Surve land plot

Survey Terms

Every work place has their very own work language. This can create frustration when trying to complete a project if questions arise and the company answers using work terms without providing a translator. Below you can find common work terms used with land surveying.

Benchmark - A survey mark made on a monument having a known location and elevation, serving as a reference point for surveying.

Conditional line - An agreed line between neighbors that has not been surveyed, or which has been surveyed but not granted.

Easement - Areas of land owned by the property owner, but in which other parties, such as utility companies, may have limited rights granted for a specific purpose.

EDM - Electromagnetic Distance Measurement device, the instrument used by modern surveyors that replaces the use of measurement chains. It determines distance by measuring the time it takes for laser light to reflect off a prism on top of a rod at the target location.

Encroachment - A structure or part of a structure that occupies the property of another.

Encumbrance - An interest or partial right in real property which diminished the value of ownership, but does not prevent the transfer of ownership. Mortgages, taxes and judgments are encumbrances known as liens. Restrictions, easements, and reservations are also encumbrances, although not liens.

Exception - From a title insurance policy, portions of the land containing encumbrances and in which free and clear title is subject to certain conditions. From a legal description, portions of land which are included in the description of a larger parcel of land but then excluded from it by a subsequent legal description.

Improvement - Usually some sort of man-made structure, although perhaps not always a literal "improvement".

Landmark - A survey mark made on a 'permanent' feature of the land such as a tree, pile of stones, etc.

Legal description - A method of describing a particular parcel of land in such a way that it uniquely describes the particular parcel and no other. A legal description may be a simple reference to a lot as shown on a subdivision plat, or be described by metes and bounds. To be adequate, it should be sufficient to locate the property without oral testimony.

Monument - A permanently placed survey marker such as a stone shaft sunk into the ground.

Offset- in boundary - A point located at the extension of a line and marking the direction of the line. An offset monument may be placed on the extension of a line because the offset position can provide a more durable monument. A common practice is to place offset monuments in a sidewalk or curb head, as these monuments are less likely to be disturbed than a monument marking the actual position. In construction: a short distance usually measured at a right angle to a line, to preserve the position of the line when it is anticipated that points marking the line itself would be disturbed.

Plat - A drawing of a parcel of land.

Right-of-way - A parcel of land granted by deed or easement for construction and maintenance according to a designated use. This may include highways, streets, canals, ditches, or other uses.

Surveying - A blend of several disciplines, from mathematician and law scholar, to expert measurer and translator. By interpreting the legal description and applying the science of measurement, the surveyor translates a legal description or construction plans into tangible positions on the ground. These positions then become the basis for construction or for the establishment of a particular location, possibly to show lines of ownership or to document change over time.

Licensed in Maryland & Delaware. Specializing in Worcester County, MD & Sussex County, DE
Maryland License #21329 • Delaware License #S6-0000781