features or works of man to be shown, the entire
drawing is in black ink. When, as shown in figure
10-35, the features other than the survey lines are
quite extensive, color printing is used. Survey lines,
numbers, lettering, and railroads are printed in black;
topographic relief, roads, highways, trails, culture,
alkali flats, sandy-bottom draws, and sand dunes are
shown in brown; rivers, lakes, streams, and marshes
are shown by conventional symbols in blue; and
timbered areas are indicated in green. Where such a
green overprint might obscure other details, the
presence of timber may be indicated in a note (fig.
10-35). These several colors are not shown on the
reproduction of the plat presented in figure 10-35,
although the various features are indicated in
appropriate colors on the original map from which
this figure was reproduced.
A property plat plan must contain the following:
1. Directional orientation, usually indicated by a
2. Bearing and distance of each boundary.
3. Corner monuments.
4. Names of adjacent owners, inscribed in areas of
their property shown.
5. Departing property lines. A departing property
line is one that runs from a point on one of the
boundaries of the surveyed lot through adjacent
property. It constitutes a boundary between areas
belonging to two adjacent owners,
6. Names of any natural monuments that appear on
the plat (such as the name of a stream), or the character
of any natural monuments (such as 10-inch oak tree)
that have no names.
7. Title block, showing name of owner, location of
property, name of surveyor, date of survey, scale of plat,
and any other relevant data.
The preceding items are those that usually appear
on any plat. Some land surveyors add some or all of
the following as well:
1. Grid lines or ticks (a grid tick is a marginal
segment of a grid line, the remainder of the line between
the marginal ticks being omitted), when determinable.
2. On a plat on which grid lines or ticks are shown,
comer locations by grid plane coordinates.
3. Streams, roads, wooded areas, and other natural
features, whether or not they serve as natural
4. Surveyors certificate. This is a statement
(required by law in many states) in which the surveyor
makes a personal affidavit as to the accuracy of the
survey, A typical certificate might read as follows: I,
(surveyors name), registered land surveyor, hereby
certify that this plat accurately shows property of
(owners name), as acquired in Deed Book 60, page 75,
of the land record of (named) County, State of (name).
5. The area of the property.
LAND SURVEY PRECISION
Most land surveying of tracts of ordinary size is
done by using transit-tape methods. For a large tract,
however (such as a large government reservation),
comers might be located by triangulation, or primary
horizontal control might be by triangulation and
secondary control by supplementary traversing.
The precision used for land surveying varies
directly with the value of the land and also with such
circumstances as whether or not important structures
will be erected adjacent to the property lines.
Obviously, a tract in lower Manhattan, New York
(where land may sell for more than
acre), would be surveyed with considerably higher
precision than would a rural tract.
Again there are no hard-and-fast rules. However,
the prescribed order of precision for surveying the
boundaries of a naval station might require the
1. Plumb bobs used for alignment and for
transferring chained distances to the ground
2. Tape leveled by a Locke level
3. Tension applied by spring balance
4. Temperature correction made
5. Angles turned four times
If you turn angles four times with a 1-minute
transit, you are measuring angles to approximately the
nearest 15 seconds. The equivalent precision for
distance measurement would be measurement to the
nearest 0.01 foot. Four-time angles might be precise
enough for lines up to 500.00 feet long. For longer
lines, a higher angular precision (obtained by
repeating six or eight times) might be advisable.