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Subdividing the Land: Metes and Bounds and Rectangular Survey Systems


Product Details


•Provides a simple guide on key concepts of metes and bounds and US rectangular survey system

•Presents examples with various tables and charts, graphically designed to communicate important information in an easy-to-understand format

•Explores legal terms, water law, and mining claims

•Includes case examples from real projects


Ideally every tract of land has a description on paper and a physical survey on the ground. When boundary disputes arise, all parties concerned must quickly learn the vocabulary and processes involved with real estate. Written for anyone dealing in real estate transactions, Subdividing the Land: Metes and Bounds and Rectangular Survey Systems provides this background. It defines key legal terms, examines key concepts of Metes and Bounds, the structure of the U.S. Land Survey System and offers many illustrations and tables that clearly explain the concepts.

Each state has its own property laws, but the book's material is generic enough to be applicable across the entire United States and even Canada. Taking into account that local laws may be influenced by many factors, the book also covers the roots of English property laws and effects of French, Spanish, and Mexican legacies. The author discusses topics such as water law, mining claims, and the Metes and Bounds and Torrens system of property registry. He provides a section of basic legal concepts applicable to land transactions and a glossary of special or semi-technical terms.

Unlike most other topics related to surveying, there is no math associated with the topics given; yet the subjects can be complex and tricky. This book is a resource of many interrelated topics, and thus presents a knowledge base for land surveyors and the background for handling many types of land transactions conducted by real estate agents, engineers, architects, and lawyers.


Metes and Bounds Surveys
Direction of Each Leg
Distances of Each Leg
Additional Aspects of Metes and Bounds Descriptions
Metes and Bounds by Coordinates—The Future

U.S. Rectangular Survey System
Laying Out the “Grid"
The Aliquote (Area) Subdivision of a Section
Type of Monuments Set
Locating a
The Subdivision of Land— Summary
Supplemental Comments for Figure 25 to Figure 40
1855 Federal Manual of Surveying Instructions
Selected Bibliography

Surveying Roots
English Common Law
French Law (Also Called the Napoleonic Code)
Spanish Law
Colorado Land Grants
The Beginning of the Rectangular U.S. Survey System
Historical Notes— Summary
Supplemental Comments for Figure 43 to Figure 51
Selected Bibliography

Mining Claims and Related Items
Lode Claims
Placer Claim
Mill Site
Tunnel (Adit) Site
Some Mining Terminology
Selected Bibliography

Water Laws
Water Rights
Water Laws

Some Legal Concepts and Definitions
Role of Surveyor or Engineer
Transfer of Real Property (Real Estate)
Adverse Possession
Chain of Title

Relocation of Property from Previous Survey Work
Property Rights Abutting Water
Registry of Property—The Torrens System
The Torrens System

Bibliography and Other Resources

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