Did you know?

According to the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM), surveying is the science and art of making all essential measurements to determine the relative position of points and/or physical and cultural details above, on, or beneath the surface of the Earth, and to depict them in a usable form, or to establish the position of points and/or details.

Surveying and the Bible
The first legal description of land was recorded in the Bible when God gave the Israelites the “Promised Land”.

Numbers 34:

1 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Give these instructions to the Israelites: When you come into the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your special possession, these will be the boundaries. 3 The southern portion of your country will extend from the wilderness of Zin, along the edge of Edom. The southern boundary will begin on the east at the Dead Sea.[a] 4 It will then run south past Scorpion Pass[b] in the direction of Zin. Its southernmost point will be Kadesh-barnea, from which it will go to Hazar-addar, and on to Azmon. 5 From Azmon the boundary will turn toward the Brook of Egypt and end at the Mediterranean Sea.[c]

6 “Your western boundary will be the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea.

7 “Your northern boundary will begin at the Mediterranean Sea and run east to Mount Hor, 8 then to Lebo-hamath, and on through Zedad 9 and Ziphron to Hazar-enan. This will be your northern boundary.

10 “The eastern boundary will start at Hazar-enan and run south to Shepham, 11 then down to Riblah on the east side of Ain. From there the boundary will run down along the eastern edge of the Sea of Galilee,[d] 12 and then along the Jordan River to the Dead Sea. These are the boundaries of your land.”

13 Then Moses told the Israelites, “This territory is the homeland you are to divide among yourselves by sacred lot. The Lord has commanded that the land be divided among the nine and a half remaining tribes. 14 The families of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh have already received their grants of land 15 on the east side of the Jordan River, across from Jericho toward the sunrise.”

Deutoronomy 19:14

14 “When you arrive in the land the Lord your God is giving you as your special possession, you must never steal anyone’s land by moving the boundary markers your ancestors set up to mark their property.

Rope Stretching and Geometry
Surveying techniques have existed throughout much of recorded history. In ancient Egypt, when the Nile River overflowed its banks and washed out farm boundaries, boundaries were re-established by a rope stretcher, or surveyor, through the application of simple geometry. The nearly perfect squareness and north-south orientation of the Great Pyramid of Giza, built c. 2700 BC, affirm the Egyptians’ command of surveying.

War and Taxes
Under the Romans, land surveyors were established as a profession, and they established the basic measurements under which the Roman Empire was divided, such as a tax register of conquered lands (300 AD).

Specialization and the Middle East
The rise of the Caliphate led to extensive surveying throughout the Arab Empire. Arabic surveyors invented a variety of specialized instruments for surveying.

European Hierarchy
In 18th century Europe triangulation was used to build a hierarchy of networks to allow point positioning within a country. Atop the hierarchy were triangulation networks. These were expanded into networks of traverses (polygons), into which local surveying measurements, usually with measuring tape, corner prism and the familiar red and white poles, are tied.

Tapes and Chains
Historically, distances were measured using a variety of means. Chains having increments of a known length, for instance a Gunter’s chain as well as measuring tapes made of steel or invar.

Disc and Compass
Historically, horizontal angles were measured using a compass, which would provide a magnetic bearing, from which deflections could be measured. This type of instrument was later improved, with more carefully scribed discs providing better angular resolution, as well as through mounting telescopes with reticles for more-precise sighting atop the disc.

Angles and Theodolites
As late as the 1990s, the basic tools used in planar surveying were a tape measure for determining shorter distances, a level to determine height or elevation differences, and a theodolite, set on a tripod, to measure angles (horizontal and vertical).

Roads and Railways
Wherever there are roads, railways, reservoir, dams, retaining walls, bridges or residential areas to be built, surveyors are involved. They establish the boundaries of legal descriptions and the boundaries of various lines of political divisions. They also provide advice and data for geographical information systems (GIS), computer databases that contain data on land features and boundaries.

Problems and Puzzles
Many properties have considerable problems with regards to improper bounding, miscalculations in past surveys, titles, easements, and wildlife crossings. Also many properties are created from multiple divisions of a larger piece over the course of years, and with every additional division the risk of miscalculation increases. The result can be abutting properties not coinciding with adjacent parcels, resulting in hiatuses (gaps) and overlaps. The art plays a role when a surveyor must solve a puzzle using pieces that do not exactly fit together. In these cases, the solution is based upon the surveyor’s research and interpretation, along with established procedures for resolving discrepancies.

Past and Present
Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln were land surveyors.

Beside writing Walden and Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862) was an accomplished surveyor working in the area of Concord, MA.

Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon surveyed the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania 1763 and 1767 to settle a land dispute between the Calvert and Penn families.

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led a scientific and surveying expedition to the Pacific Coast with the intent of finding a route to the Pacific. This expedition directly led to the Louisiana Purchase which nearly doubled the size of the United States.

For more information or a free quote, please contact Proline Surveying.

Testimonials

"Proline Survey is the company to use for land surveys. They do all types of them and are very experienced. They completed the ALTA/ACSM survey for me very accurately and on time. I was impressed and I strongly recommend them. They were also easy to work with. Thank you guys so much!"

View All Testimonials»

Proline Features

  • Best in its class research facility
  • In house courier service
  • Industry leading turnaround times
  • Color Surveys
  • One point of contact
  • Advanced technology
  • Professional Staff

Contact Information

Proline Surveying, Ltd.
1106 W Abram St
Arlington, Texas, 76013
Ph. 817.276.1148
Fax 817.276.1147
Place An Order
Contact Proline Surveying