Recording property lines

“I have recently purchased a 19 acre field/forest and have a new survey PLAT with freshly marked property pins. I would like to permanently record the data points onto a GPS device such as an iPhone for when the markers are removed (to install fences, argue with neighbors over hunting areas, etc.). I need the app to be able to guide me between the pins while walking with the GPS.”

For your intended use, you will need a high-precision GPS receiver. The GPS built into the iPhone is good to about 30 ft or worse in some situations. This is in adequate for settling arguments between neighbors.

The Deed Calls and Deed Calls & Stakeout apps are for drawing the deed plot by entering the deed calls (bearing and distance information). The Deed Calls & Stakeout app will then be able to guide you along this deed plot. To correctly place the plot on the map on the iPhone, you will need to have the GPS coordinates for the first point. These two apps do provide a “Pick GPS” button for you to grab one GPS fix. However, it will be an approximate position if you are just using the iPhone built-in GPS.

As you want to record the positions of the stake points and also be guided to walk between the pins, the system to use is a high-precision GPS receiver like the iSXBlue II+ GNSS or the EOS Arrow Gold with an iPhone or iPad running iCMTGIS III or iCMTGIS PRO. The iCMTGIS III and iCMTGIS PRO apps will let you record a position by taking many GPS fixes and averaging them. They will also let you record an irregular property boundary by walking along the boundary. They provide the Point Stakeout (to guide you to the pins later) and Line Stakeout functions (for guiding you along the property boundary later). They also provide the Deed Calls functionality.

In summary, it boils down to the desired accuracy. Using an iPhone running Deed Calls or Deed Calls & Stakeout app might be adequate for a realtor or a forester (to do a quick approximate deed plot). Deed Calls & Stakeout is useful for someone who needs to find old stakes based on a deed plot. To record accurate stake positions, you will definitely need a much better GPS than the iPhone GPS. If you can accept a 2 m – 5 m (6 ft – 15 ft) error, then you could consider using the less expensive Dual XGPS-150A or Bad Elf GPS.

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Which app to use for staking out property

“I’m planning to buy a Geneq SXBlue II GPS Receiver. I need to accurately (more or less 1 meter or if possible less) find the border of my plot in forest in France. I have the Lat + Long of my area as per official mapping. Please can you indicate what could be the application for my job?”

Several of our iOS apps provide the Line Stakeout function, which is what you can use to help you walk/drive along the border of your plot.

The first order of business is to display a drawing/map of the property as an Area Feature in the app.

1) If you have the Lat + Long of many nodes along the border of your property, you could enter them then create the property boundary as an Area Feature.

2) If you are able to identify the property on the displayed Apple Map, you could manually digitize the property. The property being in a forest, this is probably not feasible.

3) If you have a drawing of the property in Shapefiles or DXF format, you could import it into some of our apps. You will need to know the coordinate system (UTM or LAT-LON) in which the Shapefiles or DXF was created.

4) If you have a DXF file of the design drawing that does not reference any known coordinate system, but you have the Lat + Long of two or more points (such as the corners) on the boundary, you could create a local NEZ coordinate system then import the DXF file.

The Stakeout iCMT and Partition & Stakeout apps can do the above 1) and 2). These apps can work on iPhone or iPad.

Farming GPS GIS II and Forester GPS GIS II will do the above 1), 2), 3) and 4). These apps are for use with an iPad only.

iCMTGIS III, Farming GPS GIS III and Forester GPS GIS III will do the above 1), 2) 3) and 4). In addition, these apps can let you import a geotiff file to use as an off-line background image. These apps will only work on an iPad.

All of the above-mentioned apps provide the Stakeout functions.

The iSXBlue II GPS receiver is compatible with an iPad or iPhone. Please contact the GPS receiver supplier to inquire about the accuracy that you can get without any additional requirements (such as being connected to a RTK network).

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.

How do I walk the boundary of my property?

A Partition & Stakeout user asked how he would use the app to walk the boundary of his property.

To use the Stakeout functionality to help you walk the boundary of a property, you will need to first place the property boundary in the app. One way to do so is to use a GPS device to record the Area Feature representing the property. This can be achieved by using a GPS/GIS data collection app such as iCMTGIS II, iGPSGIS II or the Utility Data Collection app. Another way is to use the digitization function provided by many of our apps, such as the Partition & Stakeout app.

So, in the Partition & Stakeout app, you would first turn GPS ON, turn the Apple Map on in the Show Hybrid mode and zoom to your property. Then you would select the Add Area manually function from the Tools menu and tap along the boundary of the property to create the Area Feature. You can make use of the Node tool to achieve more accurate digitization.

After the Area Feature has been created, you will see it on the screen. As you move, the GPS marker will move on the screen. You could just use the GPS marker as a guide in walking along the property boundary. Or, you could select the Area Feature as the target Feature for the Line Stakeout function, which will show you how far off you are from the Area Feature and how far along you have moved from the starting node of the Area Feature.

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.

Deed Calls app

Anyone who works with real property (for example, real-estate agents, property financing officers, title officers, attorneys, construction contractors) may be interested in an iPAD or iPhone app that lets one easily convert real property description (bearings and distances) into a boundary map on top of a built-in Map.

Corvallis Microtechnology, Inc. will soon release its Deed Calls apps for the iPAD and the iPhone. These apps will draw the property boundary as you enter the metes and bounds descriptions. They will display the bearings and distances as well as the closure error, total area and perimeter. They will let you email the deed calls file (*.dcf), or output the deed calls and drawing as a PDF file.