how to read a survey map with a compass

Each minute may also be divided into 60 seconds of angle. Locate the quarter section. is there an online site that certifies surveyor's use? The parcel is in section 4 of this township. All rights reserved. You would need to pick a map of a scale that is appropriate for what you need. No. In the picture here and the video below, I used a protractor and compass along with our survey to find the pin we could not locate on our own. Hold the compass flat at waist height, and turn yourself and the compass slowly until the red needle lines up with the letter N above the orienteering red arrow. Use the land parcel map to help you as you read the legal description of the parcel. Would you Sign Up for our Newsletter? To read our survey, we should travel from that pin, South at 36 degrees, 20 minutes and 40 seconds. Read the map with an understanding of how it was surveyed. The difference in degrees is marked on printed Ordnance Survey Ireland maps but as a rule of thumb, adjust by 5 degrees by turning the compass housing anticlockwise. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. All Rights Reserved. (EG SN 24 63 = 4 Since this boundary actually goes South-Southwest, it seems clear that the only way to get 36 degrees is if the survey considered South 0 degrees. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. A map’s scale connects the distances listed on a map to their actual size. This can lead to you looking for a footpath that doesn’t exist when out on a walk. She has been an active real estate broker since 2005, and founded the real estate agency CT Realty LLC in 2013. Once the grid is separated into townships, it can be further divided into sections that are one square mile. If the property is not located within a subdivision there may or may not be a survey on record and a title search report may be able to show this or you can check with the county, but not every survey is recorded. This article describes the land plat survey system and how to read a land survey plat. This will be printed on the map. Map reading made easy! You also need to know what the symbols on the survey represent, and what scale is used. This is particularly useful if no noticeable property boundary, such as a fence or stone wall, is present. For example, your survey may state that every inch on the survey equals 20 yards. Also walking whilst holding a compass can distract you from looking out for danger. Buying property may be the biggest financial decision a homeowner or business owner will ever make. The illustration is basically a map of the area surveyed. We’ll help you understand the basics of a survey plan and how to use it. The value of true north is written right beside the star symbol on the map. of Agriculture, Food and Marine, GIS and Dept. The Metes and Bounds system surveyed a land parcel by describing it from one point to another, referencing landmarks, until it described the complete boundary of the land. How to Read a Survey Plat. How can I find the survey of my property? Eventually, these descriptions were updated, replacing landmarks with compass directions. Lay the reference out as per the example shown. Orienting arrow (2 green lines on this compass) – fixed and aligned to north within the compass housing. Top tip: practice comparing a map to the real world or a photograph, to get a good indication of how contour lines represent the real world. That said: Our compass puts North at 0 degrees. It is #NationalMapReadingWeek! So, to make our heading work, we need to add 36 to 180, giving us 216 degrees. A township is 6 miles on each side. This is useful for being able to simply give others your location (e.g. This impacts the location of your property. Direction-of-travel arrow: Tells you which direction to point the compass when you’re taking or following a bearing. Identify the survey parts. However magnetic north often changes. We've collected some of our top map reading resources all in one place to get you started in this vital outdoor skill. For example, between N (North) and NE (Northeast), there are three compass points: NxE, NNE, NExN. Once you have done this, the direction of travel arrow should be pointing in the direction you need to go. On a topographic map, the true direction of north is represented by a star symbol. Throughout the blog you will find great advice on this very important skill plus a section on the most common mistakes (don’t forget to share this article with that friend who is always getting lost). The compass also consists of two arrows—direction of travel and an orienting arrow. ", View your land parcel map in the context of "townships" and "forties." Property disputes almost always require review of a survey plat. Place the survey illustration on a large flat surface, as property surveys can be quite large. All compasses include many common features. It’s best to line your compass up with something in the distance and head towards that. So, we have asked Ordnance Survey to put together a quick a simple guide on how to read a map and use a compass. A legend is a listing of the symbols on the survey and what they mean. Classroom is the educational resource for people of all ages. unlocking this expert answer. Using a compass in the outdoors is central to a lot of activities from hill walking, cycling and camping. Read Compass Point headings with an understanding that each represents one of 32 directional points on the compass. Your base plate should show you a straight path from point to point. Check out this Wikipedia file on Magnetic Declination for help determining any adjustments you might need to make. Move your compass over the line that you drew with your pencil. This will show the boundaries of the lot. The Bureau of Land Management has a standard set of symbols that are used on surveys. Included are how to understand scales, markings (from the plat legend), property lines and corners, and the legal demarcation of boundaries, easements, and the natural situation. They are given as coordinates, made from horizontal lines, with the equator referring to 0 latitude, and vertical lines, with the line passing through the prime meridian referring to 0 longitude. She uses her experience as a certified nursing assistant and chef apprentice to write on health and food-related topics. A map’s scale connects the distances listed on a map to their actual size. Ruler(s): Used with your map’s scale to determine distances. Make sure you check the map legend carefully to make sure you interpret the map correctly. A square is then subdivided into townships. J&J Acres, LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This reads "North, 63 degrees East." Ben Robertson on the life saving benefits …, GORDON DAVISON, CO-FOUNDER OF BERGHAUS, 30.11.34 – …. Once land is surveyed using a given system, the description remains with that parcel forever. Direction of travel arrow – the arrow at the end of the baseplate. By dropping in, you agree on our use of cookies. the angle traversed from point C to point B passing through point H, or the angle at point D that is defined by points C and H. CHB may also refer to a particular type of soil in the designated area. Too easy for you? So, to find our missing pin we first found one that was directly connected to it. All trademarks acknowledged. The land had been professionally surveyed and we have a copy of the survey, but we still could not find the pins. Reading a compass allows you to determine the bearing, or direction, location and how to get to a specific destination on a topographic map—a map which describes the shape of the land. Once you have worked out the 4-figure reference, imagine the square is further divided into ten. By using our site, you agree to our. The lines represent the contours of the land, and the numbers tell you the height each line is above sea level. The San Francisco Estuary Institute provides a sample legal description under this system: "Commencing from a point one-half mile upstream from Smith Bridge on Jones Creek, proceed northeast 500 feet to Spring Hill, then northwest to the large oak tree, then southwest to the large rock in the middle of Jones Creek, then along Jones Creek to the origin." You need to adjust your compass for magnetic variation. It just so happens that we are at about a 1 degree declination. To state the obvious, each pin can go in a line in either direction to another pin. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Being able to read a map is an essential life skill if you plan on spending time in the hills. If you’re buying or selling property, you need a land survey. She has been an active real estate broker since 2005, and founded the real estate agency CT Realty LLC in 2013. East and west lines are called baselines. Most maps use symbols, rather than descriptions, to show where things are. This article was co-authored by Carla Toebe. I have a surveyor’s map of my land that does not have standard GPS coordinates for the location of the survey markers (which I understand is pretty standard).

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