could tell from the resolution of the plat what monuments were set vs not set but that would be important for a walking locate.  I also agree that the map’s a little incomplete.  I see one corner not noted as to it’s reality beyond the line table info, which would be lower in the heirarchy of “evidence” if it were the only available evidence.  The deed would help you out in those areas.

    I also found it strange (IMHO) that they call out a monumented, dark lined flag portion as an “access & utility easement”.  It’s likely not at all an easement if you own it, unless it serves another property – If it did, it would be required to be shown through the rest of the property how that’s the case.  It’d be interesting to talk with Richmond Surveying Co.


    dd

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