iPhone app for locating fence line and property boundary

“I have a ranch in Colorado that is relatively isolated. When at the ranch, I do not have internet or phone service. The property has metes and bounds descriptions for the boundaries. I am interested in acquiring your software application to confirm the location of fences and the property lines. Will this app function on my iPhone without internet access? Will the Deed Calls and Stakeout App perform the functions that I need to identify boundaries?”

You do not need Internet access for our apps or the GPS on your iPhone to work.

The Apple Map does need Internet access to be refreshed. However, you could load the Apple Map while you are at your office and cache it for use on site.

Some of our apps, such as the iCMTGIS III and iCMTGIS PRO, will let you load a GeoTiff map to use as an off-line Background Map.

The Deed Calls & Stakeout app will let you input the metes and bounds descriptions to draw the boundaries. For the boundary to be correctly placed on the map, you will need to provide an initial position and the your local magnetic declination angle.

Then, you can select the boundary and use the Line Stakeout function to help you walk along the boundary to confirm its location.

Please be aware that the iPhone GPS is not very accurate. An external GPS receiver such as the Dual XGPS-150A or a Bad Elf GPS can get 2-5 m accuracy. There are also expensive external GPS receivers that can provide sub-meter or even cm-level accuracy.

Finding iron markers

“I just purchased a home, and I have the plat and pretty much all the information I need to find the iron markers for my property line. But I am having trouble finding them. I know where the two front posts are. I was wondering if your app would help me go from the front of my property to the backs markers. And which app I should use.”

If all you need is to find the other iron markers, the Deed Calls and Stakeout app will do.

The Deed Calls functionality will let you get a GPS fix for the first point at the front of your property. It will let you enter the deed calls from your property description to draw a simple deed plot. Then you can select that deed plot as the target for the Line Stakeout function. The app will help you stay on the property line while walking. This should make it easier for you to find the iron stakes that are on the property line.

Please keep in mind that the GPS receiver on the iPhone is not that accurate. This means that in some cases you might need to search in a 500 – 1000 sq ft area for an iron stake when you are in the vicinity of that stake. You could use a consumer-grade GPS receiver such as the Dual XGPS-150A or a Bad Elf GPS with our app to narrow that area down to about 30 – 100 sq ft.

Using Deed Calls & Stakeout to locate property corners

“I had a topography company locate the northern two corner stakes for my trapezoidal property. I am trying to locate the southern two. I purchased your product Deed Calls and Stakes for my iPhone 7. My hope was that I could go to the North east stake, have your app acquire the GPS coordinates of the stake and then move to the North West stake and do the same. From that I would like to walk down the fence line and have your app tell me when I am 1440’ from that stake… should be right at the South West stake. . . . I don’t have typical x Deg N, y Deg E coordinates.”

Normally, you would get the first node position then use the deed document and enter the deed calls to plot out the property boundary. Then you would use the Line Stakeout function to help you walk along the boundary. The Line Stakeout will show you your Station value. The default Station value at the beginning point is 0′. Therefore, the Station value would be the distance you have walked.

It sounds like you have a fence to follow all the way to the southern two stakes from the northern two corners. This means you could use the Point Stakeout function to help you determine when you are a specific distance from, say, the northwest stake. You could try the following steps, but keep in mind the accuracy of your work will depend on the GPS receiver you use. The GPS on the iPhone is not that accurate. Many users use an external Bluetooth GPS receiver to obtain better accuracy. High-accuracy receivers have a high price tag. Hopefully there are markers at the southern two corners to help you confirm the location when you get to the vicinity.

I. Create a node then use Point Stakeout

1. Turn GPS on and wait a few minutes. Walk to the Northwest corner.

2. Follow the instructions under Open a Deed Calls File in the Help document to create a Job.

3. Follow the instructions under Set First Node and Symbolism and use Pick GPS to get a node at your position.

4. Tap the Line tab then tap the Calls button.

5. Tap the Add button to add a line. Accept the displayed values by tapping on the Back button. When app displays “Update Feature?”, tap on Yes. Now you have created 2 nodes. The one at the GPS marker is the Northwestern corner.

6. Follow the instructions under Point Stakeout. For the Target Feature select the Line you have created. The node you are interested in is Node 1. Now when you walk away from that position, you will see the separation distance displayed in the Range field.

7. Walk along the fence southward and stop when Range shows the target distance. Tap the Store Stake Point icon to store this point.

II. Use Line Stakeout

As the partial map you provided shows S83-53-00E 645.50′ for the southern border, you can use the Deed Calls function to create a Line that represents this southern border.

1. Go back to the Deed Calls screen and change the First Node location by tapping the Pick button then tapping on the Point that you have created at the southwest corner.

2. On the Calls page, tap the Edit button then enter the bearing and distance information:

Horizontal Angle: S83-53-00E

Horizontal Distance: 645.50

3. Tap the Back button and confirm to update the Feature.

4. Now you can follow the instructions under Line Stakeout to move along this line to get to the Southeastern corner and store the stake point.

How to designate a different location as the starting point of a deed plot?

“I have a plot in Deed calls and stakeout and need to identify a particular pin as first node (since I have a lat/long ref for this pin). When attempting to use ‘Pick’ from the First Node tab I can select the desired pin and it is identified as ‘starting point’ but when clicking ‘back’ button this designation is lost and the plot continues to be located as if the actual first node I started drawing with is the reference node.”

Picking the first node means to relocate (translate) the entire deed plot to a new location by moving the first node to the location of the node you picked.

If you use the Pick function, you can select the node location to which the first node should be moved to translate the deed plot.

If you use the Pick GPS function and have GPS turned on, then the deed plot will be translated such that the first node is at the GPS position.

Your first node is where the deed calls originate from. If you want to start from a different location, then your deed calls must be rearranged to start from the call issued from that location.

You mention that you have the lat/long reference for one of the pins.
You could re-enter all the calls in the app using this as the first node. Alternatively, you could do the following to designate this as the first node and rearrange the calls:

1. Go to the Calls page and use Save As to save the calls to a text file (*.dcf).

2. Copy this .dcf file to your PC via iTunes.

3. Use a text editor such as Wordpad to view and change the .dcf file. You would change the latitude and longitude values for the First Node. In addition, in the Records section, you would cut the lines of text, starting with the call that corresponds to the new first node and ending at the last call, then paste these lines before the existing first call record.

4. Save the modified .dcf file under a new name.

5. Copy the modified .dcf file back to the documents folder of the Deed Calls & Stakeout app.

6. Open the modified .dcf file in Deed Calls & Stakeout. You should now have a deed plot that starts at the known location.

This same method can be applied to a deed plot created using Deed Calls & Stakeout as well as our other apps that provide the Deed Calls functionality, such as Deed Calls – Area – Perimeter, Deed Calls Pro, Forester GPS GIS II/III, Farming GPS GIS II/III, iCMTGIS III and iCMTGIS PRO.

By the way, if you find our apps useful, we would appreciate your posting a favorable review at the App Store. Thanks!

Does the deed call and stakeout app have all the features of both applications?

The Deed Calls & Stakeout app will let you enter deed calls to draw a deed plot. Then you could use the Point Stakeout function to help to get to any node on the boundary of the deed plot. Or, you could use the Line Stakeout function to help you stay close to the boundary line while walking around the property.

The Deed Calls & Stakeout app only works with the nodes in a deed plot.

On the other hand, the Stakeout iCMT app will let you add Points, Lines and Areas manually or import them from Shapefiles.


Deed Calls & Stakeout updated to support 64-bit architecture

The Deed Calls & Stakeout app version 1.0.5 is now ready for download.

This app has been recompiled to support the 64-bit iPad and iPhone devices.

When you enter deed calls into the program can you start it on a specified corner then rotate to another known GPS’d corner?

Yes. The Deed Calls app as well as the Deed Calls function in some of our apps will let you change the first node location and the orientation of the deed plot.

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.

Deed Calls & Stakeout is for entering deed calls to create a deed plot

“i bought the deed calls and stake out app from you guys i am trying to input the points on my property but i am having a hard time with it. on my deed it is in azimuth not quadrant bearings. can i change the settings to azimuth? also i am having trouble just inputing my positions to map out an area, how do i do this?”

As shown in the Help document, under “Setup Units and Angle” you can change the angle setting to azimuth.

Deed Calls & Stakeout will let you enter deed calls to create a deed plot. It does not provide the ability to digitize a point, line or area. The Deed Calls – Grid – Stakeout app provides that capability. So does the Deed Calls Pro app. Our iOS apps are sold via the Apple App Store. If you purchased the wrong app, please contact the App Store and see i f the will let you swap it with the correct app.

Use Deed Calls function to locate corner pins

“I have an acreage of a little over 2 acres. It has been surveyed but I have only been able to locate one corner pin, the point of beginning of the legal description. The acreage is rectangular with four sides and only four calls. I have input the four calls. Using GPS, can I use this to walk off the perimeter and locate the other three corner pins by starting at the corner pin which is the point of beginning? If so, how?”

The Create Deed Calls functionality is provided by the Deed Calls – Area – perimeter, Deed Calls & Stakeout, Farming GPS GIS (II/III), Forester GPS GIS (II/III) and iCMTGIS III.

With any of the above-mentioned apps, you could stand at the point of beginning then move the deed plot to align with the actual point of beginning. You can do so by tapping the Pick GPS icon on the Feature Info page. Of course, the accuracy of the point recorded this way will depend on the accuracy of your GPS receiver.

Now that the deed plot is placed in the correct location, you could view your position as indicated by the GPS marker (with GPS turned on) and walk to the other corners on the deed plot to look for the pins. Some of our apps also provide the Point Stakeout function, which could help guide you to each target node.

I’m using the apps for a DIY survey of some land I own …, and to position the proposed location of a building on a site plan.

Using the built-in GPS of your iPhone and the iGPSGIS II app, you can get a rough boundary survey done. If you have the deed description of the property and are able to determine the point of beginning, you could enter it into the Deed Calls & Stakeout app. Then you can position the proposed location of the building.

Please keep in mind that the iPhone does not provide good position accuracy. Your DIY survey can serve as a guide for planning but cannot replace a professional survey. For better accuracies, some of our GIS customers use a compatible Bluetooth GPS receiver. Still, the 1-3 m accuracy provided by these consumer-grade GPS receivers is inadequate for professional survey work.

We wish you success in your project. Please let us know if you have any questions about using our apps.

Customer’s reply: “Thanks. I will be using the new Bad Elf Surveyor so accuracy shouldn’t be an issue for my modest aims.”

Grid – Distance – Area bug fixed in Version 1.1.2

“After the latest update was applied my data files will not save. I can load backed up files and create new ones, but when the app
closes or my iPad is restarted, my saved maps are no where to be found. Any ideas? I’m running Grid – Distance – Area version 1.1.1
IOS 7.1.1″

Thank you for reporting this issue.

We have fixed this problem in Grid – Distance – Area Version 1.1.2. It is now available for download from the Apple App Store.
(By the way, if you just created a new job file and did not add any Features to it, the app does not consider it as an actual job file and therefore will not keep it upon app closure. )

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).

Deed Calls – Area – Perimeter updated for iOS 8 compatibility

Deed Calls – Area – Perimeter Version 1.1.4 has been released.
This update fixes the iOS 8 compatibility issue.

Deed Calls & Stakeout updated for iOS 8 compatibility

“I have been using deed calls stakeout for about 2 weeks . I
carefully looked into several apps prior to purchasing your app. I
need it to help me find boundary locations for a 40 acre home we
just purchased. I found several pins and drill holes in stone walls
and was very happy with you app until the ISO 8 update . I am
running the app on an I phone 5 and after the update I attempt to
open the app and it flashes for a second then crashes and closes.
Please fix this ASAP. I have not finished marking my boundaries and
need the help of this app.”

We are pleased to inform you that Deed Calls & Stakeout 1.0.4 has been updated for iOS 8 compatibility and is now available for download from the Apple App Store.