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!

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.

What are the coordinates of the point of beginning?

“The reference point for finding my ‘point of beginning’ is the SE corner of a section. Because of the difficult terrain, it would be very difficult for me to physically go to that spot. My property description states . . . What I think this means is that property corner #1 is 2,654 and 7/10ths feet from the SE Corner of the Section along a line that runs about 7 degrees north of west from that corner.”

Your property description references a corner of a Section in a Township and Range. You can get the coordinates of that corner by using the tool at the following link:

Enter the State, Section, Township and Range data then click the View button. The LAT-LON are given in the Degrees unit. A 35 for the latitude should be entered as 35N, and a -95 for the longitude should be entered as 95W.

Once you have the coordinates of the reference corner, and you know the position of your point of beginning relative to that corner, you could set the reference corner as the First Node on the Feature Info page of the Deed Calls & Stakeout app. In the Calls page enter the angle and distance to your actual Point of Beginning (POB). Then enter a couple random segments with non-zero direction so as to form an area plot. Here, we are just after the location of your POB; the other segments don’t matter in this step.

After the bogus deed plot has been created, you can use the Pick button on the Feature Info page to pick your POB as the First Node. Write down the displayed coordinates.

Go to the “Calls” page and delete the unwanted calls.
Go back to the “Feature Info” page and enter the POB coordinates.
Then you can start entering the actual deed calls.

Your deed probably references magnetic north. You will need to find out the magnetic declination for your location to enter into the Orientation field.

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.

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).

Can Deed Calls & Stakeout help me locate a property boundary?

“If I have a survey and want to identify the boundary line between my property and my neighbors do you have an app that can accommodate that. Doesn’t have to be exact I’m just looking for an idea of where the property line is.”

There are two apps that you could consider.

Both the Deed Calls – Area – Perimeter app and the Deed Calls & Stakeout app will let you enter the direction and length of the boundary line and plot it on the map.

The Line Stakeout function in the Deed Calls & Stakeout app will report your distance from the line as you move parallel to the line. The Deed Calls – Area – Perimeter app does not provide the Stakeout functions. This means that you will visually judge your distance from the property line by watching the GPS marker on the screen that represents your position.

The Deed Calls – Area – Perimeter app does not provide the Stakeout functions, but you can judge your distance from the property line by watching the GPS marker on the screen that represents your position.

Now, with either app, you will need to specify the point at which the boundary line starts. With the Apple Map displayed on the screen, select that point as the first node, then add one line segment and enter the distance and bearing of S2-18-46E provided on your printed survey map.

If you are unable to identify the starting point of the boundary line, then try to find another corner of the property that can be easily identified on the displayed Apple Map, such as a road intersection. Then enter all the line segments leading to and including the boundary line.

Do I have to enter the first node for my deed plot?

The first node is your point of beginning. The general procedure for using the Deed Calls – Area – Perimeter app is to first enter or pick the First Node location then tap the Unit button to select the units then tap the Calls button to enter your deed calls. Specifying the first node position will enable the deed plot to be placed in the correct location on the background Map. If you don’t care about the actual location of the property but just want to see the shape of the plot, then you don’t need to enter the coordinates of the first node.