Surveying

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Surveying, abbreviated SURV, is the process of determining and recording the three-dimensional positions of angles, distances and points.  The next step is to analyze the information to create a detailed map or legal document to be used for parcel maps and construction.

Abbreviations

  • SURV - Survey

 

Surveying Types

  • Asbuilt survey
  • Cadastral survey
  • Geodetic survey
  • LiDAR (Aerial survey)
  • Photogrammrtry surveying (Aerial survey)
  • Topographical survey

 

Surveying Related Articles

 

Nomenclature & Symbols for Engineering, Mathematics, and Science 

 

Surveying Nomenclature & Symbols

  • \( BS \) = Back sight
  • \( BT \) = Back tangent
  • \( BC \) = Beginning of curve
  • \( BVC \) = Beginning of vertical curve
  • \( BM \) = Benchmark
  • \( BRL \) = Building restriction line
  • \( BSL \) = Building setback line
  • \( CRB \) = Capped rebar
  • \( CL \) = Centerline
  • \( \Delta \) = Central angle
  • \( c \) = Chord
  • \( Con \;Mon \;F \) = Concrete momument found
  • \( CVC \) = Curve on vertical curve
  • \( DSD \) = Decision sight distance
  • \( DC \) = Deflection circular curve
  • \( D \) = Degree of curve
  • \( ELB \) = East boundary line
  • \( EC \) = End of curve
  • \( EVC \) = End of vertical curve
  • \( EIP \) = Existing iron pipe
  • \( E \) = External distance
  • \( g_2 \) = Finished grade
  • \( FS \) = Forward shot
  • \( FT \) = Forward tangent
  • \( FD \) or \( FND \) = Found
  • \( FD \) or \( FND \) = Found corner
  • \( GPPM \) = General property parcel map
  • \( GIS \) = GIS mapping
  • \( g_1 \) = Grade of back tangent
  • \( g_2 \) = Grade of forward tangent
  • \( g_2 \) = Grade final
  • \( g_1 \) = Grade initial
  • \( HP \) = High point
  • \( g_1 \) = Initial grade
  • \( IPPM \) = Individual property parcel map
  • \( HI \) = Instrument height
  • \( IS \) = Intermediate shot
  • \( I \) = Intersecting angle
  • \( ISD \) = Intersection sight distance
  • \( IP \) = Iron pipe
  • \( IPF \) = Iron pipe/pin found
  • \( IPS \) = Iron pipe/pin set
  • \( IRF \) = Iron rod found
  • \( IRS \) = Iron rod set
  • \( LM \) = Landmark
  • \( L \) or \( LC \) = Length of curve
  • \( LS \) = License/Land Surveyoe #
  • \( L.O.D. \) = Limit of disturbance
  • \( LIS \) = LIS mapping
  • \( LC \) = Long cord
  • \( LT \) = Long tangent
  • \( LP \) = Low point
  • \( MAG \) = Magnetic concrete nail
  • \( M \) = Middle ordinate
  • \( MBS \) = Minimum building setbac
  • \( NPP \) = Nail in power pole
  • \( NTCFP \) = Nail on top of corner fence post
  • \( NTFP \) = Nail on top of fence post
  • \( NMS \) = No monument found
  • \( NBL \) = North boundary line
  • \( NTS \) = Not to scale
  • \( PSD \) = Passing sight distance
  • \( POB \) = Point of beginning
  • \( POC \) = Point of circular curve
  • \( PCC \) = Point of compound curvature
  • \( PC \) = Point of curve
  • \( POE \) = Point of ending
  • \( PI \) = Point of intersection
  • \( PRC \) = Point of reverse curve
  • \( PT \) = Point of tangent
  • \( PTC \) = Point of tangent curve
  • \( PVC \) = Point of vertical curve
  • \( PVI \) = Point of vertical intersection
  • \( PVT \) = Point of vertical tangent
  • \( POL \) = Point of line
  • \( PSDE \) = Private storm drain easement
  • \( PL \) = Property line
  • \( PDE \) = Public drainage easement
  • \( R \) = Radius of a circular curve
  • \( RP \) = Radius point
  • \( R/C \) = Rebar and cap
  • \( R/W \) = Right of way
  • \( SCM \) = Set concrete monument
  • \( SMN \) = Set MAG nail
  • \( ST \) = Short tangent
  • \( S \) = Sight distance
  • \( SBL \) = South boundary line
  • \( SR \) = Steel rod
  • \( SRS \) = Steel rebar set
  • \( SSD \) =  Stopping sight distance
  • \( T \) = Tangent distance
  • \( E \) = Tangent offset
  • \( TP \) = Turning point
  • \( E \) = Vertical distance from VPI to curve
  • \( VPC \) = Vertical point of curve
  • \( VPI \) = Vertical point of intersection
  • \( VPT \) = Vertical point of tangent
  • \( WBL \) = West boundary line
  • \( WC \) = Witness corner

 

Surveying Terms

A

  • Accepted survey  -  A survey accepted by the official having cadastral survey approval authority.
  • Adjoiner  -  To owner of land which touches the land of another.
  • Adjoining  -  To be in contact with, touching or contiguous.
  • Angle  -  Two rays sharing a common point.
  • Angle point  -  A point in a survey where the alinement of boundary deflects from a straight line.
  • Arc definition  -  The degree of the curve (D) is the angle formed by two radii drawn from the center of the circle to the ends of the arc.
  • Asbuilt survey  -  A survey that is done after the completion of a construction project.
  • Azimith  -  The direction of a line related to north.

B

  • Backsight  -  A sight on a previously established survey point.
  • Back tangent  -
  • Base line  -  The east-west line that divides townships.
  • Bearing  -  An angle in degrees measured clockwise from north.
  • Beginning of curve, See (BVC, PVC, PC)  -  The point at which a straight line begins to curve, the point tangency to the curve.
  • Beginning of vertical curve, See (BC, PVC, PC)  -  The point at which a straight line begins to curve, the point tangency to the curve.
  • Benchmark  -  A relatively fixed point whose coordinates and elevation datum are used for leveling and construction.
  • Blaze  -  A mark made upon a tree trunk.
  • Boundary line  -  A line of demarcation between adjoining parcels of land.
  • Boundary monument  -  An object placed on or near a boundary line to preserve and identify the location of the boundary line.
  • Boundary survey  -  A mathematically closed diagram of the complete outside boundary of a site.
  • Bounds  -  A general description of buildings, property, roads, and etc. used in legal documents.
  • Broken boundary  -  A series of line segments representing a boundary which is not a straight line.
  • Bug  -  A magnetic locator to search for an iron pipe.
  • Building restriction line  -
  • Building setback line  -

C 

  • Cadastral survey  -  A survey that is carried out to describe boundaries and land ownership.
  • Capped rebar  -  A rebar 18" long, 1/2" diameter, with a cap having the company name and license number stamped into it.
  • Centerline  -
  • Central angle  -  The angle formed by two radii drawn from the center of the circle (0) to PC and PT.
  • Chaining  -  The measuring a distance using a chain or tape.
  • Chord  -  A line segment on the interior of a circle.
  • Clay  -  Particles ranging in size from 0.002 mm and smaller.
  • Closing corner  -  A corner established where a survey line intersects a previous fixed boundary at a point between corners.
  • Collapse slump  -  The fresh concrete collapses completely.
  • Closed joint  -  A joint that is invisible or barely visible between two adjacent slabs or stones.
  • Compass bearing  -  Uses magnetic north as a reference point.
  • Concrete monument found  -  A permanent marker set by a land surveyor to reference controll points or property corners.
  • Construction survey  -  Surveying measurements made before or while the site is under construction.
  • Corner  -  The location of intersecting boundary lines.
  • Coordinate system  -  A grid where the axes are apart 90 degrees.
  • Cotton spindle  -  A 6" to 8" spindle used where you would typically use an iron pipe or rebar as a momument.
  • Curve on vertical curve  - 

D

  • Datum  -  An abstract coordinate system used to reference a known location.
  • Declination  -  The difference between geographic north (true) and magnetic north.
  • Deed  -  A document that transfers title to real property.
  • Deep well  -  A well that draws water from beneath an impermeable stratum.
  • Deflection angle  -  The angle between a tangent and the ends of the chords from the PC.
  • Deflection circular curve  -  The deflection angle for a full circular angle measures from tangent at PC or PT.
  • Degree of curve -  The flatness or shapeness of the curve.

E

  • Easement  -  The legal right to use another persons personal property.
  • East boundry line  -
  • EDM  -  Electromagnetic Distance Measurement device.
  • Egress  -  The right to go on the land of another.
  • Elevation survey  -  Used to determine the elevation of a structure and it's relationship to the floorplan.
  • End of curve, See (EVC, PVT, PT)  -  The point at which a curved line ends and the point tangency to the curve begins.
  • End of vertical curve, See (EC, PVT, PT)  -  The point at which a curved line ends and the point tangency to the curve begins.               
  • Existing iron pipe  -
  • External distance  -  The distance from the PI to the midpoint of the curve.

F

  • Final grade  -
  • First station  -  Point of beginning (POB)
  • Forward shot  -
  • Forward tangent  -
  • Found  -
  • Found corner  -  An existing corner on a public land survey found by a field survey.
  • Furlong  -  A distance of 220 yards or 40 poles.

G

  • General property parcel map  -
  • Geodetic survey  -  A percise survey that takes in long distances showing shape of the world.
  • GIS Mapping, See (LIS)  -  Geographic Information System is used to locate items like utilities.
  • Grade of back tangent  -
  • Grade of forward tangent  -
  • Grade final  -
  • Grade initial  -
  • Gradient  -  The rate of rise and fall.
  • Grid bearing  -  The northwards direction along the grid lines of a map used as a reference point.
  • Grid north  -  The direction of the north-south grid lines on a state plane coordinate system.
  • Gunter's Chain  - A distance of 66 feet or 4 poles.

H

  • Half section  -  Containing more or less 360 acres.
  • High point (HP)  -

I

  • Ingress  -  The right to enter a tract of land.
  • Initial grade  -
  • Individual property parcel map  -
  • Instrument height  -
  • Intermediate shot  -
  • Intersecting angle  -  The deflection angle at the PI.
  • Intersection sight distance  -  The distance a motorist should be able to see other traffic in the intersection in order to enter safetly.
  • Iron pipe  -  A pipe 18" long, 3/4" outside diameter, with a plastic cap set inside having the company name and license number stamped into it.
  • Iron pipe/pin found  -
  • Iron pipe/pin set  -
  • Iron rod found  -
  • Iron rod set  - 

J

K

L

  • Landmark  -  A marker made on a permanent feature of the land like rocks, trees, etc.
  • Land Survey  -  The act of surveying to establish the correct property description or establish land boundaries.
  • Length of curve (horizontal)  -  The distance from PC to PT.
  • Leveling  -  Using a graduated rod to establish difference in heights of the terrain.
  • Licensed/Land Surveyor #  -
  • LiDAR (Aerial survey)  -  A survey using remote sensors of light reflected by lasers to measure distances.
  • Limit of disturbance  -
  • LIS Mapping, See (GIS)  -  Land Information System is used to locate items like utilities.
  • Long chord  -  The cord from PC to PT.
  • Long tangent  -
  • Low point  - 

M

  • Magnetic bearing  -  The direction toward the magnetic north pole as a reference point.
  • Magnetic concrete nail  -  Stamped on top of nail.  Makes them easier to be found by metal detectors.
  • Magnetic north  -  The direction in which a magnetic needle of a compass points.
  • Mean sea level  -  The average height of the surface of the sea.
  • Meridian  -  An imaginary north-south lines converging at the north and south poles.
  • Metes  -  A boundary defined by the measurement between terminal points of each straight run used in legal documents.
  • Metes and bounds  -  The boundary lines of land with angles and points used in legal documents.
  • Middle ordinate  -  The distance from the midpoint of the curve to the midpoint of the long chord.
  • Minimum building setback  -  The minimum requirement for a building limits.
  • Monument  -  A permanent marker set by a land surveyor to reference controll points or property corners.

N

  • Nail in power pole  -
  • Nail on top of corner fence post  -
  • Nail on top of fence post  -
  • No monument found  -
  • North boundary line  -
  • Not to scale  -

O

  • Offset  -  Right angles to the survey line measured horizontal to locate a point off the line.

P

  • Passing sight distance  -  The distance a motorist should be able to observe the trafic in order to pass safetly.
  • Percolation & Soils Testing  -  A field test measuring the rate water moves through soil and helps evaluate the ability of the soil to absorb.
  • Photogrammrtry surveying (Aerial survey)  -  A survey that takes photographs from elevated ground stations.
  • Plane coordinates  -  Coordinates that represent the location of points on a plane.
  • Platt  -  A drawing that represents the survey area such as section corners, bearings and distances, parcel numbers, mineral rights, etc.
  • Point of beginning  -  In a survey it describe the point at which a meets and bounds description begins.
  • Point of circular curve  -  The point at which a straight line begins to curve, the point tangency to the curve.
  • Point of compound curvature  -  A point where curves of different radii meet.
  • Point of curve, See (BC, BVC, PVC)  -  The point at which a straight line begins to curve, the point tangency to the curve.
  • Point of ending  -  In a survey it description to describe the point at which a meets and bounds description ends.
  • Point of intersection, See (VPI, PVI)  -  The intersection of two tangent points or where two non-parallel lines intersect.
  • Point of reverse curve  -  The point in an S-type compound curve where two curves of different polarity meet.
  • Point of tangent, See (EC, EVC, PVT)  -  The point at which a curved line ends and the point tangency to the curve begins.
  • Point of tangent curve  -  The point at which a curve ends and a straight line begins.
  • Point of vertical curve, See (BC, BVC, PC)  -  The point at which a straight line begins to curve, the point tangency to the curve.
  • Point of vertical intersection, See (VPI, PI)  -  The intersection of two tangent points or where two non-parallel lines intersect.
  • Point of vertical tangent, See (EC, EVC, PT)  -  The point at which a curved line ends and the point tangency to the curve begins.
  • Point on line  -  When the endpoint can not be seen from the transit.
  • Private storm drain easement  -
  • Property line  -  Defines the line where properties begin and end.
  • Public drainage easement  -  Allows public utilities to acces a persons property to make any improvements to drainage as necessary.

Q

  • Quarter corner  -  A corner halfway between the corners of a section.
  • Quarter section  -  Containing more or less 160 acres.

R

  • Radius of a circular curve  -  The circle of which the curve is an arc.
  • Radius point  -  All points are the same distance from the center.
  • Rebar and cap  -  A rebar 18" long, 1/2" diameter, with a cap having the company name and license number stamped into it.
  • Right of way  -  The legal right to cross the property of another person.
  • Rodman  -  A person that holds the rod with an EDM.

S

  • Section  -  Containing more or less 640 acres, a division of a township.
  • Section corner  -  A corner at the extreme section boundary.
  • Set concrete monument  -
  • Set MAG nail  -
  • Short tangent  -
  • Silt  -  Particles ranging in size from 0.002 mm to 0.05 mm.
  • Sight distance  -
  • Site plan  -  A prepared plan used to get approval to construct some type of structure on a piece of property.
  • Slurry  -  The measurement of the height loss from a compacted cone of fresh concrete.
  • Southern boundary line  -
  • Steel rebar  -
  • Steel rebar set  -
  • Stopping sight distance  -  The distance traveled by a vehical from the time it is observer to the time it comes to a stop.
  • Subdivision survey  -  This survey that is used to divide a parcel into smaller parcles.
  • Survey  -  The field note record of measurements and observations of the work performed.

T

  • Tangent  -  A line that touches a curve at just one point such that it is perpendicular to a radius line of the curve.
  • Tangent distance  -  The distance along the tangents from PI to PC or PT.
  • Tangent offset  -
  • Thermal expansion coefficient  -  The percentage change in the length of the material per degree of temperature change, heated solid or liquid.
  • Tie point  -  The point where the survey connection is made.
  • Topographical survey  -  A survey to determine land structure along with the variation in land heights.
  • Township  -  A quadrangle having sides approximatelly 6 miles in length with parallels and medians.
  • Township corner  -  A corner at the extreme township boundary that also falls on a section corner.
  • Township lines  - Boundary lines that run north and south and stop at range lines.
  • Traverse  -  A sequence of randomly located distance and angles between measured survey lines and points in order to locate something or set property corners.
  • Triangulation  -  A survey using numerous triangles are inter-connected and overlapping to measure angles.
  • True bearing  -  The direction toward the geographic north pole as a reference point. 
  • True north  -  A direction parallel to the earth's axis pointing to the north pole.
  • Turn angle  -  Using an instrument to measure or set an angle.
  • Turning point  -

U

V

  • Vertical distsnce from VPI to curve  -
  • Vertical point of curve  -  The point at which a straight line begins to curve, the point tangency to the curve.
  • Vertical point of intersection, See (PVI, PI)  -  The intersection of two tangent points or where two non-parallel lines intersect.
  • Vertical point of tangent  -

W

  • West boundary line  -
  • Witness corner  -  When a property corner can not be set at a corner, a witness corner is set, usually on the line at a measured distance.
  • Witness tree  -  A tree close to a section corner used as a reference to the section corner normally on public lands.  

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