Compass & Tape Survey

Abraham Lincoln pic 2

Can we still perform compass and tape surveys today? Yes we can, but should we, not really. Around New Hampshire and Southern Maine, land is too valuable and most reasons for performing a survey is due to impending improvements to the property or disputes with your neighbor. In these cases, you want to know where your property corners and property lines are more accurately than what a compass and tape survey would provide. Even in the back woods of Maine, there may be better ways of determining your boundaries instead of using a compass and tape. Using Global Positioning System (GPS) is a good example of this. Generally, when surveyors first come onto your property to search for monuments, we use a compass for direction, and a 100′ or longer tape for distance to find the called for monuments. Then we use modern equipment to accurately locate these monuments. Determination of your corners and property lines are based upon these locations.

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2 Responses to “Compass & Tape Survey”

  1. Ron Fontaine says:

    Hi Ray, good to see you’re back from your latest great adventure. Is the minimum closure for urban surveys still 1 in 10,000 as it was in the 80’s and 90’s when I was a survey party chief in New Hampshire? Also, is the minimum closure less than that for other types of surveys?

    Enjoy the summer surveying!

    • The minimum closure for a condition 1 survey (Urban, Suburban, Industrial & Commercial) is an error of 1 foot in every 15,000 feet, a condition 2 survey (Rural) is an error of 1 foot in every 7,500 feet and a condition 3 survey (Farmland & Woodlot) is an error of 1 foot in every 300 feet.

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