A B C D E F G H  I  J L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z


American Congress on Surveying & Mapping (now the NSPS.)
The Americans with Disabilities Act
American Land Title Association
ALTA Survey
ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey is a survey that is completed according to the Standards created by the two professional societies (ALTA and NSPS) for property that will be covered by a Title Insurance Policy. These standards are used in alll 50 states for commercial property transactions.
American Planning Association
American Society of Civil Engineers
Abstract of Title
A condensed history or summary of all recorded transactions affecting a particular tract of land.
One whose property abuts, is contiguous, or joins at a border or boundary. Also adjoiner
Acceleration Clause
Specifies conditions under which the lender may advance the time when the entire debt that is secured by the mortgage becomes due. For example, many mortgages contain provisions that the note shall become due immediately upon the sale of the securing land without the lender’s consent or upon failure of the landowner to pay an installment when due.
The right to enter and leave a tract of land from a public way; often times, the right to enter and leave over the lands of another. See ingress and egress
Accessory Use
Accessory uses are land uses within a property that are, in addition to the parcel’s principal use, customary, appropriate, subordinate, incidental to, and serve the principal use.
The gradual accumulation of land by natural causes along a water boundary
The absolute nearness of your measured values and quantities to their true values and quantities.
Accuracy Standards
A schedule of horizontal and vertical accuracy minimums which are divided into orders and classes. Certain surveying projects will specify a certain order or class to meet the requirements of a particular project. It should be noted that they are the results required to meet each class.
The act by which a party executing a legal document goes before an authorized officer or notary public and declares the same to be his voluntary act and deed. This is often times the act of the officer or notary public.
When a land owner impliedly accepts a boundary location established by an abutter
A unit of land measurement containing 43,560 square feet, or 10 square chains.
Actual Possession
Possession which consists of actual physical occupation of property
Abutting property
A person appointed by a probate court to settle the affairs of an individual dying without a will.
Adverse Possession
A claim made against the lands of another by virtue of open and notorious possession of said lands by the claimant.
Having to do with or done by aircraft.
Aerial Survey
An on the ground survey, a framework of identified points is necessary before detailed mapping from aerial photographs and images begins. Typically, a vertically aligned camera takes photographs in a series of strips in which each picture overlaps about 60 percent of the preceding one; adjacent strips overlap as well. Aerial survey uses include development of vacant land, drainage patterns, street planning, and airport obstruction areas.
Alignment (Horizontal)
A geometric format which describes and specifies the horizontal location of a roadway, either existing or proposed along some given route.
Alignment (Vertical)
A geometric format which describes and specifies the elevations of station locations along some given route.
The description of fractional section ownership used in the U.S. public land states. A parcel is generally identified by its section, township, and range. The aliquot specifies its precise location within the section, for example, the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter. Literally meaning to divide.
Aliquot Part
In the PLSS, a standard division such as a half section, quarter section, half-quarter section, etc.
American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM)
Founded in 1941, this society’s goal is to better coordinate surveying and mapping activities. Today, ACSM had more than 7,000 member surveyors, cartographers, geodesists, and other spatial data information professionals. It merged into the NSPS in 2012.
American Land Title Association (ALTA)
A national association of title insurance companies, abstractors and attorneys specializing in real property law that speaks for the title insurance and abstracting industry and establishes standard title policies and procedures, with headquarters in Washington, D.C.
American Planning Association (APA)
The leading professional organization in the United States representing urban planners and their communities.
To reduce debt by means of regular periodic payments of amounts applicable to both principal and interest.
Anchor Tenants
A large carrier or service provider that attracts other businesses to a location.
The measure of the difference between two lines of direction, expressed in Degrees, Minutes and Seconds normally.
The distribution of excess or deficiency in a number of parcels which were all created simultaneously
Approved Attorney
An attorney approved by a title insurance company as one whose opinions of title will be accepted by the company and relied upon for the issuance of title insurance policies.
Anything so annexed to land or used with it that it will pass with the conveyance of the land.
Appurtenant Easement
An easement that will affect other properties. Examples would be; an easement for ingress and egress, parking, storm drains or utilities.
A part of a circle; also known as a curve.
The quantity of land contained within the boundaries of a parcel
Area Coordinates
A system of laying out a survey on the x-axis or east-west and y-axis or north-south.
The unit of length and area used in France, Louisiana, and Canada. As a unit of length, approximately 191.8 feet. The square arpent is a unit of area, approximately 0.85 acres. Article Link
Artificial Monuments
A manmade marker such as a concrete monument, pipe, rod, or drill hole
As-Built Survey
Surveys to show the property’s improvements in relationship to the boundary.
The imposition of tax, charge or levy, usually according to the established rates.
A public official who evaluates property for the purpose of taxation.
One to whom a transfer of interest is made. For example, the assignee of a mortgage or contract.
One who makes an assignment. For example, the assignor of a mortgage or contract.
One of the most dangerous words in the surveying lexicon. The best practice is to assume nothing.
Assumption of Mortgage
An obligation undertaken by the purchaser of land to be personally liable for payment of an existing note secured by a mortgage. As between the lender and the original borrower, the buyer, or grantee, is liable on the mortgage note.
Astronomic Meridian
An orientation to Polaris by means of a star or sun shot. Also referred to as true north.
Astronomical Observations
Observing celestial objects (i.e., sun/solar and the North Star/Polaris). This is a fairly complex procedure. Do not ever observe the sun with the naked eye; or thru the eyepiece of an instrument not equipped with a solar filter!
The legal seizure of property to force payment of a debt.
Attorney in Fact
One who holds a power of attorney from another allowing him to execute legal documents such as deeds, mortgages, etc. on behalf of the grantor of the power.
A procedure used by base stations to validate a mobile station’s identity at system access.
The sudden movement of soil from one property to another as a result of a flood or a shift in the course of a boundary stream.
A request by the instrument operator to the target person to position the target away from the instrument. (See back up)
Abbreviation for azimuth.
The direction of a line in relationship to fixed point (as magnetic True North) expressed and measured in a clockwise direction from the north line. This is referred to as a North Azimuth or Azimuth North. There exist an azimuth measured from the South, but is rarely used north of the equator (except in Hawaii.) An example of an Azimuth would be Azimuth North 270 degrees which would be equal to a due West direction.


Bench Mark
Back Slope
The slope associated with a roadway which is the slope farthest away from the roadway.
Back up (field)
A request by the instrument operator to the targetperson to move target away from the instrument. Ideally, with an approximate distance following, (i.e., back up 3.5 feet.)
Back up (office)
An office procedure of protecting information by creating a copy of a file on remote device (CD or Floppy) to insure a duplicate file in case of loss or corruption of original file.
The orientation or pointing of transit, theodolite or total station towards a known reference point. Also the pointing of a level towards a point of known elevation or turning point and the recording of the reading of the level rod. This is the procedure used in differential leveling.
Surveyor’s slang for the numeric value .00, e.g., 4-balls (4.00).
A person or entity who, through a court proceeding, is relieved from the payment of all his debts after surrender of all his assets to a court appointed trustee.
Base Line
In the PLSS, a line of latitude running through an initial point. Also, a random line used in a road layout
Baseline (State)
A line which divides the state into Townships. In the State of Alabama, there are two Baselines; the Huntsville Baseline and the St. Stephens Baseline. Townships are generally six miles apart and are numbered to the North and to the South of the Baseline. For example; Township 1 North would start at a Baseline and end approximately six miles North of a Baseline.
A direction using the northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest quadrants of a 360-degree circle. Zero is located at the due north and due south while due east and west are assigned 90 degrees. A bearing cannot be greater than 90 degrees. ie North 42°15’25” East.
Bench Mark
A permanent point, the elevation of which above some definite or assumed datum, is known.
Beneficiary (of a Trust)
A person designated to receive some benefit from the trust estate.
Binder or Commitment
An enforceable agreement that upon satisfaction of the requirements which are stated in the binder the insurer will issue the specified insurance policy subject only to the exceptions stated in the binder. A binder sets forth status of title as of a particular date.
Blanket Easement
Also known as a floating easement, is an easement that is not limited to a specific portion of the servient tract over which it was granted but, instead, encumbers the entire tract.
A mark or marks on a tree trunk for marking a survey point or boundary point or line
(1)An insurance agreement under which one party becomes surety to pay, within stated limits, financial loss caused to another by specified acts or defaults of a third party; (2) An interest bearing security evidencing a long-term debt, issued by a government or corporation, and sometimes secured by a lien on property.
Every separation, natural or artificial, which marks the lines of division of two adjoining properties.
Boundary Resolution
The boundary lines and corners of any property being surveyed as part of an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey shall be established and/or retraced in accordance with appropriate boundary law principles governed by the set of facts and evidence found in the course of performing the research and fieldwork.
Boundary Survey
Survey made to establish or reestablish a boundary line on the ground, or to obtain data for constructing a map or plat showing a boundary line.
The external boundary lines, or limiting lines, of property.
A terrain feature where the slope or angle of the ground, roadway or any other natural or manmade structure changes.
Break Tape
To make a horizontal measurement, usually while measuring up or down a slope, by using less than the full length of a tape
A distinct break in the earth’s surface and surrounding area. Breaklines could be used to define templates for a roadway cross-section.
Bubble Level (bullseye)
An optical level consisting of an air bubble in a fluid filled circular container with an inscribed circle. If the bubble level is in proper working order; and the air bubble is within the inscribed circle, then the attached object is plumb.
Building (Restriction) Line or Set Back
A line fixed at a certain distance from the front and/or sides of a lot or at a certain distance from a road or street, which line marks the boundary of the area within which no part of any building may project. This line may be established by a filed plat or subdivision, by restrictive covenants in deeds or leases, by building codes or by zoning ordinance.
Building Code
A collection of regulations adopted by a jurisdiction to govern the construction of buildings.
Bulk Regulations
These regulations control the size and layout of structures, including regulations as to open space, lot lines, maximum building height, and maximum floor area ratio.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
The branch of the federal government in charge of surveying public lands. BLM Manual


Certificate of Occupancy
Certificate of Authorization or Certificate of Appropriateness
Coordinate Geometry
Cadastral Surveying
Survey relating to land boundaries made to create units suitable for title transfer or to define the limitations of title.
Found in the deed description and normally contains a direction, distance, adjoiners, and reference trees. (See metes and bounds.)
A monument or other evidence called out in a conveyance
Cardinal Directions
Direction of lines which run or extend Due or Directly North, South, East and West.
In the telecommunications industry, a carrier is a telephone or other company that sells or rents telecommunication transmission services.
Cash Flow
A measure of a company’s financial health. Equals cash receipts minus cash payments over a given period of time; or equivalently, net profit plus amounts charged off for depreciation, depletion, and amortization.
Centerline of Survey
A stationed geometric alignment combining tangents and curvatures defining a central baseline. This centerline usually represents the alignment to be used for developing a set of plans and ultimately for construction of a particular project.
Central angle
The angle formed by lines drawn from the P.C. and the P.T. to the radius point. This angle is also equal to the delta angle.
Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)
These certificates approve work done on buildings within the historic district. Everything that can be seen from outside the house, including windows, doors, paint colors, materials, rooflines, gutters, fences and yards must receive a COA confirming that it is appropriate and acceptable.
Certificate of Authorization
A license or permit issued by a State for an entity to perform Engineering or Land Surveying as a separate entity from an individual. The entity has a name, other than the individual licensee.
Certificate of Occupancy (CO)
A certificate of occupancy serves three purposes: (1) what the structure is used for; (2) that the structure is suitable for occupancy; and (3) that the structure complies with all building codes.
Certificate of Title
An attorney’s written opinion that ownership of the particular parcel of land is, as stated, in his certificate.
An old surveying measurement system measuring 66 feet in length and containing 100 links; also referred to as a Gunter’s chain. 80 chains are equal to 1 mile. 10 square chains equals one acre.
Chain of Title
A sequence of unbroken conveyances from the original title holder to the present title holder
Chord (long)
The part of a curve which is measured along a chord (straight) line from P.C. to P.T. of the same curve.
Chord (short)
A part of a curve which is measured from any point on a curve to another point on the same curve in a chord (straight) line.
Circle of Uncertainty
A circle which has a radius equal to the maximum probable error
Clear Title
Good title of deed, clear from any defects or limitations.
(1) The process by which all the parties to a real estate transaction conclude the details of a sale or mortgage. The process includes the signing and transfer of documents and distribution of funds. (2) A condition in the description of real property by courses and distances at the boundary lines where the lines meet to include all the tract of land.
Closing Corner
In the PLSS, it is a corner established where a survey line intersects a previously fixed boundary at a point between corners. Video Link
The degree to which a figure closes, i.e., when the end point matches the beginning point on a survey.
Closure (angular) (closed end)
A surveying procedure and process in which a closed loop is performed by angle and distance measurements from different instrument setups beginning at a point which has a known or assumed bearing or azimuth relationship to the backsight. At the end of the process, the original point will be occupied and an the original backsight will be observed as a foresight. The resultant difference in these lines of sight will produce an angular error, know as angular error of closure.
Closure (horizontal)
A surveying procedure and process in which a closed loop is performed by angle and distance measurements from different instrument setups beginning at a point and observing the same point at the conclusion of the closure. This will result in a linear (straight) line error between the point’s original location and its location from the last observation. The ratio of linear error between these “same” points to the perimeter of the closure traverse is known as the horizontal error of closure.
Closure (vertical)
A surveying procedure and process in which a closed level loop begins with the level rod placed upon a benchmark and the level set at an observation position. Differential leveling is then executed, with the final observation being on the original bench mark. There will usually be a difference in elevation. To determine if the closure is acceptable, multiply the square root of the total distance of the level loop in miles by 0.05 (third order) for the maximum allowable vertical error.
Cloud on Title
A claim or encumbrance that could affect or impair the ownership of a particular parcel.
Ownership of the same interest in a particular parcel of land by more than one person.
Coaxial Cable
A cable consisting of a conducting outer metal tube enclosing and insulated from a central conducting core, used for high-frequency transmission of telephone, telegraph, and television signals. Also called coaxial line.
Insurance in which more than one insurer shares a part of a single risk. Insurance with another of a risk. Coinsurance is usually affected by separate contracts of insurance by separate companies, each of which undertakes a fractional part of the whole risk.
Marketable real or personal property that a borrower pledges as security for a loan. In mortgage transactions, specific land is the collateral.
Collocation (also colocation)
The mounting or installation of an antenna on an existing tower, building, or structure for the purpose of transmitting and/or receiving radio frequency signals for communications purposes.
Commitment to Insure
A report issued by a title insurance company, or its agent, showing the condition of the title and committing the title insurance company to issue a form policy as designated in the commitment upon compliance with and satisfaction of requirements set forth in the commitment. AKA Title Commitment.
Community Property
A category of property, existing in some states, in which all property (except property specifically acquired by husband or wife as separate property) acquired by a husband and wife, or either, during marriage, is owned in common by the husband and wife.
Comprehensive Plan
Also known as a general plan, master plan or land-use plan, is a document designed to guide the future actions of a community. It presents a vision for the future, with long-range goals and objectives and for all activities that affect the local government.
Taking private property for public use through court proceedings.
Conditional Use
These uses are permitted on a permanent basis within a district so long as the governing body’s conditions are met. These uses require conditions because without them, they could negatively impact the parcel of bordering properties. Permits for conditional uses are given at the discretion of the governing body.
Conditional Use Permit
A permit granted to a property owner to make use of real property in a manner allowed under current zoning regulations, but only in accordance with conditions to be applied by the zoning authority.
Conditions and Restrictions
A common term used to designate the uses to which land may not be put and providing penalties for failure to comply. Commonly used by land sub-dividers on newly platted areas.
A system of individual fee ownership of units in a multi-unit structure, combined with joint ownership of common areas of the structure and land.
A person appointed by the court to protect and preserve the lands and property of an individual physically incapacitated or otherwise not able to handle his own affairs.
Constructive Notice
Notice that is implied whether or not it actually exists.
When used in relation to adverse possession, the possession must be unbroken
Imaginary line on the ground, all points of which are at the same elevation above or below a specific datum.
Agreement to sell and purchase under which title is withheld from the purchaser until such time as the required payments to the seller have been completed.
Control (horizontal)
A series of points which have been established and proven to be within an allowable and specific tolerance of error. This proof is accomplished by executing a closed traverse to determine horizontal and angular error. GPS procedures that meet the allowable error are also used to accomplish setting horizontal control.
Control (vertical)
A series of points which have been established with elevation and proven to be within an allowable and specific tolerance of error. This proof is accomplished by executing a closed level loop to determine vertical error. GPS procedures that meet the allowable error are also used to accomplish setting vertical control.
Control Points
Points that have been established in a series with a high degree of accuracy or precision, to which parcels, mapping, or a construction project may be tied.
Where meridians become closer together as they progress northerly and southerly from the equator
The act of deeding or transferring title to another.
An instrument by which title to property is transferred; a deed.
A residential multi-unit building owned by and operated for the benefit of persons living within.
Coordinate Geometry (COGO)
The mathematical system of geometry used by surveyors to establish and calculate coordinate values.
Coordinate System
A grid where the axes are 90° apart. Also called a Cartesian Coordinate System. In surveying, typically a State Plane Coordinate System
A numerical designation which determines the location of points. Most surveyors use state plane coordinates described as Northing, Easting and Elevations. (N,E,Z or y,x,z)
The beginning or end point of any survey line. The term corner does not imply the property was in any way square. A corner can be natural (i.e., creek, river, ridge) or artificial (i.e., set stone, fence corner, iron pipe).
Corner Tree
Called for in the deed description and normally marked with three hacks or notches where the line enters and exits the tree.
The direction of a line with reference to the meridian.
An agreement written into deeds and other instruments promising performance or non-performance of certain acts, or stipulating certain uses or non-uses of the property.
Critical Mass
The point at which enough action has occurred for a fundamental change to take place; the point where the industry becomes a driving force for global change.
Cross Section
A line which is either perpendicular (at 90 degrees) to the tangent (straight); or radial to the curve, of the horizontal alignment which extends across an area of required information.
The terminus of a street or alley.
Curve Radius
The distance between the curve and the center of the circle
Curve, horizontal (compound)
Two simple curves defined as follows. The first curve begins at a P.C.; then turns in one direction and follows the curve defined by its particular geometry, to its ending point at the P.C.C. The second curve begins at the same P.C.C. then turns in the same direction as the first curve defined by its different geometry, to its ending at the P.T.
Curve, horizontal (reverse)
Two simple curves defined as follows. The first curve begins at a P.C.; then turns in one direction and follows the curve defined by its particular geometry, to its ending point at the P.R.C… The second curve begins at the same P.R.C.; then turns in the opposite direction as the first curve defined by its particular geometry, to its ending at the P.T.
Curve, horizontal (simple)
A part of a circle; also known as an Arc, which is defined Geometrically as beginning at a P.C. and ending at the P.T. of the same curve.
Curve, vertical
A curve used in highway design which may be either a sag or a crest designation. This curve is usually a design, centerline designated, and always a profile view.
A construction survey term describing the depth of material to be removed to achieve a desired elevation at a specific location.


Digital Terrain Modeling is a collection of 3-D points that represent the model of the terrain in a specific surveyed area.
Data Collector
An electronic instrument used to collect data from the field.
Data Rate
Maximum number of information bits that can be transmitted per second.
A reference system for computing or correlating the results of surveys. The principal types of datum are vertical and horizontal.
Declination (magnetic)
The angle formed by the difference between magnetic north and true north.
A signed and usually sealed document or writing which conveys some legal transfer, bargain, or contract from one party to another.
Deed Bust
An error or series of errors, which causes the ending point of the calls in a description not to close back to the beginning point. A few examples of what might cause the deed bust include poor distance or bearing measurements, typographical errors, distances measured slope rather than horizontal, calls in a description having magnetic meridians measured at different times, transposed numbers, and calls being omitted or in the wrong order.
Deed of Trust
A conveyance of a land title by a maker of a note (the debtor) to a third party, a trustee, as collateral security for the payment of the note with the condition that the trustee shall re-convey the title to the debtor upon payment of the note, and with power in the trustee to sell the land and pay the note in the event of a default on the part of the debtor.
Deficiency Judgment
A judgment against a person liable for the debt secured by a mortgage in an amount by which the funds derived from a foreclosure or trustee’s sale are less than the amount due on the debt.
Deflection Angle
An angle measured left or right of a forward tangent. In the case of the delta angle of a circular curve, the total deflection angle is equal to one-half (1/2) of the delta angle.
A unit of measure which divides a circle into 360 increments or parts.
Degree of Curve
The central angle subtended by an arc length of 100 feet. This can be more simply described as drawing a line from each point at the ends of the 100 foot arc to the radius point or center of the circle. The measurement of this angle formed is the degree of curve.
The final and absolute transfer of a deed from seller to buyer in such a manner that the seller cannot recall it.
The angle or deflection of a curve, measured by the two lines that converge at the radius or the angle that is turned at the PI of the curve.
Delta Angle
An angle formed by intersection of two tangent lines with the first tangent line projected forward of the point of intersection of the two lines. The Delta angle is equal to the Central angle.
The amount of development allowed per acre, and typically calculated by the number of dwelling units per acre (for residential) or floor area ratio (for commercial).
With the north-south line being the latitude of a survey, the east-west line is called the departure.
The disposition of land by a will.
Differential Leveling
A method of transferring elevations to a desired location. This is accomplished by setting up a level at a location where a level rod, placed on a Benchmark whose elevation is known, can be observed and read. This rod reading (referred to as backsight), which is a numerical value expressed in hundredths of a foot, is applied to the elevation of the benchmark. The sum or total of these values are referred to as the H.I. (Height of Instrument). The level rod is then moved to another location (foresight). The rod is read at this location and its value is subtracted from the H.I. and this will be the elevation of the foresight.
Differential Positioning
When used with GPS, a method whereby positional corrections are transmitted from a GPS receiver at a fixed and known location (base) to a rover such that the rover can calculate a more accurate position than it would be able to without the correction information.
Discount Points
The amount of money the borrower or seller must pay the lender to get a mortgage at a stated interest rate. This amount is equal to the difference between the principal balance on the note and the lesser amount which a purchaser of the note would pay the original lender for it under market conditions. A point equals one percent of the loan.
Dominant Estate or Dominant Tenement
The land which an easement appurtenant attaches to or the propoerty that uses an easement over another (servient) property.
Double Center
To set a point on a projection of a line by sighting the point with the telescope erect and inverted and splitting the difference between the two points
Double Nickel
Surveyor’s slang for the numeric value .55, e.g., 6-double nickel (6.55).
Double Proportionate Measurement
In the PLSS, restoration of a lost corner by proportionate measurements in both east–west and north–south directions from existing monuments
An estate for life to which a married woman by statute is entitled on the death of her husband. In most states it is a life estate of one third of the value of all land which the husband owned during their marriage. Dower has been abolished by statute in some states. The reason for requiring a wife’s joining in the deed of any land by her husband is the release of her dower right.
Drill Hole
A hole made in stone or concrete for the purpose of locating a point or property corner.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), otherwise known as “drones”, have been introduced to the land surveying industry. These small, ultra-light weight aircraft can be piloted by remote and can take detailed survey information while simultaneously transmitting that data back to a data collector. This creates highly accurate maps and provides valuable data to companies and individuals who are considering major projects on large areas of land.

“Dead Man”
An unmanned target placed over a backsight point. This enables the instrument operator to occupy multiple setups using a common indivisible backsight.


E-mail (Electronic Mail)
Messages, usually text, sent from one person to another via computer. E-mail can also be sent automatically to a large number of addresses (Mailing List).
Enhanced Data GSM Environment is a technology used to improve the data transmission rate of a mobile phone network.
Electronic Distance Meter is a method of determining the length between two points using electromagnetic waves. EDM is commonly carried out with digital instruments called theodolites or total stations.
Effective Radiated Power describes the sum of all power radiated by an antenna connected to a transmitter.
Earnest Money
This is an advance payment of part of the purchase price a buyer gives with an offer to purchase property. Also called a deposit.
Right of use over the property of another. This right may be created by grant, reservation, agreement, prescription, or necessary implication, which one has in the land of another. It is either for the benefit of land (appurtenant), such as right to cross A to get to B, or “in gross” such as a public utility easement.
Easement Appurtenant
An easement which attaches to the land not to an individual person, for the benefit of the dominant parcel.
Easement Implied from Necessity
When a grantor creates and conveys a landlocked parcel of land, an easement is implied over the grantor’s remaining land to a public road.
Easement Implied from Prior Use
When a grantor creates and conveys a landlocked parcel of land and there was visible access such as a way leading over the grantor’s remaining land to a road, an easement is implied.
Easement Implied from a Plat
Common in subdivisions containing private roads, it addresses the rights which owners in a subdivision have over roads not necessarily required to access a public road
Easement by Implication
When a conveyance does not explicitly call for the easement but the easement must have been intended.
Easement in Gross
An easement which is owned by a person and does not attach to the land
Economic Development
The development of economic wealth of countries, regions or communities for the well-being of their inhabitants. From a policy perspective, economic development can be defined as efforts that seek to improve the economic well-being and quality of life for a community by creating and/or retaining jobs and supporting or growing incomes and the tax base.
The right to leave a tract of land.
Electromagnetic Radiation
Waves of electric and magnetic energy moving together (i.e., radiating) through space at the speed of light. Taken together, all forms of electromagnetic energy are referred to as the electromagnetic spectrum.
Electronic Data Collector
A small digital computer with a screen which connects to a total station or GPS receiver for the purpose of collecting data from the device. If the total station is servo driven, the data collector can drive the instrument.
Electronic Distance Measuring Device
A device, usually attached to a total station, which uses light beams to precisely measure distance.
Electronic Distance Meter
An electronic distance meter (EDM) is an instrument, which bounces either infrared light or a laser beam off a reflector to measure a distance.
The height or vertical distance of a point above a datum, usually mean sea level.
Eminent Domain
The power to take private property for use where the public interest can best be served.
Improvements or uses that extend across a property or easement line without written permission.
A lien, liability or charge upon a parcel of land.
A form issued by the insurer at the request of the insured, which changes term(s) or item(s) in an issued policy or commitment.
Enhanced Data GSM Environment (EDGE)
A faster version of the Global System for Mobile (GSM) wireless service.
(1) The interest or value which an owner has in real estate over and above the debts against it; (2) A type of court of record.
Equity Participation
A type of mortgage transaction in which the lender, in addition to receiving a fixed rate of interest on the loan, acquires an interest in the borrower’s land and shares in the profits derived from the land.
The difference between an observed or calculated value and a true value.
Error of Closure
The length or length and direction of the gap in a geometric figure where the end point is intended to be the same as the beginning point
Errors and Omissions Insurance
A policy that pays for any mistakes a surveyor or other covered professional makes in a project.
A reversion of property to the state in those cases where an individual dies without heirs or devisees and without a will.
A procedure whereby a disinterested third party handles legal documents and funds on behalf of a seller and buyer.
The total assets of a person, including real property, at the time of death.
When a property owner induces an abutter to act in a way that is likely to damage the abutter’s interests. Detrimental reliance
Examination of Title
The interpretation of the record title to real property based on the title search or abstract.
In legal descriptions that portion of lands to be deleted or excluded. In title commitments those easements or restrictions over the property to be conveyed.
Exception to Coverage
The second part of a title commitment. A list of items that could be encumbering to the property that are known to the title company. This is part of the “Schedule B” of the title commitment. These are examined by the Surveyor during an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey.
When used in relation to adverse possession, the possessor must not share the possession with the owner
Exclusive Access Easement
This is an easement to allow access to a property such as a driveway for access to a public road, highway or utility access.
A person appointed by the probate court to carry out the terms of a will.
Express Easement
A written easement
External of a Curve
The distance from the P.I. of a curve to the mid-point of said curve.


See Federal Emergency Management Agency
See Federal Housing Administration
FHLMC (Freddie Mac)
See Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation
FNMA (Fannie Mae)
See Federal National Mortgage Association
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
An independent agency of the federal government, reporting to the President. Founded to reduce loss of life and property and protect our nation’s critical infrastructure from all types of hazards through a comprehensive, risk-based, emergency management program of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac)
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, an affiliate of the Federal Home Loan Bank, which creates a secondary market in conventional residential loans and in FHA and VA loans by purchasing mortgages from members of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Home Loan Bank system.
Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
Federal Housing Administration, an agency of the federal government which insures private loans for financing of new and existing housing and for home repairs under government-approved programs.
Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae)
A federally sponsored, private corporation which provides a secondary market for housing mortgages.
An ownership interest in real property
Fee Simple Absolute
Absolute ownership (of land) with unrestricted rights of disposition.
Field Book
A small bound or loose leaf book used to record survey field data. This may also be collected by the Data Collector.
Field Notes
Accumulation of measurements and observations gathered by field crew.
Filed Plan
Drawing of plan, showing all vital data gained during a survey, which has been filed in the registry of deeds.
A construction survey term describing the depth of material to be added to achieve a desired elevation at a specific location.
Financing Statement
A document prepared for filing with the Register of Deeds or Secretary of State indicating that personal property or fixtures is encumbered with a debt.
First Guide Meridian East and West
Meridians established 24 miles east and west of the principal meridian
First Station
See Point of Beginning
Any item of personal property so attached to real property that it becomes a part of the real property.
Flood Hazard
Classification for any area determined to be within a high risk of flooding.
Flood Plain
Belt of low, flat ground bordering a stream channel that is flooded when runoff exceeds the capacity of the stream channel.
Flood Zone
An area that has been carefully studied by the government to determine the probability of flooding due to intensive storms or, along the coast, severe tidal conditions. Flood zones are designated to specify the probability and frequency of anticipated flood conditions and range in severity from areas of minimal flooding to those where flooding would be frequently expected to occur.
Floor Area Ratio (FAR)
The relationship between the total amount of usable floor area that a building has, or has been permitted for the building, and the total area of the lot on which the building stands. This ratio is determined by dividing the total, or gross, floor area of the building by the gross area of the lot.
Foot (International)
Also expressed in tenths and hundredths. In conversion to meters, the International foot is equal to 0.3048 meters. This can be derived by multiplication – 2.54 cm/in x 12 inches ÷ 100 cm/m
Foot (US Survey)
A unit of measurement which in Surveying work, is composed of ten (10) tenths (1/10) of a foot. The tenth is further subdivided in ten increments, each of which is equal to one hundredth (1/100) of a foot. In conversion to other units of measurement, the U.S. survey foot is used by location. For example; a US Survey foot is equal to 0.3048006096 meters. This can be derived from dividing the number of inches in a foot by the number of inches in a meter (12/39.37).
Legal process by which a mortgagee of real property is deprived of his/her interest in that property due to failure to comply with terms and conditions of the mortgage.
A target or prism to which an instrument will measure an angle and/or angle and distance
Freddie Mac
See Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation
Front Slope
That portion of a roadway which slopes away from the shoulder or next to the edge of the roadway.
Front Up
A request from instrument operator to the targetman who is standing to one side of the prism rod to move the rod in a forward direction. Ideally, this request should be followed by an approximate distance (i.e., front up 3 feet.)
The front of a building or lot.


See Geographic Information System
See Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae)
See Global Positioning System
General Plan
See “Comprehensive Plan”
General Warranty Deed
A deed containing a covenant whereby the seller agrees to protect the buyer against being dispossessed because of any adverse claim against the land.
Geodetic Marker
A survey marker placed by the government in either a horizontal or vertical plane.
Geographic Information System (GIS)
A GIS is a computer system that captures, stores, analyzes, and displays data related to locations on Earth’s surface. GIS can show different types of data on a map, such as streets, buildings, and vegetation, which can help people see patterns and relationships.
Surveyor’s slang for a wooden dowel 6-9 inches in length with a sharpened end. Set in the ground to mark survey points. AKA a hub.
Ginnie Mae (GNMA)
See Government National Mortgage Association
Give Line
The process by which a person holds a prism pole or plumb bob string over a point so it can be sighted by the instrument
Surveyor’s slang for the EDM prism.
Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)
A constellation of satellites and ground stations owned by the United States, Russia, EU, and China used for the positioning of receivers on the earth’s surface
Global Positioning System (GPS)
A series of 24 US geosynchronous satellites that continuously transmit their position. Used in personal tracking, navigation, and automatic vehicle location technologies.
A thin triangular piece of land, the boundaries of which are defined by surveys of adjacent properties. Loosely, an overlap or gap between properties. See also strip.
Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae)
A government corporation which provides a secondary market for housing mortgages and special assistance to mortgagee financing housing under special FHA mortgage insurance programs.
Gradient (Front and Back Slope)
A method of defining a slope which is usually expressed as a ratio (i.e.; for example, 3:1 slope means 3 feet horizontal and 1 foot vertical).
Gradient (Pavement Cross Slope)
A method of defining the cross-slope of pavement which is described as inch per foot (1/4 inch per foot, for example) or as a percentage per foot (0.02 foot per foot, for example).
Gradient (pipe)
A method of defining the rate of fall or slope of a pipe which is usually expressed percentage per foot (.001 foot per foot, for example).
Grandfathered Clauses
The term “grandfathering” is a misnomer for a legal prior non-conforming use. A “grandfathering” situation occurs when an existing use was in compliance with zoning regulations at the time it began, but changes to the regulations have caused the use to become non-conforming. If the owner sells the property, the buyer will have the right to continue the non-conforming use, causing people to label the use as “grandfathered.”
One who acquires land or some interest in land
One who conveys land or some interest in land
A network of uniformly spaced, parallel lines intersecting at right angles.
Grid North
The direction of the north–south grid lines on a state plane coordinate system. Lines are parallel to the Grid Meridian.
Group Parking Facility
A building, structure or lot used for parking that serves more than one dwelling unit.
One appointed by the court to administer the affairs of an individual not capable of administering his own affairs.
Surveyor’s slang. See EDM
Gunter’s Chain
A Chain. Unit of length equal to 66 feet (4 rods) long with 100 links (0.66 ft each)


An acronym for Horizontal Alignment.
An abbreviation for Height of Instrument.
Hand Level
A low-precision instrument used in obtaining elevations.
Hand Leveling
A low-precision surveying operation used in obtaining elevations. This operation uses a Hand level, a Jacob’s staff, a cloth/fiberglass tape and a level rod.
Metric unit of measure denoting 10,000 square meters or 2.471 acres, or 107,639 square feet.
One who might inherit or succeed to an interest in lands under the rules of law applicable where an individual dies without leaving a will.
Heirs and Assigns
Terminology used in deeds and wills to provide that the recipient receives a “fee simple estate” in lands rather that a lesser interest.
A gap or space unintentionally left between, when attempting to describe adjacent parcels of land.
Highway Marker
A stone bound placed by the State Highway Department denoting the sidelines, curve points, and offsets of highway points.
Hinge Point
A point on the back slope of a roadway where the design template or typical section distances and slope grades meets natural ground.
An estate in land, which a householder has in the property that he and his family occupy as their residence. Their estate is exempt from forced sale to satisfy householder’s debts.
Horizontal Angle
An angle which is measured on a horizontal plane. This angle is measured from the backsight by the instrument, which is usually expressed as angle right or left of the Backsight line.
Horizontal Measure
The law requires all distance measurements to be on a horizontal plane. Today, many surveyors measure the slope distance and the vertical angle to calculate the horizontal distance. However, some old surveys used slope measure causing a resurvey of those lines to have distances that appear shorter than what was called for in the deed.
Horizontal Measurement or Horizontal Distance
A measurement made in a plane which is perpindicular to the line of gravity.
Horizontal Plane
An imaginary flat surface that extends in all directions from a point on or near the surface of the surface of the earth. This plane will be tangent (touching the arc of the earth in only one place) to the earth’s arc. This plane will be perpendicular to an axis drawn from the center of the earth thru the point of observation.
When used in context with adverse possession and prescription, the possession must be adverse to the interests of the owner
Surveyor’s slang for degrees. Based on 60 minutes in an hours and 60 minutes in a degree.
Hub and Tack
Surveyor’s slang for a 2 x 2” stake set in the ground that contains a nail (tack) to precisely mark the point being set.
The scientific study of the waters of the Earth, especially with relation to the effects of precipitation and evaporation upon the occurrence and character of ground water.


Those additions to raw lands tending to increase value such as buildings, streets, sewers, etc.
In Testate
Designates the estate or condition of failing to leave a will at death.
A unit of measurement which equals one twelfth (1/12) of a foot. This unit of measure is used in surveying work to describe pipe diameter, property iron diameter, and tree diameter measured at chest height.
Inchoate Courtesy
The imperfected interest the law gives a husband in the lands of his wife.
Inchoate Dower
The imperfected interest the law gives a wife in the lands of her husband.
To make a part of
The right to enter a tract of land.
Initial Point
In the PLSS, a fixed point from which townships are established
A surveying instrument such as a transit, theodolite or total station
Instrument Person
The person charged with the responsibility for the care and use of an instrument such as a level, transit, theodolite or total station
Insurance of Title
Insurance as to who owns a specified interest in designated real estate, and showing as exceptions to the insured interest the defects, liens and encumbrances which exist as against that insured interest.
Insured Estate
The first part of a title commitment that describes the interest in the specific property that is going to be insured. This is part of the Schedule ‘A’ of the title commitment.
Intention of the Parties to the Conveyance
What the grantor and grantee agreed to at the time of the conveyance
Coordinate geometry calculations which determine the location of a point not usually located by field surveying location applications. There are three types of intersection routines; Bearing-Bearing, Bearing-Distance, and Distance and Distance. Each has a specific application and results.
The ability to visually see between points
To turn a rod upside down and get a reading on an overhead object. Surveyors also use this term to describe flowlines of pipes.


Jacob’s Staff
A rod, pole, or similar object of a known height. This height is usually an even foot increment measured from the bottom of the staff to the center of a hand level placed on top of the staff. This even foot increment allows for ease of calculating elevations.
Joint Tenancy
Where two or more persons hold real estate jointly for life, the survivors to take the interest of the one who dies.
(1) A formal decision or decree of a court; (2) a certificate evidencing such a decree
Judgment Lien
The charge upon the lands of a debtor resulting from the decree of a court properly recorded in the office of the county recorder in the county in which the property is located.
Junior Mortgage
A mortgage, the lien of which is subordinate to that of another mortgage.
Junior and Senior Rights
Rights in property acquired through a sequence of conveyances by a common grantor.
The official power to make legal decisions and judgments.


L or LC or A
The length of a curve along the curve itself. Often called the Arc Length
LMDS (Local Multipoint Distribution Service)
Located in the 28 GHz and 31 GHz bands, LMDS is a broadband radio service designed to provide two-way transmission of voice, high-speed data and video (wireless cable TV). FCC rules prohibit incumbent local exchange carriers and cable TV companies from offering in-region LMDS.
Letter of map amendment as referred to by FEMA relating to the change in the flood hazard of a particular location or structure.
The unit of area used in Mexico and Texas equal to 1 million square varas. Approximately equal to about 177.1 acres (71.67 ha.)
Land Use Plan
See “Comprehensive Plan”
Land Use Regulation
Ordinances of government including requirement of permits and codes created to ensure private use of land resources are aligned with policy standards. Some forms of land use regulations including housing codes, regulations for subdivisions, zoning ordinances, and building codes.
Refers to a property that has no direct access to a public street, so the only way on or off the property is to cross land owned by someone else. Usually, a landlocked property gains street access through a legal permission called an easement.
A survey mark made on a permanent feature of the land such as a tree, pile of stones, etc.
The angular distance (in degrees, minutes, and seconds) of a point on the Earth’s surface north or south from the equator.
Latitude and Departure
Latitude is the distance measured northerly on a coordinate grid. Departure is the distance measured easterly on a coordinate grid
A self-supporting tower that is tapered from the bottom up, usually with three or four legs. Lattice structures can reach heights of up to 1,000 feet.
League (legua)
The unit of area used in the southwest United States, equal to 25 labors, or 25 million square varas. Also approximately equal to 4,428.4 acres in Texas, or 4,439 acres in California.
A grant of the use of property for a term of years in consideration of the payment of a monthly or annual rental.
Legal Blemish
Blemishes on a piece of property, such as a zoning violation or fraudulent title claim.
Legal Description
A specific way of identifying and locating a piece of real estate that is acceptable to a court.
An explanatory list of the symbols on a map or chart shown either by a symbol or abbreviation.
Surveyor’s slang for tripod.
One who takes lands upon a lease.
One who grants lands under a lease.
Level Loop
The process of measuring and proving the elevation at a specified location relative to another known elevation. For all differential leveling, it is good practice to close the leveling loop. Closing the loop is accomplished by returning to the original starting point. If we were to complete our level loop with complete accuracy, our computed final elevation would be exactly the same as the benchmark elevation used to initiate the survey. This comparison of the starting elevation and the computed ending elevation is termed closure.
Level Rod
A rod used in leveling operations, graduated or incremented in 1/100ths of a foot.
Level, Automatic
A type of level having a compensating device that maintains a horizontal line of sight when the instrument is approximately leveled. Level is used to transfer elevations from one point to another.
Level, Electronic
A surveying instrument capable of transferring elevations with a high degree of precision. This is accomplished by use of a special level rod, bar-coded on one side. This bar-coded side is faced toward the instrument, the rod is plumbed and leveled, and the bar code is scanned by the instrument and a reading is displayed and/or recorded.
A hold, a claim or a charge allowed a creditor upon the lands of a debtor.
Life Estate
A grant or reservation of the right of use, occupancy and ownership for the life of an individual.
The direction of a survey. Also a request by the target person to the instrument operator to position a line rod or prism rod for direction orientation.
Line Rod
A rod which is usually painted in alternating colors of red and white, each color being one foot in length.
Line Tree
Any tree that is on a property line, specifically one that is also a corner to another property.
A type of material upon which ink drawings of land surveys were formerly drawn for filing in registries of deeds. Mylars are used now, if not replaced by electronic filing.
A land measurement that equals 1/100th of a chain or 66/100th of a foot.
Lis Pendens
A legal notice recorded in the official records of a county to indicate that a suit is pending affecting the lands where the notice is recorded.
Littoral Rights
Property rights related to water boundaries along an ocean or lake
Load Capacity
The quantity that is or can be carried at one time.
Local Area Network (LAN)
A data communications system that (a) lies within a limited spatial area, (b) has a specific user group, (c) has a specific topology, and (d) is not a public switched telecommunications network, but may be connected to one.
Using an instrument to turn an angle and measure a distance to a target or other object
The location. The property at issue. The property being surveyed
The angular distance (in degrees, minutes, and seconds) of a point on the Earth’s surface east or west of the Greenwich meridian.
Lost Corner
In the PLSS, where the location of the corner cannot be determined from marks or evidence, so that it must be replaced by measurements from other corners
A measured parcel of land having fixed boundaries. A part of a plat of multiple lots.
Lot Area
The area (in square feet or acreage) of a separate zoning lot.
Lot Coverage
That portion of a zoning lot which, when viewed from above, is covered by a building or impervious surface.
Lot Depth
The mean horizontal distance between the front lot line and rear lot line of a zoning lot.
Lot Width
The mean horizontal distance between the side lot lines of a zoning lot, normally measured at the front property line.
Low Distortion Projection
A two dimensional rectangular coordinate system located at an elevation designed to minimize distortion between measurements made on the ground and those on the coordinate system
Low Frequency (LF)
Any frequency in the band from 30 kHz to 300 kHz.


Magnetic Dip
The angular downward tilt of a compass needle as measured from horizontal
Magnetic North
The northerly direction in the Earth’s magnetic field indicated by the north-seeking pole of a compass needle. Based on the Magnetic North Pole, which moves daily. Surveyors today shouldn’t use this for defining directions.
This is the age at which a person is entitled to handle his own affairs.
Marketable Title
A good title about which there is no fair or reasonable doubt.
Master Plan
See “Comprehensive Plan”
Mean High Water
The average of all high water heights observed over a 19 year period
Mean Sea Level
Tidal datum that is the arithmetic mean of the hourly water elevations observed over a specific 19-year Metonic cycle (National Tidal Datum Epoch).
Meander Corner
In the PLSS, an intersection of a meander line with a section or township line
Meander Line
Metes-and-bounds traverse approximately along the mean high water line of a permanent body of water. A meander line differs from other metes-and-bounds surveys in that it does not ordinarily determine or fix boundaries. Video Link
Measure Angle
To use an instrument to measure an angle
Mechanics Lien
A lien allowed by statute to contractors, laborers, and suppliers against a property upon which work has been performed or materials supplied to seek payment.
Great circle on the surface of the Earth passing through the geographical poles and any given point on the Earth’s surface. All points on a given meridian have the same longitude.
An international unit of measure which is equal to 39.37 inches (U.S. Survey foot) precisely. The International foot is 0.3048 meters precisely.
Metes and Bounds
A method of describing the limits or boundaries of a parcel of land by distance and direction and by reference to physical monuments
A unit of angle measurement. There are sixty (60) minutes in one Degree.
A natural or placed artificial physical object intended as a landmark or survey marker such as a stone shaft or iron rod sunk into the ground; normally at a property corner.
When a governing body is considering the amendment of its zoning ordinance or planning documents, it may decide to enact a temporary ban, a “moratorium” on zoning applications for the uses being considered.
More or Less
A term used not because someone did not know the exact area, but to show that the tract is conveyed by the area contained within the description and not by the acre. This also refers to the inherint error present in ALL measurements.
An instrument used to encumber land as security for a debt.
Mortgage Acceleration Clause
See Acceleration Clause
A designation for the mortgage holder on lands.
A designation for the mortgage borrower on lands.
A city, town or other district possessing corporate existence and usually its own local government


See National Environmental Policy Act 1969
National Society of Professional Surveyors
National Environmental Policy Act 1969 (NEPA), 42 USC §§ 4321 et seq.
NEPA is the basic national charter for protection of the environment. It requires all Federal agencies to implement procedures to make environmental consideration a necessary part of an agency’s decision-making process. Specifically, NEPA and the regulatory guidelines established by the Council on Environmental Quality which implemented the Act, 40 C.F.R. §§ 1500 et seq., require all Federal agencies to take into account environmental consequences when making decisions which could be considered major federal actions. The FCC complies with NEPA by requiring licensees to review their proposed actions for environmental consequences.
National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS)
This society is open to all professional surveyors and to persons trained, registered, or interested in the profession of surveying and mapping. NSPS strives to establish and further common interests, objectives, and political effort that would help bind the surveying profession into a unified body in the United States.
Natural Monument
Streams, lakes, shores, ledge outcrops, and sometimes streets and highways, used as boundary markers.
Non-Conforming Lot
A lot is one that, at the time of its establishment, met the minimum lots size requirements for the zone in which it is located but which, because of subsequent changes to the minimum lot size applicable to that zone, is now smaller than that minimum lot size.
Non-Conforming Structure
A structure that complied with zoning and development regulations at the time it was built but which, because of subsequent changes to the zoning and/or development regulations, no longer fully complies with those regulations.
Non-Conforming Use
A use of property that was allowed under the zoning regulations at the time the use was established but which, because of subsequent changes in those regulations, is no longer a permitted use.
North (Grid)
A system of map orientation where the surface of the earth is divided by lines running North and South, East and West according to some grid coordinate system. North is based on the meridian of that grid coordinate system, which is based on True North. There is a Grid Convergence value at each grid line.
North (Magnetic)
A system of map orientation which uses Magnetic North as determined by the location of the earth’s magnetic poles at the time of observation. Note: Magnetic North changes from year to year, and daily. It is not used by professional surveyors.
Notary Public
An official authorized by law to attest and certify certain documents by his hand and official seal.
A written promise to pay an amount of money at a certain time or in a certain number of installments. The note usually provides for payment of interest. The note is at times secured by a mortgage.


Obliterated Monument
In the PLSS, where there is no remaining evidence of a monument but there is evidence of its location
Occupied Point
A point on which the instrument or GPS receiver is set
On Line
A condition whereby a target, prism pole, plumb bob, etc. is in line with the vertical cross hair of an instrument
Open Space
Any open piece of land that is undeveloped (has no buildings or other built structures) and is accessible to the public.
Open and Notorious
When related to adverse possession and prescription, the possession must be so openly visible that it would be obvious to the owner
Open-End Mortgage
A mortgage or deed of trust written so as to secure and permit advancing of funds in addition to the amount originally loaned.
Optical Plummet
An optical device including a right angle prism which allows a tribrach to be precisely centered over a point
Original Survey
A survey in which new boundaries are created
An orthophoto is an image of ground features in their true map coordinates, created photogrammetrically from aerial photography.
Overburdening an Easement
Use of an easement which was not contemplated when the easement was created
Overlay District
A district superimposed upon another district which supersedes, modifies or supplements the underlying regulations. Limited height districts and commercial overlay districts are examples of overlay districts.
Overloading an Easement
Use of an easement to service land which was not contemplated when the easement was created
The right to possess and use property to the exclusion of others.


Point of Curvature. The beginning of a curve.
Point of Compound Curve
Point of Intersection. In a curve, the point where the back tangent intersects the forward tangent.
Point of Reverse Curve
Abbreviation for Point of Tangency. The end of a curve.
The Public Land Survey System. A rectangular system of dividing land used in the western United States
See Point of Beginning
See Point of Commencement
A low wall or protective barrier that extends vertically above the roof of a building or other structure.
A part or portion of land.
Parole Evidence
Evidence gathered by the surveyor from verbal testimony of landowners or adjacent landowners as to the location of boundaries.
Division of land, usually by a legal proceeding, among the parties who were formerly co-owners.
Party Chief or Crew Chief
The person in charge of a survey crew
Party Wall
A wall which divides two adjoining properties and in which each of the owners shares the rights.
A document issued for the purpose of granting public lands to an individual.
(See Pole)
Personal Property
Anything subject to ownership that is not real property
Photogrammetric Mapping
The production of base maps from aerial photography. Mapping generated using photogrammetry provides a cost-effective method of establishing an accurate digital base for such things as urban planning, terrain analysis and forest management. Photogrammetry can be used for landfill or gravel pit monitoring, determining the location of ore bodies or determining proposed locations for utilities, such as pipelines and transmission lines.
Physical Evidence
Also called Real Evidence. Physical objects such as monuments, roads, lakes and rivers
Pile of Stones
heap of stones used to mark a property corner or sometimes placed at intervals along property lines
A small metal cylinder usually of steel, copper, brass or aluminum which is placed into the ground, or a hole in stone or concrete for marking a property corner
Plan, Survey Plan, Plat or Map
A drawing showing the results of a survey
A mechanical instrument used to trace the boundary of a plane figure for the purpose of calculating its area
Planned Unit Development (PUD)
A mixed-use development (often residential, retail and office) with a cohesive design plan.
Planning Board
See “Planning Commission”
Planning Commission
A group of citizens appointed by local government officials to conduct hearings and recommend amendments to zoning ordinances.
Plat or Plot
A map representing a piece of land subdivided into lots with streets shown thereon.
The space above a suspended ceiling or under a raised floor, used to circulate air back to the heating or cooling system in a building.
A condition in which an object points straight down vertically towards the center of the earth.
Plumb the Rod
A condition in which an object points straight down vertically towards the center of the earth.
A specific place or position. This may or may not be monumented.
Point Code
An alphanumeric identifier of a particular point. For example; point code 200 (or EP) identifies a point as edge of pavement.
Point Number
A unique and specific number assigned to a point.
Point of Beginning (POB)
The starting point of the surveyed property.
Point of Commencement (POC)
A known point outside the property boundary that ties the property to a well established corner. This ties the POB to a known point on the face of the Earth, for example to a Section corner from the Public Land Survey System.
Point on Line
A point set on an existing line
This is the another name of the North Star. It is in the constellation Ursa Minor and marks the end of the handle of the Little Dipper. Polaris’s location, less than 1° from the north pole, makes it a very important navigational star. Surveyors will locate and observe the location of Polaris in order to establish true north.
Unit of measure; 25 links or 16 ½ feet. One fourth of a chain.
Polyline (plan view)
A type of line in surveying software that in plan view has only two dimensional values, i.e. horizontal or x and y, but no real vertical value.
Polyline (profile view)
A type of line in surveying software that in profile view represents a station and elevation value along a certain alignment.
Positional Dilution of Precision (PDOP)
In GPS or GNSS, a number indicating the effect of satellite geometry on the accuracy of measurements
Possession Line
A use line defined by a fence, tree line, painted lines, mowed areas, or some other means that may or may not agree with the record (deed) calls.
When used in conjunction with static GPS, it is a software method used to adjust and calculate the coordinates of points which were previously occupied by GPS receivers
Power of Attorney
An instrument authorizing another to act on one’s behalf as his agent or attorney.
Practical Location
Where the location of a boundary is not determined from a writing but by agreement, acquiescence, or occupation
The consistency of a group of measurements which should not be confused with the accuracy of these measurements. Relates to the repeatability of the group of measurements.
Prepayment Penalty
Penalty to the mortgagor for payment of the mortgage debt before it becomes due.
Acquiring an easement through use, not by virtue of a writing
Primary Use
The principal or dominant use of the land, such as residing in a home, running business or manufacturing a product.
Principal Meridian
In the PLSS, a line of longitude running through an initial point
A glass reflector also called a corner cube prism, which is used to reflect light from an EDM back to the EDM so that the distance between the EDM and the Prism can be measured
Prism Offset
An adjustment to the distance measured between an EDM and a prism used to account for the speed and path of light and the mounting of the prism.
Prism Pole
A portable extendable pole used for mounting a prism commonly used for measuring to physical evidence
Prism Rod
A rod which is threaded on one end to accept a prism and pointed on the other end to place upon a point. The rod also has a bullseye bubble level attached to allow the rod to be plumbed.
Private Street
A street which may be used only by those having deeded rights
A mutual or successive relation between parties to the same real property
Professional Surveyor
A person who has fulfilled all the experience and testing requirements outlined in the code of the state that governs the practice of land surveying. This qualifies a person to survey for the public. It is illegal for anyone to survey for the public without a license.
Project Management
Managing and planning job tasks to ensure projects are completed in a timely and successful manner.
Property Corner
A place where two or more land ownership boundaries cross or meet. This position or place may or may not be monumented.
Property Line
A place where two or more land ownership boundaries cross or meet. This position or place may or may not be monumented.
Public Land System
Public lands are subdivided by a rectangular system of surveys established and regulated by the Bureau of Land Management. The standard format for subdivision is by townships measuring six miles (480 chains) on a side.
Public Records
Records which by law impart constructive notice of matters relating to land.
Public Street
A street over which the general public has a right of access
A Spanish land grant of less than 1,000 acres.
Surveyor’s slang for railroad.
Purchase Money Mortgage
A mortgage given by the purchaser to the seller simultaneously with the purchase of real estate to secure the unpaid balance of the purchase price.


One quarter of a circle: 90°. Used in surveying to refer to the four quadrants: Northeast, Southeast, Southwest and Northwest
Quiet Title
The removal of a cloud on title by proper action in a court.
Quiet Title Action
To bring into court a proceeding to establish title to land by forcing the claimant to establish his claim.
Quit Claim
The release or relinquishment of a claim to land.
Quit Claim Deed
A legal instrument used to release one person’s right, title, or interest to another without providing a guarantee or warranty of title.


Abbreviation for Right-Of-Way. The right-of-way line is a boundary between the owner of the right-of-way and the adjoining land owners.
Reciprocal easement agreement.
Rural Service Area
A Spanish land grant of more than 1,000 acres.
In the U.S. public land surveying system, a north-south column of townships, identified as being east or west of a reference longitudinal meridian, for example, Range 3 West.
Optically measuring distance using stadia hairs in a surveying instrument telescope
Real Estate
Pertaining to things fixed, permanent, or immovable, as to lands and tenements; as, real property, in distinction from personal or movable property.
Real Property
Land and things affixed to the land
Steel concrete reinforcing bar sometimes placed into the ground as a means of locating a property corner
The time spent in the field prior to the traverse finding evidence of the property lines and corners relative to the survey.
A deed from the mortgagee or trustee of a deed of trust which releases specific property from the lien of the mortgage or deed of trust.
Record Boundaries
Boundaries described in a deed or plan
Record Evidence
Written evidence recorded with a public agency such as deeds and plans.
Record Evidence
Written evidence recorded with a public agency such as deeds and plans
Record Line
The property line as defined by the deeds. The surveyor is responsible for retracing the record line and showing any encroachments resulting from possession lines on the plat of survey. The court, not the surveyor, has the right to establish a possession line as a boundary line as long as the requirements of the law are fulfilled.
Record Monuments
A boundary marker called for in a deed such as the name of an abutter
The right of the owner in some states to reclaim title to his property if he pays the debt to the mortgagee within a stipulated time after foreclosure.
Reference Station
When used with RTK GPS, a GPS receiver located at a fixed and known point which is capable of transmitting correction data to a GPS rover
Reference Tree
A tree used to reference a corner or a monument on line and normally marked with three hacks or notches facing the corner or monument. They are sometimes referred to as witness trees.
Reference point
A point with a known relationship to another point used to assist in the locating or re-establishment of another point.
A prism used to reflect light back to an EDM.
Reflectorless Total Station
A total station which is able to measure distances to an object without the need for using a prism
Registered Land Surveyor
See Professional Surveyor
Registry of Deeds
Place where deeds and plans of land, mortgages, and realty instruments are filed.
The act of an insurer is sole insurer for a portion of the risk and shares the risk in the excess amount with the reinsurers.
Reissue Rate
A reduced rate of title insurance premium applicable in cases where the owner of the land has been previously insured in an owner’s policy by the insurer within a certain time.
Relative Positional Precision
The length of the semi-major axis, expressed in feet or meters, of the error ellipse representing the uncertainty due to random errors in measurements in the location of the monument, or witness, marking any corner of the surveyed property relative to the monument, or witness, marking any other corner of the surveyed property at the 95 percent confidence level. This is estimated by the results of a correctly weighted least squares adjustment of the survey.
The increase in land by permanent withdrawal of water along a water boundary
An interest or estate in land in a person other than the grantor in which the right of possession and enjoyment of the land is postponed until the termination of some other interest or estate in the land.
A point set using control points as a basis for location. The remote point is identified point code 112 and is monumented by a hub and tack, nail and bottle cap, P-K nail or other material. This point is used for mapping purposes.
Report of Survey
A summary of the facts and findings regarding the survey. It is a sealed document that lists the entire record search, identify any significant problems incurred during the survey, and provide explanation why and how the corners were set. The report is optional depending upon the situation, and does not need to be required unless a client would choose to do so.
A surveying procedure which involves the setting up of the total station on a point which has not been located. This point is placed in a location where two “known” or more points can be observed. Upon measuring the angle and distance to 2 or more points, a position for the unknown point can be calculated.
Reserved Easement
An easement created by a grantor that reserves a right to use property of the grantee
Responsible Charge
Direct control and supervision of a person working under a licensed land surveyor
Provision in deed or will or in a “Declaration of Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions” which limits in some way the right to use land or convey its title.
Horizontal and vertical cross hairs in a surveying instrument telescope used to accurately sight a target
Retracement Survey
A survey attempting to reestablish an existing survey line. This is sometimes referred to as a resurvey.
Provision in conveyance by which, upon the happening of an event or contingency, title to the land will return to the grantor his successor in interest in the land.
A change in the zoning district applied to a parcel of land, and thus a change to the permitted uses and accompanying regulations with that parcel.
Right of Way
The right of a person to pass over the land of another.
Belonging to or relating to the bank of a river.
Riparian Rights
Property Rights along a river or stream
A way used for travel. Same as Street
Robotic Total Station
A total station containing servo motors which are capable of positioning the horizontal and vertical axes in order to measure to evidence and transmit data to a remote data collector
See Pole
Rod Person
Usually, the least experienced crew member. Often, the person who uses a prism pole to locate evidence
Surveyor’s slang for the person holding the rod with the EDM prism—the modern chain carrier.
A unit of area containing 40 square rods, or ¼ acre, or 10,890 square feet.
Rooftop sites
Antennae located on rooftop sites are widely used in metropolitan areas where space, zoning, and construction issues may be prohibitive.
A GPS receiver located on a prism pole or tripod which is moved around from point to point for the purpose of locating evidence or setting points. It normally receives correction data from a reference station
The revenues that a company would have in the next 12 months if the current revenue rate remained unchanged; usually calculated by multiplying the latest quarter’s revenues by four.


Sale and Leaseback
A financial device which an owner of land may employ to raise money and still have the use of the land by selling the land to his financier and immediately leasing it back for the period he wishes to use it.
A representative relationship between an actual horizontal distance and distance factor ratio. For example, 1-in= 50-ft. Also a ratio of foot per foot, as with U.S.G.S. quad maps where 1 foot = 24,000 foot actual horizontal distance.
Scope of an Easement
The type of use allowed by an easement
In the PLSS, a portion of a township approximately one mile square containing 640 acres
Section or Section of Land
Unit of subdivision of a township; normally a quadrangle one mile square with boundaries conforming to meridians and parallels within established limits, containing 640 acres as nearly as practical.
Secular Change
The difference between two magnetic meridians measured at different times. It is also known as variation and the difference should always be clockwise. Most original surveys were based on the magnetic meridian as measured with a compass. Again, using magnetic directions is severly frowned upon by todays surveyors
Servient Estate or Servient Tenement
The land burdened by an easement appurtenant
A series of points which are connected by a set line which carries elevations along this line from point to point.
Set Back Lines
Those lines which delineate the required distances for the location of structure in relation to the perimeter of the property.
Set Up
A term used to describe the total station or level, tripods and all necessary items “setup” and ready to begin collecting data.
Set an Angle
To set a specific angle on an instrument
Sexigesimal System
A system based on 60, where each degree contains 60 minutes and each minute contains 60 seconds
Surveyor’s slang for measuring the angle and distance with an EDM.
A request by the targetperson to “reg” or record an observation.
Observations and data collection made from a Setup Before moving to the next traverse point.
Leaving zero set on a backsight and taking shots on multiple targets
Single Proportionate Measurement
In the PLSS, restoring a lost corner by using proportionate measurements along a line from other recovered monuments
Site Acquisition
The right location can be key to the success of a project and operation. The process may include identifying optimal locations; budget planning; negotiating lease terms; zoning support; building permits; photos, narrative explanations of acquisition terms and site findings, preliminary latitude, longitude and ground elevation of the site; locations of utilities; and a field sketch of the proposed site arrangement.
Site Plan
A diagram that shows the layout of a property or “site”. A site plan may include the location of buildings and structures, as well as property features such as driveways, walkways, landscaped areas, gardens, pools or water, trees, terraces and more.
The following is the proper way to report the “skew” of an existing or proposed drainage flow: A pipe that is flowing at an angle of 90° to centerline is at a 0° skew. Everything else is measured from this zero skew and is the reported existing skew will be based on a couple of things: • Stream is either flowing to the left or to the right of CL • The outlet is either skewed ahead (up line) or back (back line) of the 0° skew Example: A pipe that is flowing to the left of line and is skewed “back line” at approximately 15° off the 90° would be described as a skew of: 15° Lt. Bk. Example: A pipe that is flowing right and is skewed “up line” by 30° off the 90° would be described as a skew of: 30° Rt. Ah. (DO NOT confuse the Skew calculation with the Deflection Angle along the centerline.)
Slope Stake
A stake and hub usually placed on an offset from the Hinge Point to preclude removal during earthwork. The information on the stake will specify cut or fill at specific distance, slope grade and centerline station.
Pertaining to the Sun. Surveyors will locate and observe the location of the Sun in order to establish true north. AKA taking a Sun Shot
Span and Rise
Width and Height. The method of arch pipe and culvert measurement where the horizontal distance across the opening is noted first and the vertical distance across the opening is noted last.
Special Use Permit
A special use permit allows a landowner to obtain a tract of land for a use that does not fall directly under the permitted usage for that specifically zoned area. In most areas, the community is separated into different zones determined by the community’s zoning commission. These zones are then given a specific set of “by-right” permitted uses.
Special Warranty Deed
A deed containing a covenant whereby the seller agrees to protect the buyer against being dispossessed because of any adverse claims to the land by the seller, or anyone claiming through him.
Specific Plans
Specific plans are mechanisms by which local planning agencies can specify development regulations and land use preferences for certain unique physical areas. Specific planning regulations apply only in specified geographic areas, allowing local regulatory agencies the ability to tailor planning and zoning regulations to unique topography or circulation patterns in special areas.
Surveyor’s slang for typically a 60-penny nail used to mark survey points in hard ground.
Spot Elevation
Point of a map or chart whose height above a specified datum is noted, usually by a dot or a small “+” and elevation value.
Technique of distance measurement and differences of elevation wherein the observer reads the intercept subtended on a graduated rod between two marks on the reticle of the telescope.
Stadia Hairs
Short horizontal cross hairs in a surveying instrument telescope precisely positioned above and below the horizontal cross hair used for rangefinding
Standard Parallels
In the PLSS, parallels established 24 miles north and south of base lines
State Plane Coordinate System
Coordinate systems established by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (now the National Ocean Survey), usually one for each state, for use in defining positions of points in terms of plane rectangular (x,y) coordinates.
A point on the horizontal and/or vertical alignment.
A method of location; relative to horizontal alignment, where a position is determined by a station on the horizontal alignment and the perpendicular distance right or left from that station to the position.
Statute of Frauds
A law requiring that the conveyance of interests in land by evidenced by a writing signed by the grantor
A way used for travel. Same as Road
Street Line
The sideline of a street or way
A rectangular piece of land adjoining a parcel, created when a resurvey turns up a tiny bit larger than the original survey. The difference is accounted for by temperature or other effects on measuring chains. See also strip.
A tract of land surveyed and divided into lots for purposes of sale.
Subsurface Right
The right to ownership of everything beneath the physical surface of the property.
A special type of roadway surface; situated in a horizontal curve, in which the edge of pavement farthest from the radius point begins to elevate above the inner edge of pavement (transition of super elevation). This elevation of the outside edge of pavement increases to a point where the elevation of the outside edge of pavement is higher than the center of pavement (full superelevation). This results in a banked turn. Then at a specific location; the full superelevation transitions in reverse to the normal roadway typical section.
(1) A survey is the measurement by a licensed surveyor of real property that delineates the boundaries of a parcel of land as further defined under state law. A survey for land title purposes additionally designates the location of all visible evidence of improvements, encroachments, and easements; (2) the associated data obtained in a survey; (3) an organization engaged in making a survey.
Survey Foot
Used to convert meters to a surveying unit. Precisely equals 12 inches ÷ 39.37 inches per meter.
The art and science of location of physical features and their relationship to an established and recognized datum: by means of measurement in the three dimensions of space; distance, direction and elevation.


When used in relation to adverse possession and prescription, the occupation by predecessors in title can be used, along with the possession of the present occupier to satisfy the time period established by the statute of limitations
Take Out Loan
A permanent mortgage loan which a lender agrees to make to a borrower upon completion of improvements on the borrower’s land. The proceeds of the loan are used principally to pay off the construction loan.
Taking a Shot
When a total station is used to measure the angle and distance to a point
A line that touches a curve such that it is perpendicular to a radius line of the curve. Also, an extension of a street line from the PC or PT of a curve
Tangent Screws
Fine positioning screws on a surveying instrument horizontal and/or vertical axis
Tangent to Curve
A tangent line calculated at a point along the curve that is perpendicular to the radius point at the point on the curve.
A durable and flexible measuring device.
A device usually containing a prism and/or highly visible markings which is set over a point and which enables an instrument to sight and measure to the point
Tax Deed
The deed given to a purchaser at a public sale of land for nonpayment of taxes.
Temperature Adjustment
A correction applied to a distance made using a steel tape and based on the difference between ambient temperature and 68° F.
Tenancy in Common
An estate or interest in land held by two or more persons each having equal rights of possession and enjoyment but without any right of survivorship between the owners.
Any person in possession of real property with the owner’s permission.
The surface features of an area of land; topography.
The estate or condition of leaving a will at death.
A woman who makes or has made a testament or will.
The deepest part of a stream
Theodolite (the•od•o•lite)
A calibrated, precision surveying instrument used to determine relative position in surveying, navigation, and meteorology. It is similar in construction to a surveyor’s transit, consisting of a telescope fitted with a spirit level and mounted on a tripod so that it is free to rotate about its vertical and horizontal axes. Pronounced: thE – odl – It
The middle of a stream
Tie Line
A dimensioned survey line, usually not a property line, used to connect boundaries. Tie lines are often used along an irregular and roughly dimensioned water boundary as a means of connecting the accurately described points of a boundary
Title Deed
The deed constituting the evidence of a person’s legal ownership and possession of land.
Title Defect
Any legal right held by others to claim property or to make demands upon the owner.
Title Insurance
Insurance against loss or damage resulting from defects or failure of title to a particular parcel of real property.
Title Search
An examination of public records, laws and court decisions to disclose the current facts regarding ownership of real estate.
Topographic Survey
A survey having to do with topography or the physical features of a place.
The physical features of a place; or the study and depiction of physical features, including land elevations.
Torrens System
A governmental title registration system wherein title to land is evidenced by a certificate of title issued by a public official known as the registrar of title.
Total Station
An electronic digital surveying instrument used to measure horizontal and vertical angles and distances, with provision for electronic storage of data and/or transmission of data to external devices
In the U.S. public land surveying system, an area six miles square, containing 36 sections. The townships are organized in rows and are identified with respect to a reference latitudinal baseline, for example, Township 13 North, Range 3 East.
Tracking Total Station
A total station which is capable of locking onto a prism or other device and tracking it as it moves
Transferable Development Rights (TDR)
A voluntary, incentive-based program that allows landowners to sell development rights from their land to a developer or other interested party who then can use these rights to increase the density of development at another designated location.
Precision surveying instrument; a theodolite in which the telescope can be reversed in direction by rotation about its horizontal axis.
A procedure for gathering field evidence as called for in the deeds. It is a series of bearings and distances from one point to another.
The intentional intrusion or invasion of the land of another person
An article of surveying equipment which is attached to head or top of the tripod. The tribrach is usually attached to the instrument, but a release lever can be activated which will allow the removal of the transit/total station and installation of an adapter which allows the use of a target.
A fixture having three, usually adjustable, legs used to support surveying instruments and other measuring devices
True North
A reference to the true north direction of the North Pole and not the magnetic north. AKA Astronomic North
A right of property held by one for the benefit of another.
A person holding property in trust.
Turn Angle
To use an instrument to measure or set an angle
Supplied, installed, or purchased in a condition ready for immediate use, occupation, or operation.
Two Peg test
A method of checking the accuracy of a leveling instrument which involves the establishment of two points on fairly level ground or pavement approximately 200 feet apart. The level is then setup and leveled at a point nearer one point and rod reading are recorded on both points. Then the level is then setup and leveled at a point nearer the next point and rod readings are recorded on both points. Any apparent differences will indicate the level instrument is out of adjustment.


United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Created by an act of Congress in 1879, the U.S. Geological Survey is the sole science agency for the Department of the Interior. The USGS helps resolve complex natural resource problems across the Nation and around the world.
Unwritten Title
Ownership of property that is not evidenced by written title
Utility Plan
Typically a plan showing all visible indications and known underground locations of utilities. This plan will show what utilities are located on the property and which utilities are available for use to the property. It is important to note that underground utility locations are shown only by approximate locations per utility companies as-built plans.


Unit of length used in the U.S. southwest and the Spanish-speaking world that has values of approximately 31-33 inches. The US Supreme Court ruled in 1870 that the vara would be 33.33 inches for conversion purposes. The NIST vara actually measures 32.9682 inches.
Variable Width Street
A street which does not have a fixed width
A discretionary, limited waiver or modification of a zoning requirement. It is applied in situations where the strict application of the requirement would result in a practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship for the landowner. Typically, the difficulty or hardship must be due to an unusual physical characteristic of the parcel.
A measure of how magnetic north varies with time
A purchaser of real property.
A seller of real property.
A specially divided scale used to increase the precision of reading the horizontal or vertical circle of a surveying transit.
Vernier Scale
A short graduated scale that slides along a longer graduated scale and allows the longer one to be subdivided into smaller parts. Used in surveying to divide angles into minutes and seconds for great accuracy.
The point where two or more lines from different directions meet. The P.I. of a curve is one example of a vertex.
Vertical Angle
An angle which is measured between two intersecting lines in a vertical plane. In surveying, it is understood that one of these lines is the horizontal plane and the other line is a point on the vertical plane. This angle is measured from a point directly beneath the transit/total station (occupied point) to a point on the vertical plane which will increase incrementally towards a point in the vertical plane directly overhead.


Witness Corner
An agreement and assurance by the grantor of real property for himself and his heirs, to the effect that he is the owner and will defend the title given.
Warranty Deed
A deed warranting that the grantor has a good title free and clear of all liens and encumbrances and will defend the grantee against all claims.
Water Features
Springs, ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, canals, ditches, marshes, swamps running through, outside but within five feet (5’) of the perimeter or forming a boundary of a piece of property.
Wiggle In
To make a series of adjustments to the occupied point so that it eventually becomes located at the desired location
A written document properly witnessed, providing for the distribution of property owned by the deceased.
Using the radio-frequency spectrum rather than some of wire for transmitting and receiving voice, data and video signals for communications.
Witness Corner
In the PLSS, a point on a survey line near a corner used when it is not practical to monument the corner itself
Witness Tree
Generally used in the public land states, this refers to the trees close to a section corner. The surveyor blazed them and noted their position relative to the corner in their notebook. Witness trees are used as evidence for the corner location.
Wraparound Mortgage
A mortgage that secures a debt that includes the balance due on an existing senior mortgage and an additional amount advanced by the wraparound mortgagee. The wraparound mortgagee thereafter makes the amortizing payments on the senior mortgage.
Written Evidence
Documents such as deeds and plans


Zenith Angle
An angle which is measured between two intersecting Lines in a vertical plane. In surveying, it is understood that one on these lines is the vertical plane which extends from the plumb line of the occupied point to a point directly overhead or the zenith. The angle is measured from the zenith towards a point on the vertical plane which increases incrementally towards the occupied point.
Zero Instrument
The process of setting an instrument’s zero on a target
Zero or Perfect Zero
Surveyor’s slang for zero degrees, minutes, and seconds (a perfect zero).
A section of an area or territory established for a specific purpose, as a section of a city restricted to a particular type of building, enterprise, or activity: a residential zone.
Zoning Commission
See “Planning Commission”
Zoning Letter
is a document prepared by the local municipality to confirm the zoning district designation of the property.
Zoning Ordinance
Created in compliance with a governing body’s comprehensive plan, zoning ordinances are comprised of maps showing the zoning districts and text setting forth the regulation of uses and structures within each type of district.
Zoning Report
Prepared by a 3rd party that will verify whether an existing property or a planned project can meet basic development standards outlined in the zoning code. May include a zoning letter to verify some items.