Point of Beginning

Letters: Traversing the Law - May 09

May 21, 2009
"Just received my May 2009 POB. The article by Mr. Lucas, 'Missing the Mark,' is the same as his others--always entertaining and sometimes informative."

Just received my May 2009 POB. The article by Mr. Lucas, "Missing the Mark," is the same as his others--always entertaining and sometimes informative. In this case, when discussing the merits of accuracy and precision, he relies on "Wikipedia," which is stated to be not accurate nor precise. He compares surveyors to "sinners." When I read that Book, it didn't exclude "casting the first stone"!! Mr. Lucas, your story should have been titled "Missing the Point" or simply "Duck"!

--Dale Hult, PLS, Oregon


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Mr. Lucas, I find this as well as other of your articles very timely. Regardless of the geographic area we practice in, certain problems still occur.

In the area I practice land surveying in, there are many DLCs. The properties and plats that have been recorded rely on metes and bounds descriptions. This area was surveyed by the GLO much later than the DLCs, and some plats were made and proved upon. Consequently, the later surveys rely on electronic when the original plats and properties were surveyed with an 100 ft. tape and a one-minute instrument or compass. Stone monuments were placed for plat, and DLC corners and were later tied in by the GLO. The problem occurring is the very precise foot being measured and an angle measured to seconds of a degree. Some monumentation has been destroyed and/or replaced through improvements. Replacing the monument is accomplished with a considerable precision; however, little analysis has been utilized regarding the found monuments. If the monument is not of the original material, it must have been replaced. Unfortunately, the case is that the monument being replaced was out of position due to poor wing ties and a very precise foot and angle being measured without regard for the original methods. The resulting errors have provided overlaps and gaps of property boundaries; worse, old buildings now are encroaching. Also old roadway locations are improperly located by ignoring the original road establishments or not knowing how to analyze them.

It is these methods used today and poor analysis of monumentation and roadway location that is contributing to multiple corners, improper boundary location and encroachments. Unfortunately, this information is not being taught in school or passed on by the senior PLS.

--George L. Wilkinson, PLS, Washington

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