Calculated or As Set, Which Do You Use On Your Plat?
It would appear that it is our assumptions of the layperson's ability to understand our plat that dictates whether we show our measurements or whether we tell harmless white lies.
I spend a great deal of my time communicating with my clients. Clients may not understand plat data, but they recognize when someone cares about them and makes an effort to educate them. I can't think of any residential boundary that I've surveyed in the last few years where I didn't warn the client that my measurements would not match exactly with their deed and that there is a good chance my survey will show that they own less acreage than what is mentioned in their deed (slope distances were used in many older deed description in the mountains of NC).
Concerning boundary calls that don't match older descriptions, I don't have any problems with title companies. They seem to understand the meaning of, “Being the same parcel as described in a deed to Jones from Smith in Blank County Register of Deeds in Deed Book 12 at Page 345”. We are required to stamp our deed descriptions in NC so it would be considered fraud and surveying without a license if anyone edited them. If I lived in an area where the local norm was to omit bounds calls from my description, I would probably hold similar views about deed descriptions as Holy Cow. I'd like to know the origin of such an odd local custom.
I recognize the pedantry in a discussion about hundredths of a foot when in most states you could meet minimum standards on a large-tract survey with an EOC of many tenths and then set irons without any traverse adjustments. I don't view holding CPs as bad or indicative of poor professional judgment. I just find that it is more useful (certainly not necessary) to have actual measurements when I am assigning value to the evidence.
Another thought experiment that I perform occasionally is to imagine that I have been compelled to help an attorney sow doubt into the testimony of another PLS. I think I could do this more easily to a surveyor who holds record measurements than one who holds actual measurement.
You set two monuments on a survey 10 years ago that were measured then as being 400.00 feet apart. Now you are creating a new tract along that same line and put 400.01 feet in your description that gets recorded.
Anyone who does that is NOT a surveyor. 😎
Say you have a nine sided tract where every monument is actually an "+" cut into a smooth concrete surface. You use your magic box to gather data as you shoot all nine monuments. Two days later you send out a trusted co-worker to do the same thing. Guess what. The resultant data will not be in exact agreement, especially so far as bearings are concerned. You go back out to verify your data. Guess what. The results are not exactly the same as either of the two prior runs. The monuments did not move anywhere other than in your imagination.
Don't screw with the record.
Murphy, I agree very much with this "It would appear that it is our assumptions of the layperson's ability to understand our plat that dictates whether we show our measurements or whether we tell harmless white lies."
Laypersons will use our plats. All of them will not be sophisticated and the more we can do to prevent laypersons from misusing our information the better. You might be able to educate each and every one of your clients but there is no way to educate everyone who might use your plat, at least in a recording state.
Another problem comes about in the following fashion. A county did some significant work which would cause a section corner monument to be torn out in the process. They used proper procedure and had a licensed surveyor involved to reset a new monument. The problem is that the new monument is roughly 0.03 west and 0.03 south of where the old one was.
A different surveyor comes along and uses the new monument. An existing tract was created using the old monument with dimensions, let's say of 600.00 feet by 600.00 feet. Thus the monument to the west is now shown as being at 599.97 feet, as is the one to the south. The new tract is to be an L-shape around the first tract. Thus, the new description commences at the new corner monument then runs along the north section line to the existing monument, south to another existing monument , east to the existing monument on the east section line and back to the northeast corner of the section. The problem is that the new tract is labeled as beginning at the 599.97 distance instead of the 600.00 distance and so forth. Therefore, the two deeds overlap by 0.03 feet. If the new monument had ended up 0.03 east and 0.03 north of the original monument there would now be a gap of 0.03 between the two tracts. Who owns that worthless strip?