App for entering heading and distance information from a platt map

“I want to find and map my property lines, I have 16 acres of woods and wetlands. I have located one survey marker and I have a platt map of my property with headings and distance to the next corner. Which one of your products would let me create a waypoint at the survey marker to use as the starting point and then enter the rest of the heading and distance information so that I can walk and mark my property lines and corners?”

The Deed Calls & Stakeout app will let you stand at the survey marker and get the GPS coordinates of that point as the starting point for entering the deed plot information (bearing and distance). If your deed document uses magnetic north, then you should enter the declination angle for your location into the Orientation field in the app. Then you can use the Line Stakeout function in the app to help you walk and physically mark your property lines and corners. This app works on iPhone and iPad devices.

Keep in mind, though, that the accuracy of your work depends on the GPS receiver used, and the built-in GPS receiver of the iPhone and iPad devices is not that accurate. Some of our app users use a compatible external GPS receiver, such as the Dual XGPS-150A or the Bad Elf GPS, to get 2 – 5 m accuracy. GPS receivers with sub-meter precision, such as the iSXBlue II and EOS Arrow, cost a great deal more.

I have my deed with the property description, but I am not sure where or what to exactly enter into Deed Calls & Stakeout.

The Deed Calls & Stakeout app will let you enter the boundary information in terms of distances and directions. Therefore, you will need to read the deed document and “translate” the information into distances and bearings for the consecutive line segments forming the boundary.

Two things to note:

1) You will need to know where the point of beginning is. The app needs this information to place the deed plot in the correct location on the map. Without this information, you can still enter the deed calls, but your properly will not be displayed at the correct geographic location.

2) The accuracy of your work depends on the quality of the GPS receiver. The iPhone GPS does not provide high accuracy. Some users get a mapping grade Bluetooth GPS (such as the Dual XGPS-150A or a Bad Elf GPS) to obtain 1-5 meter accuracy. Users requiring higher accuracy would purchase an expensive high-precision GPS receiver, such as an iSXBlue or an EOS Arrow.

The first order of business is to establish the First Node by one of the following methods.

A. If you know the Latitude and Longitude of the point of beginning, then enter them into the Feature Info screen. If you know the location of the point of beginning in reference to a corner of a township, please read the article that we posted previously at

B. If you turn on GPS and turn on Map in Show Hybrid mode, and you can see the reference point on the Map, then you could tap on the Pick button then tap on the Node Tool icon and drop a node at that location.

C. You could stand at the actual point of beginning, turn on GPS, then tap the Pick GPS button to get the Fist Node coordinates.

The location you get with Method B and Method C will depend on the accuracy of the GPS receiver and/or the background map.

If your deed document uses magnetic north, then you should enter the declination angle for your location into the Orientation field.

To enter the calls, first tap on the Calls tab.
Tap the Add button before entering each call.
You will see the deed plotted in the map.

We have posted a tutorial for Deed Calls Pro on youtube that shows how to enter deed calls for multiple deeds.

The Deed Calls & Stakeout app only does one deed plot, not multiple deeds. However, the procedure for entering the deed calls is the same.

Questions about the Deed Calls & Stakeout app for iPhone and iPad

“I’m wondering if your Deed calls and stakeout app can be used to enter the deed calls in the office, then travel to the site to establish the starting point with the phone’s GPS? Also, do the deed calls have to entered directly into the app or can it import a text file? Finally, once the deed plot is established in the app, is there a way it can be imported and viewed in Google Earth.”

1. The Deed Calls & Stakeout app can help you stake out each node on the deed plot created by entering the deed calls in the office. iPhone’s GPS does not provide high accuracy. Some external Bluetooth GPS receivers, such as the Dual XGPS 150A, Garmin Glo and Bad Elf Pro claim 1-3 m accuracy. Higher accuracy ones like iSXBlue II GNSS and EOS Arrow are in the high price range.

2. Deed Calls & Stakeout can open a .dcf file. The deed calls you enter into the app are saved in a .dcf file, which is a text file that can be viewed and edited. Therefore, you can follow the same format to prepare a deed calls file for this app to open. Make sure the angle and distance unit settings in the app match those used by the deed calls.

3. Deed Calls & Stakeout does not provide KML export. It will export to DXF, which can be converted to KML. For details please see our blog article at this link.

Using independent GPS to re-position a deed plot

“Can I create a deed plot using metes and bounds information then use a separate accurate GPS receiver to get the coordinates of the initial point to re-position the deed plot?”

Yes. As long as you can get the LAT-LON coordinates of the initial node, you can enter them into the Create Deed Calls routine, and the existing deed plot will be moved to the correct location. You will also be able to enter an orientation angle to help line up the deed plot with the roads on the displayed Apple Map. Such capabilities are provided by the following apps: Deed Calls – Area – Perimeter, Deed Calls & Stakeout, Deed Calls – Grid – Stakeout, Deed Calls Pro, Farming GPS GIS, Farming GPS GIS II, and Forester GPS GIS.

With respect to staking out the boundary of the plot, please note that, if the external GPS is one that does not interface directly with the iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, the Stakeout functions in the Deed Calls & Stakeout app will not be able to use it to help guide you to a target location. It will be tedious for you to try to manually match the position displayed by the separate external GPS to the coordinates of the target location.

Our deed calls apps can export the deed plot to a PDF file. However, the Apple Map in the background cannot be exported to PDF. The Deed Calls Pro, Farming GPS GIS, Farming GPS GIS II, and Forester GPS GIS apps are able to load a .pim background map and export it along with the deed plot to a PDF file. To make use of this capability, you will need to purchase the PC-GIS PRO software to prepare the .pim background map, which you will transfer to your device. The .pim background maps can be used off-line (no wi-fi required).

Question about locating property lines

” I was looking for an ap for my I pad that would help me locate my property lines. I have 3.5 acres in ca and only two of my corners are marked. Do you make something where I can put in my parcel number and find approximate property corners?”

Just entering the parcel number will not do.

If you have the deed document that provides the bearings and distances for the property boundary, you could use our Deed Calls & Stakeout app to enter these values and find the property corners.

As you have two of the corners already marked, you could use one of them as the point of beginning. You could stand at that point and use the Pick GPS button in the Feature Info window in the app to enter that point as the starting point. Then you could enter the appropriate bearing and direction for each line segment of the property boundary.

You do need a fairly accurate GPS receiver in order to mark the other corners accurately. The GPS built into the iPad is not sufficiently accurate for this purpose. It can only get you to the vicinity of the corners (maybe within 30 ft). Please read this blog post about available external GPS receivers that are compatible with iPads and iPhones.

Will iCMTGIS II & iGPSGIS II accept GPS signal from add-on GPS devices for the iPAD or iPhone?

This question was sent in as a comment. As it is a topic of general interest, we are posting it here. iCMTGIS II and iGPSGIS II use the Apple iOS standard API. We have not tested these apps with all the external GPS devices available for the iPAD and iPhone, but we expect them to work with a compatible GPS device such as the Dual XGPS150.

In fact, we have confirmed that iCMTGIS II and iGPSGIS II do accept GPS signal from the Dual XGPS150 GPS receiver paired with the iOS device. Our Deed Calls – Area – Perimeter app can also use this Bluetooth external GPS to set the point of beginning. 

Here is the link to a demo showing how to pair the Dual XGPS150 with an iPAD.