Select Units of Measure:
1 U.S. standard foot = 0.3048 meters
1 meter = 3.28083335 feet
1 foot = 12 inches
1 sq. foot = 12” x 12”
1 cubic foot = 1’ x 1’ x 1’
1 yard = 3 feet
1 sq. yard = 3’ x 3’
1 cubic yard = 3’ x 3’ x 3’ = 27 cubic feet
1 link = 7.92 inches
1 rod, pole, perch = 16 ½ feet
1 chain = 66 feet / 100 links / 4 rods, poles, perches
1 mile = 80 chains / 5,280 feet / 320 rods / 1760 yards
1 acre = 43,560 feet / 10 square chains / 208.71' x 208.71'
1 square mile = 640 acres / 1 section
1 section = 5,280’ x 5,280’/ 1 mile x 1 mile
1 Township = 6 square miles / 36 sections
ANGLE - A measure of the direction change of two intersecting lines.
AREA - The measure of the bounded surface formed by the intersection of real
property boundaries and a particular vertical datum.
AZIMUTH - A definition of the directions of a line based upon the clockwise angle formed between that line and a certain pole of a meridian.
BASELINE - A series of points established for the expressed purpose of locating other features or lines.
BEARING - A definition of the direction of a line based upon the clockwise or counterclockwise angle formed between that line and either pole of a meridian.
BENCHLOOP - A series of level set ups that begin at a bench mark and loops back to that bench mark or to a different bench mark, all with common elevation datum.
BENCHMARK - A permanently affixed mark that establishes the exact elevation of a place; used by Surveyors in measuring site elevations.
BOUNDARY LINE - An imaginary line of demarcation between two adjoining land parcels, distinguishing a separation of real property rights which may or may not be physically marked.
CERTIFICATE OF TITLE - A document stating that title to a particular property is clear. It is prepared by an attorney or qualified person who has examined the abstract of title, but is not to be confused with title insurance. It is only an opinion that title is good. Usually given to a homeowner with the deed.
CHORD - A straight line drawn between the ends of a curved line segment.
CLEAR TITLE - A title free and clear of all encumbrances.
CONTOUR - A series of lines on a map connecting points of equal elevation.
CONTROL - A series of vertical and/or horizontal survey marks, data, measurements, maps, photographs or other acts specifically performed to serve as the foundation or datum for future surveys.
CONVEYANCE - The transfer of title to real property by means of a written instrument, such as a deed
COORDINATE SYSTEM - A method of identifying a particular point in two or three dimensions by a systematic listing of the distances defined baselines or origins.
CORNER - A point of intersection of real property boundary lines, which may or may not be monumented.
DATUM - A basis or measurement foundation on which a location can be defined or referenced either vertically, horizontally or both.
DEDICATION - The application of privately-owned land to the public for no consideration, with the intent that the land will be accepted and used for public purposes. A landowner may dedicate the entire fee simple interest, or an easement such as a public right-of-way across his property. Lands thus dedicated are normally taxed at a preferential rate.
DEED - A legal instrument in writing, duly executed, sealed, and delivered, whereby the owner of real property (grantor) conveys to another (grantee) some right, title, or interest in real estate.
DEED DESCRIPTION - The part of a deed that identifies and describes the relevant real property parcel.
DEED RESTRICTION - A provision in a deed controlling or limiting the use of the land.
EASEMENT - A privilege or right which the owner of one parcel of land may have to use or enjoy the lands of another, i.e., a right-of-way.
ELEVATION - Surveying: The distance above or below a datum. /Architecture: A sketch of the front or side of a building.
ELEVATION CERTIFICATE - (Also known as a FEMA certificates) is a report prepared by a professional surveyor, reporting flood zone information and elevations determined by a field survey. The report is meant to determine the elevation of a building and the surrounding property.
EMINENT DOMAIN - The right of the government, both state and federal, to take private property for a necessary public use, with just compensation paid to the owner. Through eminent domain, the state may acquire land (either fee, leasehold, or easement) for streets, parks, public buildings, public rights-of-way, and the like. The state may delegate the power of eminent domain to local governments and to public corporations and associations such as school districts. No private property is exempt from this exercise of government power.
ENCROACHMENT - Trespass; the building of a structure or any improvements partly or wholly intruding upon the property of another.
ENCUMBRANCE - Any claim, lien, charge or liability attached to and binding upon real property which may lessen the value of the property but will not necessarily prevent transfer of title. There are two general classifications of encumbrances: (1) those that affect the title, such as judgments, mortgages, mechanic's liens and other liens which are charges on property used to secure a debt or obligation; and (2) those that affect the physical condition of the property such as restrictions, encroachments, and easements.
FIELD NOTES - The written notes, sketches and computations of a surveyor taken during and at the site of a survey.
GPS - Global Positioning System.
GRADE PERCENT - The slope of a surface or structure.
GRANT - The act of conveying or transferring real property, the operative words in a conveyance of real estate are to "grant, bargain, and sell". The grantor (the person who conveys the real estate) delivers the grant, in the form of a deed, to the grantee.
GRANTEE - Entity to whom a grant is made, or to whom real estate is conveyed. The retail buyer.
GRANTOR - Entity who makes a grant, conveys real estate by deed. The seller.
HIGH WATERLINE - The line of high water at ordinary tides.
HIGH WATER MARKS - The line of high water determined by biologist during wetland flagging. Typically water marks on trees, vegetation, ground, etc.
HORIZONTAL - 1. At right angles to the vertical; parallel to level ground. 2. Measured or contained in a plane parallel to the horizon: a horizontal distance.
IMPROVEMENTS - An addition to land which costs labor or capital (buildings, pavements, etc.), more or less permanently attached. More than repair or replacement.
LEGAL DESCRIPTION - That description of a real property parcel sufficient to identify that parcel uniquely without oral testimony.
LAND SURVEYING - the technical term for the art and science of measuring, marking, recovering, and mapping the relative positions or locations of terrain features and real property boundaries.
LATITUDE - The distance along a meridian / the north or south change in distance experienced in moving from one end of a line segment to another.
LEVEL - A surface that is everywhere the same elevation / an instrument for measuring differences in elevation.
LITTORAL RIGHTS - The right of an owner of land with a shoreline contiguous to a sea or lake to use and enjoy the shore without a change in its position created by artificial interference; as distinguished from riparian rights and water rights.
LONGITUDE - The distance between two meridians.
MEAN SEA LEVEL - Average sea level position, midway between average high and average low water. Used as a standard for measurement of heights in the past; now replaced by the National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) in most of the country.
METES AND BOUNDS - A common method of land description that identifies a property by specifying the shape and boundary dimensions of the parcel, using terminal points and angles. A metes and bounds description starts at a well marked point of beginning and follows the boundaries of the land by courses and metes (measures, distances measures, distances and compass direction) and bounds (landmarks, monuments) and returns to the true point of beginning. A description which fails to enclose an area by returning to the point of beginning is defective.
MONUMENT - The physical object that indicates the location of a point, station or real property corner. Typically an iron rod, nail and disc, concrete monument, etc.
NGVD29 - National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929.
NAVD88 - North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
PHOTOGRAMMETRY - The science of surveying and mapping using aerial photographs and stereographic plotters.
PLAT - Map of town, section, or subdivision, showing location and boundaries of individual properties.
PLOT - A piece of land.
POINT-OF-BEGINNING - The first point encountered in the narrative portion of a deed description, especially a metes and bounds description, that is a part of the real property boundary itself.
POINT OF COMMENCEMENT - A remote established point from which the true point of beginning can be identified.
PUBLIC DOMAIN LANDS - Land or interest in land owned by the United States and administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the Bureau of Land Management, without regard to how the land was acquired, except for the Outer Continental Shelf and lands held for the benefit of Indians, Aleuts, Eskimos. Also known as public lands.
QUITCLAIM DEED - A deed of conveyance with conveys to the grantee without warranty of title whatever interest, title, or claim the grantor possesses.
RANGE - A strip of land six miles wide, as determined by Government survey and running in a north-south direction.
RANGE LINE - A north-south line used to divide public lands.
RECOVERED CORNER - A real property corner that has been verified by the discovery of the original monument, accessories, or other physical evidence.
RESERVATION - A right reserved by an owner in the grant (sale or lease) of a property.
RESTRICTION - A limitation upon the use or occupancy of real estate, placed by covenant in deeds or by public legislative action.
REVOCATION - The recall of a power or authority conferred, or the vacating of an instrument previously made.
RIGHT-OF-WAY - The right or privilege, acquired through accepted usage or by contract, to pass over a designated portion of the property of another. A right-of-way may be private, as in an access easement given a neighbor, or public, as in the right-of-way to use the highways and streets.
RIPARIAN OWNER - One who owns land bounding upon a river or water course.
RIPARIAN RIGHTS - The right of a landowner to water on, under, or adjacent to his land, for general purposes, wharfing, and access to navigable waters. The rights of an owner of land on the bank of a stream or river.
SECTION - As used in the Government Survey System, a section of land is an area one mile square, containing 640 acres. It is 1/36th of a township.
SITE - A parcel of land, sufficiently improved to be used as a building lot or for other purposes requiring an improved site.
STATE PLANE COORDINATES -
SUBDIVISION - Any land which is divided or is proposed to be divided for the purpose of disposition into two or more lots, parcels, units, or interests.
SURVEY - The act by which the quantity and boundaries of a piece of land are ascertained; the paper containing a statement of the courses, distance, and quantity of land is also called a survey.
TANGENT - A straight line perpendicular to the radius of a circle.
TITLE - The right to or ownership of lands. Also, the evidence of ownership. Title to property encompasses all the bundle of rights an owner possesses.
TITLE INSURANCE - Indemnity against loss or damage resulting from defects in or liens on a title at the date of the insurance.
TOWNSHIP - A territorial subdivision, six miles long, six miles wide, and containing thirty-six sections, each one mile square.
TOWNSHIP LINE - An east-west line used to divide public lands.
TRACT - An area of land contained in one description.
TRAVERSE - A systematic series of stations in which the direction and length of line segments formed by consecutive stations is measured. Used to locate and establish control for surveying.
VERTICAL - Being in a position or direction perpendicular to the plane of the horizon; upright; plumb.
WARRANTY DEED - A deed that contains a covenant that the grantor will protect the grantee against any claimant.
WETLANDS - Land areas that are inundated by surface or ground water with sufficient frequency to support vegetable or animal life that requires hydric soils for growth and reproduction.