Surveyors are intimately familiar with the frequent disagreements between private landowners over a disputed boundary line. However, the disagreements most likely to make headlines are those situations where adjoining states are unable to agree on the location of their common boundaries.
Practical location is one member of a nebulous pantheon of principles (also including acquiescence, agreement, adverse possession and estoppel) by which the courts attempt to fix disputed boundaries on the ground. The original dispute might have been caused by overlapping (or nonexistent) surveys and deeds, or by the inevitable loss of original monumentation over time. One theory holds that practical location may be considered a holdover from a much earlier method of property conveyance, where a potential grantor and grantee would consummate the sale of a parcel by acts on the land itself, rather than by the more modern method of conveyance by writing.