Surveying Engineering

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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.




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Surveying Engineering Glossary


Surveying Types

  • Geodetic Survey  - Takes into account the true shape of the earth.  These surveys are highly precision and extend over large areas.
  • Plane Survey  -  A surveying in which the mean surface of the earth is considered as a plane, or in which its spheroidal shape is neglected, with regard to horizontal distances and directions.


Surveying Methods

  • ALTA / ACSM Survey  -  A boundary survey that adheres to a set of minimum standards established by the American Land Title Association and the American Congress on Surveying and Maping.
  • Astronomical Survey  -  Gathers astronomical data over some portions of the sky.
  • Boundary Survey  -  Determines property lines and defines the true property corners on parcel maps of a land description.
  • Cartographic Survey  -  Map making from origional surveys.
  • Construction Survey  -  Used to establish the desired position of building corners, roads, sidewalks, and utilities.
  • Engineering Survey  -  Surveys performed for the location, design, construction, maintenance and operation of engineering projects.
  • Geological Survey  - An examination of an area to determine the composition, distribution, history, and structure of rocks.
  • GPS Satellite Survey  -  Uses a satellite-based navigation system which communicates with receivers on the ground, collects and calculates data.
  • Hydrographic Survey  -  Measures and describes the physical features of the navigation position of the earth's surface and adjoining coastal areas.
  • Land Survey  -  Establishes or restablishes property corners, boundaries, lines, and monuments of property.
  • Marine Survey  -  A person who conducts inspections and examinations of marine vessels, appraisal, assets, cargo, damage, and insurance.
  • Mining Survey  -  Helps find underground resources and potential mining locations.
  • Right-of-way Survey  -  A right of passage to another person's land and property.  A boundary survey depicting the limits of private ownership. 
  • Topographic Survey  -  Gatheres data regarding the elevation points on a piece of land, also includes natural and man-made elevations.


Surveying Process

  • Obtain existing deeds and property information
  • Read and understand the property documents
  • Prepare a base boundary plan
  • Locate a known corner
  • Do the field survey
  • Prepare the existing conditions plan
  • Resolve any boundary issues
  • Obtain any other requied survey information
  • Prepare the connstruction stake-out survey
  • Prepare the as-built survey


Map types

  • Boundary map
  • Climate map
  • Flood map
  • Geographic map
  • Historic maps
  • Oceanography map
  • Parcle map
  • Plat map
  • Property survey map
  • Record of survey map
  • Resources map
  • Road map
  • Right-of-way map
  • Topographic map
  • Weather map
  • Zip code map
  • etc.


Surveying Engineering Glossary


  • Accepted Survey  -  A survey accepted by the official having cadastral survey approval authority.
  • Access  -  The right to enter and leave over the lands of another.
  • Adjacent  -  Near to but not reaching or contacting.
  • Adjoiner  -  To owner of land which touches the land of another.
  • Adjoining  -  To be in contact with, touching or contiguous.
  • Altitude  - The height of a vertical angle from the horizon.
  • Angle  -  Two rays sharing a common point.
  • Angle (\(\Delta\))  -   Total cord length, or long chord of a circular curve.  A line segment on the interior of a circle.
  • Arc Definition (Da)  -  The subtended angle of an arc.
  • Angle Point  -  A point in a survey where the alinement of boundary deflects from a straight line.
  • Arc  -  A sector is a fraction of the area of a circle.
  • 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.
  • Assumed Meridian  -  On certain types of localized surveys, it may not be necessary to establish a true, magnetic, or grid direction.
  • Assumed North  - North by arbitary definition and/or reference.
  • Azimith (AZ)  -  A line on the ground is its horizontal angle measured from the meridian to the line.


  • Backsight (BS)  -  A sight on a previously established survey point before the level is moved.
  • Back of Curb (B/C)  -
  • Back Tangent (BT)  -  The tangent line before the beginning of the curve.
  • Baseline  -  The east-west line that divides townships.
  • Base Map  - A map which contains the fundamental framework necessary for geographic reference and positionong of information that may be drawn on it.
  • Bearing  -  An angle in degrees measured clockwise from north.
  • Bearing Tree  - A marked tree used as a corner.  Its distance and direction are recorded from the corner.
  • Beginning of Curve (BC)  -  The point at which a straight line begins to curve, the point tangency to the curve.
  • Beginning of Vertical Curve (BVC)  -  The point at which a straight line begins to curve, the point tangency to the curve.
  • Benchmark (BM)  -  A relatively fixed point whose coordinates and elevation datum are used for leveling and construction.
  • Blaze  -  A mark made upon a tree trunk.
  • Boundary (Bdy)  -
  • 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.
  • Branch  -  Small stream.
  • Broken Boundary  -  A series of line segments representing a boundary which is not a straight line.
  • Brook  -  Small stream.
  • Bug  -  A magnetic locator to search for an iron pipe.
  • By Implication Easement  -  The general rule of law is that when an owner of a tract of land conveys part of it to another, he is said to grant by implication, all easements which are apparent, obvious and reasonable.


  • Cadastral Survey  -  A survey that is carried out to describe boundaries and land ownership.
  • Call  -  Any feature, landmark, or measurement called out in a survey.
  • Cap  -  A metal of plastic cover on the end of a rebar or pipe.
  • Capped Iron Pin (CIP)  - 
  • Capped Rebar (CRB)  -  A rebar 18" long, 1/2" diameter, with a cap having the company name and license number stamped into it.
  • Celestial Meridian  -  The largest circle of the celestial sphere passing through the celestial poles and an observer's zenith.
  • Center of Curve (CC)  -
  • Center Line (C/L)  -
  • Central Angle  -  The angle formed by two radii drawn from the center of the circle (0) to PC and PT.
  • Certified Survey Map (CSM) -
  • Certification  - A document which attests to the truth or authenticity of papers attached to it.
  • Chaining  -  The measuring a distance using a chain or tape.
  • Chord (c)  -  Chord length between any two points on a circular curve.
  • Chord Definition (Dc)  -  The subtended angle of an chord.
  • Certificate of Title (CT)  -
  • Clay  -  Particles ranging in size from 0.002 mm and smaller.
  • Closed Loop  -  A series of consecutive measurements that close on the beginning point.
  • Closed Traverse  -  A series of consecutive measured lines that start at a known point and ends at the same known point or another point that is known.
  • Closing Corner  -  A corner established where a survey line intersects a previous fixed boundary at a point between corners.
  • Closure  -  The process of measurement in a closed figure for a check on horizontal and vertical percision.
  • Collapse Slump  -  The fresh concrete collapses completely.
  • Compass  - A magnetic compass has a magnetic needle that points north.
  • Constant Error  -  An error that always occures with the same sign and magnitude.
  • Control Station  -  Point on the ground whose position, horizontal or vertical, is known and can be used as a base for additional survey work.
  • Cotton Spindle Found (CSF)  -
  • Cotton Spindle Set (CSS)  -
  • 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 (Con Mon F)  -  A permanent marker set by a land surveyor to reference controll points or property corners.
  • Conditional Line  -  An agreed line between neighbors that has not been surveyed, or which has been surveyed but not yet granted.
  • Construction Survey  -  Surveying measurements made before or while the site is under construction.
  • Contour  - Defined line of equal elecation on a map or plat.
  • Contour Interval  - The difference in elevation between adjacent contours as shown on a map.
  • Contour Line  -  An imaginary line on the ground having all points on the same elevation.
  • Contour Map  -  A map that illustrates relief by means of contour lines. 
  • Contours  - Lines joining points of equal elevation as shown on a topographic map.
  • Control  - Surveying and mapping reference infrastructure.
  • Control Corner (CC)  -
  • Control Points  - Fixed points of known coordinates.
  • Convey  -  The act of deeding or transfering title to another.
  • Coordinate System  -  A grid where the axes are apart 90 degrees.
  • Coordinates  -  Two lines, latitude and longitude that intersect creating a point.
  • Corner (Cor)  -  The location of intersecting boundary lines.
  • Corner Description  -  The specific data, both new and old, about a corner monument and its accessories which include marks, positions, and physical characteristics.
  • Cotton Spindle  -  A 6" to 8" spindle used where you would typically use an iron pipe or rebar as a momument.
  • Cotton Spindle Set (CSS)  -
  • Course  -  Line or boundary defined by bearing and distance.
  • Creek  -  Small stream.
  • Culvert (Culv)  -  A pipe or tunnel that carrys a stream under a road or highway.
  • Curb & Gutter (C&G)  -


  • Data Collector  -  A handheld electronic field notebook.
  • Datum  -  An abstract coordinate system used to reference a known location.
  • Datum Shift  -  A graphical correction required where the source map data is on a different datum than the map under revision.
  • 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 (D\(\Delta\))  -  Deflection angle from full circular curve measured from tangent at PC or PT.   The angles 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.
  • Degree of Curvature (D)  -  Can either be degree of arc or chord.
  • Departure (dE)  -  Longitudal interval between points.
  • Depression Contour  -  A contour forming a closed loop around lower ground.
  • Differential Leveling  -  The leveling process of determining the difference in elevation between two poinrs.
  • Digital Image  -  An image composed of small, uniformly shaped regions each of which have assigned coordinates and color.
  • Digital Map  -  A process of generating a map using computer processed data.
  • Drainage Easement  -  The right of water run off in a subdivision or highway routed onto adjacent land.


  • Easement  -  The legal right to use another persons personal property to a specific limited use.
  • Easement Survey  -  Prepared between parties to allow the use of part of an allotment.
  • East Boundary Line (EBL)  - 
  • Easting  -  Coordinate value by longitudinal reference.
  • Edge of Pavement (E/P)  -
  • EDM  -  Electromagnetic Distance Measurement device.
  • Egress  -  The right to go on the land of another.
  • Elevation  -  A vertical distance up or down from a fixed point.
  • Elevation Survey  -  Used to determine the elevation of a structure and it's relationship to the floorplan.
  • Ellicott's Control Survey  -  The meridian northward from the point of beginning of the United States cadastral survey.  A point established on August 20, 1785on the north bank of the Ohio River.
  • Encroachment  -  An unlawful and adverse intrusion within the boundary of a property.
  • Encrumbrance  -  Any right to or intrest in land which makes it subject to a change or liability.
  • End of Curve (EC)  -  The point at which a curved line ends and the point tangency to the curve begins.
  • End of Vertical Curve (EVC)  -  The point at which a curved line ends and the point tangency to the curve begins.
  • Entry  -  An application to acquire title to public lands.
  • Entry Allowed  -  An application to acquire title to public lands which has been approved, either as an origional entry or a final entry.
  • Entryman  -  One who makes an entry of land under the public land laws of the United States.
  • Erosion  -  The natural wearing away of the earth's surface by rainfall and surface runoff.
  • Existing Corner  -  A corner whose position can be identified by verifying the evidence of the monument or its accessories, by reference to the description that is container in the field notes.
  • Existing Iron Pipe (EIP)  -
  • Expert Witness  -  A person who testifies as what he has observed by sight, sound, etc.
  • Exterior Angle  -  Formed by intersecting lines of a polygon or land parcel boundaries.
  • External Distance (E)  -  The distance from the PI to the midpoint of the curve.


  • Face of Curb (F/C)  -
  • Federal Land  -  All classes of land owned by the Federal Government.
  • Fee Tail  -  An estimate limited to one class of heirs.
  • Field Notes  -  A permanent record of field procedures and data collected in those procedures.
  • Final Certificate  -  A document which evidences that an entryman is entitled to a patent provided that no irregularities are found in connection with his entry.
  • Final Entry  -  When an application to acquire title to public lands has been filed in the proper manner and all the requirements of law and government regulations have been complied with.
  • First Station  -  Point of beginning (POB)
  • Flowage Easement  -  The right a person or group has to flood water on land of another.
  • Forward Tangent (FT)  -  The tangent line after the ending of the curve.
  • Fount (FD, FND)  -
  • Found Concrete Monument (FCM)  -
  • Found Corner (FC)  -  An existing corner on a public land survey found by a field survey.
  • Free and Clear  -  Is not encumbered by any lien.
  • Furlong  -  A distance of 220 yards or 40 poles.


  • Geodesy  -  The science and mathmatical calculations of the shape and size of the earth.
  • Geodetic Control  -  A system of monumented stations having known, percise positions established by geodetic methods.
  • Geodetic Position  -  A position of a point on the surface of the earth expressed in terms of geodetic latitude and longitude.
  • Geodetic Survey  -  A percise survey that takes in long distances showing shape of the world.
  • Geometry  -  A branch of mathematics that deals with shapes and their properties or relationships to circles, lines, points, etc.  These relationships can be expressed in plane geometry, two-dimensional figures and solid geometry, three-dimensional figures.
  • Ginney  -  A wooden dowel 6-9 inches in length with a sharpened end, set in the ground to mark survey points.
  • GIS Mapping, See (LIS)  -  Geographic Information System is used to locate items like utilities.
  • Gore  -  A thin triangular piece of land.
  • Grade (Gr)  -  A rise or decline in elevation.
  • Gradient  -  The rate of rise and fall.
  • Grid  -  A group of parallel lines that run perpendicular to another group of parallel perpendicular lines.
  • Grid Azimuth  -  Measured from grid north.
  • Grid Bearing  -  The northwards direction along the grid lines of a map used as a reference point.
  • Grid Distance  -  The distance between two points using mapping coordinates.
  • Grid Meridian  -  In plane surveys it is convenient to perform the work in a rectangular XY coordinate system in which one central meridial concides with a true meridian.
  • Grid North  -  The direction of the north-south grid lines on a state plane coordinate system.
  • Grid Position  -  The grid coordinates of a point.
  • Ground Distance  -  The horizontal distance with curvature between two ground points.
  • Gunter's Chain  - A distance of 66 feet or 4 poles.


  • Half Section  -  Containing more or less 360 acres.
  • Head  -  The source of a stream.
  • Headwaters  -  The smallest streams that combine to make a larger stream.
  • Height (h)  -  Length of radius from radius center to midpoint of chord.
  • Height (h')  -  Length of radius from midpoint of chord to point on circular curve.
  • High Point (HP)  -  Point on circular curve.
  • High Water  -  The maximum height reached by rising water.
  • Hinge Point  -  The point at which a fill slope stops and the road or shoulder grade begins.
  • Horizontal  -  Parallel to a flat or level surface of the earth.
  • Horizontal Distance  -  The distance horizontally between two points.
  • Horizontal Line  -  A line extending left or right but not up or down.
  • Horizontal Position  -  A point with horizontal coordinates only.
  • Hydrography  -  Features including lakes, rivers, streams, swamps, and other water features.


  • In Gross Easement  -  Does not benifit any other land, such as a utility right-of-way.
  • Indemnity Lands  -  Alternate lands granted to states under the public land laws when granted lands were unaviallable.
  • Ingress  -  The right to enter a tract of land.
  • Intersecting Angle (I)  -  The deflection angle at the PI.
  • Intersection Sight Distance (ISD)  -  The distance a motorist should be able to see other traffic in the intersection in order to enter safetly.
  • Investigative Survey  -  A peliminary survey made to determine the physical condition of existing Cadastral Survey evidence.
  • Iron Pipe/Pin (IP)  -  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 (IPF)  -
  • Iron Pipe/Pin Set (IPS)  -
  • Isopleth Line  -  Line joining points on the earth's surface having equal magnetic declination as of a given date.


  • Junction Box (JB)  -
  • Junior Corner  -  A corner which is part of a survey occuring at a date subsequent to a prior (senior) survey.
  • Junior Rights  -  Subordinate to the senior rights.
  • Junior Survey  -  A survey made subsequent to an earlier survet.



  • Laches  -  Failure to do something which should be done or to claim or enforce a right at a proper time.
  • Landmark  -  A marker made on a permanent feature of the land like rocks, trees, etc.
  • Land Court  -  A tribunal established for the purpose of administering legislative statutes relating to land boundaries and titles.
  • Land District  -  The area administered by a particular land office.
  • Land Office  -  A government office, subordinate to the General Land Office.
  • Land Survey (LS)  -  The act of surveying to establish the correct property description or establish land boundaries.
  • Latitude  -  Angular arc distance north and south of the equator along a meridian of longitude.
  • League  -  A marine measure of distance.
  • Legend  -  A description, explanation or table of symbols on a map or chart to permit a better understanding or interpretation of it.
  • Length (L)  -  Total length of any circular curve measured along the arc.
  • Length of Curve (Horizontal)  -  The distance from PC to PT.
  • Levee  -  Artificial embankment confining a channel, stream, or body of water.
  • Leveling  -  Using a graduated rod to establish difference in heights of the terrain.
  • Licensed/Land Surveyor # (LS)  -
  • LiDAR (Aerial Survey)  -  A survey using remote sensors of light reflected by lasers to measure distances.
  • Limited Boundary  -  The boundary of lands actually surveyed.
  • Line of Sight  -  The line extended from an instrument along which distinct objects can be seen.
  • LIS Mapping  -  Land Information System is used to locate items like utilities.
  • Local Corner  -  Physical evidence accepted by local land owners to be a corner of the public lands survey.
  • Long Chord (LC)  -  A straight line from the beginning of the curve PC to the end of the arc PT.
  • Long Chord Bearing (LCB)  -  The bearing of the long chord.
  • Longitude  -  Angular arc distance east and west of the Prime Meridian along a parallel of latitude.
  • Loop Closure  -  A statistical procedure to evaluate the internal consistency of a GPS network.
  • Loop Traverse  -  A traverse that starts and closes on the same point, point of beginning.
  • Lost Corner  -  A corner whose position cannot be determined.
  • Low Point (LP)  -  Point on circular curve.


  • Mag  -  New concrete nails that are magnetic nails and are stamped with MAG on the head, easier to find with metal detector.
  • 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 Meridian  -  Lies parallel with the magnetic lines of force of the earth.
  • Magnetic North  -  The direction in which a magnetic needle of a compass points.
  • Map  -  A representation of the earth's surface.
  • Map Scale  -  A relationship between the distance on the map compared to the distance on the earth's surface.
  • Meander  -  Meander of something.  A line follows the twists and turns of a stream.
  • Mean Bearing  -  The average of the foreward and the back bearing of a straight line.
  • Mean Error  -  An ambiguous term sometimes used to denote average error.
  • Mean Sea Level  -  The average height of the surface of the sea.
  • Meander Line  -  The traverse run at the line of mean highwater of a permanent natural body of water.
  • Merestone  -  A stone that marks a boundary.
  • Meridian  -  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.
  • Mid-point (M)  -  Center or halfway point of a line segment.
  • Middle Ordinate (m)  -  The distance from the midpoint of the curve to the mid-point of the long chord.
  • Minimum Building Setback  -  The minimum requirement for a building limits.
  • Monument (Mon)  -  A permanent marker set by a land surveyor to reference controll points or property corners.
  • Mouth  -  A place where a stream enters another larger stream.


  • No Monument Set (NMS)  -
  • North Boundary Line (NBL)  -
  • Northing  -  Coordinate value by latitudal reference.


  • Observed  -
  • Offset  -  Right angles to the survey line measured horizontal to locate a point off the line.
  • Offset Line  -  A line that is close to and roughly parallel to the main line.
  • Open Traverse  -  A traverse that originates at a known position and ends at an unknown position.
  • Origin  -  The point in a system of coordinates which serves as an initial point of computing and where x=0 and y=0.
  • Original Entry  -  When application to acquire title to public lands and the applicant is permitted to proceed with earning title to the lands under the governing laws and regulations.
  • Outlot  -  Sub-standard land parcel or platted land remnant.


  • Parcel  -  An area of land defined by measurement.
  • Passing Sight Distance (PSD)  -  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.
  • Plane Survey  -  A survey in which the effect of the curvature of the earth is not relevant.
  • Plat  -  A drawing that represents the survey area such as section corners, bearings and distances, parcel numbers, mineral rights, etc.
  • Plat Book (PB)  -
  • Point  -  Spatial location without defined dimensions.
  • Point Known (PK)  - 
  • Point of Beginning (POB)  -  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 Commencement (POC)  -
  • Point of Compound Curvature (PCC)  -  A point where curves of different radii meet.
  • Point of Curvature (PC)  -  The point at which a straight line begins to curve, the point tangency to the curve
  • Point of Curve (PC)  -  The point at which a straight line begins to curve, the point tangency to the curve.
  • Point of Ending (POE)  -  In a survey it description to describe the point at which a meets and bounds description ends.
  • Point of Intersection (PI)  -  The intersection of two tangent points or where two non-parallel lines intersect.
  • Point of Reverse Curve (PRC)  -  The point in an S-type compound curve where two curves of different polarity meet.
  • Point of Tangent (PT)  -  The point at which a curved line ends and the point tangency to the curve begins.
  • Point of Rangent Curve (PRC)  -  The point at which a curve ends and a straight line begins.
  • Point of Vertical Curve (PVC)  -  The point at which a straight line begins to curve, the point tangency to the curve.
  • Point of Vertical Intersection (PVI)  -  The intersection of two tangent points or where two non-parallel lines intersect.
  • Point of Vertical Tangent (PVT)  -  The point at which a curved line ends and the point tangency to the curve begins.
  • Point on Curve (POC)  -
  • Point on Line (POL)  -  When the endpoint can not be seen from the transit.
  • Point on Tangent (POT)  -
  • Possession  -  Exercise of the right to use real property to the exclusion of others.
  • Prime Meridian  -  The initial or zero meridian of imaginary north-south lines converging at the north and south poles.
  • Prime Vertical  -  The largest circle at right angles to the celestial meridian of imaginary east-west lines.
  • Principle Meridian  -  Line separating east and west PLSS ranges.
  • Private Claim  -  Legal foreign nation land grant, claim or tital transfer, not included by origional PLSS survey.
  • Property Identification Number (PIN)  -
  • Property Line (PL)  -  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.
  • Public Land Survey System (PLSS)  -
  • Public Right-of-way  -  It is usually used to describe highways or public roads where every citizen has the right to their use.
  • Pythagorean Theorem  -  The hypotenuse is the sum of the squares of the other two sides in a right triangle.


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


  • Radial Line (RL)  -
  • Radius (r)  -  Half the diameter of a circle.
  • Radius of a Circular Curve  -  The circle of which the curve is an arc.
  • Radius Point (rp)  -  Radius center point of circular curve.
  • Range  -  North/south tier of PLSS townships. 
  • Rebar and Cap  -  A rebar 18" long, 1/2" diameter, with a cap having the company name and license number stamped into it.
  • Rebar Found (RF)  -
  • Reference Mark  -  A point or object which is measured to or from a monument for the purpose of being able to relocate the monument if it is lost.
  • Reverse Curve (RC)  -
  • Riparian Law  -  The branch of law which deals with the rights in land bordering on a river, lake dor sea.
  • Riparian Rights  -  The rights of an owner of land bordering on a river, lake, bayou, or sea which relates to the water, ownership of the shore, right of ingress and egress, accretions, etc.
  • Right-of-Way (R/W)  -  The legal right to cross the property of another person.
  • River  -  Large stream.
  • Rodman  -  A person that holds the rod with an EDM.


  • Section  -  Containing more or less 640 acres, a division of a township.
  • Section Corner (SC)  -  A corner at the extreme section boundary.
  • Set Concrete Monument (SCM)  -
  • Set Disk (SD)  -
  • Set Iron Rod (SIR)  -
  • Set Mag (SMN)  -
  • Silt  -  Particles ranging in size from 0.002 mm to 0.05 mm.
  • 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.
  • South Boundary Line (SBL)  -
  • Spiral Curve (SC)  -
  • Spring  -  A pool or other sourceof water that feeds a stream.
  • Standard Corner  -  A senior corner on a standard parallel or base line.
  • Standard Deviation  -  The average amount of variation in a set of data points.
  • State Plane Coordinate System (SPCS)  -  A coordinate systen having perpendicular lines going north to south and east to west.  It is only used in the US.
  • Stopping Sight Distance (SSD)  -  The distance traveled by a vehical from the time it is observer to the time it comes to a stop.
  • Sub-chord (SC)  -  A chord shorter than the normal chord.
  • 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.
  • Survey Easement  -  The description, portrayal, or monumentation of easement(s) only.
  • Swamp  -  Wetlands that features permanent large areas of land with shallow bodies of water that include a large amount of trees.


  • Tangent (T)  -  A line that touches a curve at just one point such that it is perpendicular to a radius line of the curve.
  • Tangent Length (TL)  -  Length along the tangents from PI to PC or PT.
  • Tangent Point (Tp)  -  Point on the tangent line.
  • Thermal Expansion Coefficient  -  The percentage change in the length of the material per degree of temperature change, heated solid or liquid.
  • Temporary Benchmark (TBM)  -
  • Tie Line  -  A survey line that connects a point to other surveyed lines.
  • Tie Point  -  The point where the survey connection is made.
  • Toe  -  Lowest or bottom edge of a land bank or slope.
  • Toe of Slope  -  The bottom or base of incline.
  • Topographical Map  -  A detailed map that represents graphically the earth's features.
  • 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.
  • Triangle  -  All triangles have three angles and three sides.
  • 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 Meridian (Astronomical)  -  A plane passing through a point on the surface of the earth and containing the earth's axis of rotation.
  • 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 Points  -  Temporary points of a known elevation.


  • Underground (UG)  -
  • Unrecorded Deed  -  A conveyance of title not registered or recorded according to state statutes.
  • Unsurveyed Lands  -  Lands not yet surveyed.
  • Upland  -  Ground elevated above the lowlands along rivers.
  • U.S Survey  -  A metes and bounds survey excuted to comply with one of various regulations for entry of public lands.
  • Utility Easement (UE)  -


  • Vertical Angle  -  Angular measurement in a vertical plane.
  • Vertical Point of Curve (VPC)  -  The point at which a straight line begins to curve, the point tangency to the curve.
  • Vertical Point of Intersection (VPI)  -  The intersection of two tangent points or where two non-parallel lines intersect.


  • Warrant  -  A promise that a statement is true.
  • Water Course  -  A visible channel for water such as a channel, ditch, streambed, or etc.
  • Way  -  A road, street or other passage.
  • Waypoint  -  A two dimensional coordinate destination to be reached by GPS navigation. 
  • Wildlife Refuge  -  A reserve for the protection of wildlife.
  • Witness Point  - A monumented station on a line of the survey used to perpetutate an important location without special relation to any regular corner.
  • Witness Corner (WC)  -  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 (WT)  -  A tree close to a section corner used as a reference to the section corner normally on public lands. 


  • X  -  A latitude or distance along the east-west axis in a coordinate system.


  • Y  -  A latitude or distance along the north-south axis in a coordinate system.


  • Z  -  The depth or distance along an axis in a three dimensional coordinate system.


Piping Designer Logo Slide 1

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Simple Circular Curve

Tags: Surveying Equations Glossaries