Can you hear the mournful peal of the distant bell? For whom does the bell toll? It is the death knell of the first surveyor concept--an arbitrary rule of surveying too oft extolled.
The proper role of the land surveyor is either that of an original surveyor setting out lines for the very first time or a retracing surveyor following the footsteps of the original surveyor. The support for these doctrines of land surveying is so well established it needs no citation to authority. The lone detractor to the doctrine of following in the footsteps is the “first surveyor” concept,1 which proposes the idea that there is a third role for the land surveyor. This concept takes the view that the “first surveyor” to attempt the placement of boundary lines on the ground is honored as a true original surveyor if this first surveyor follows proper procedure or if the results of the survey are “close enough.”