Property Dispute

“I would like to use you app to find our property line stakes. I have a plat map of my property. I have also found two marker Stakes on the property. Can you guide me to the correct app to go from my steaks with my cellphone and Mark all of my eight corners?”

Several of our apps provide the Deed Calls and Stakeout functions that can help locate stakes using a property boundary description containing bearing and distance information and the coordinates for the point of beginning.

The most economical app for your situation is the Deed Calls & Stakeout app. The iPhone GPS is not sufficiently accurate for you to establish new stakes, but you could use the following procedure to find your existing stakes.

Turn on GPS and the Satellite Map.

If you don’t have the LAT LON coordinates for the point of beginning, you could stand at the point of beginning and tap the Pick GPS button to get its coordinates. This will not be exact, as the GPS accuracy of the iPhone is limited.

On the First Node page, enter the local magnetic declination into the Orientation field.

Use the Calls Page to enter your deed calls and plot the property.

Under GPS, select Line Stakeout and select your plot as the Target.

Tap the Message tab to see how far you are from the property line. Move along the plot in such a way as to minimize the Range value.

When you get close to a corner, search for a stake. The accuracy of the GPS on your iPhone will determine the radius of your search area. This could be 30 ft (or 10 ft under favorable conditions).

App for verifying survey drawing and recording building corners

“I have a survey drawing of my property and my property has metal stakes at the corner. I would like to verify the survey drawing to the stakes. I also would like to identify where the corners of my home is located on my property. What would be the best software for these requirements?”

Our Deed Calls function will let you enter bearing and distance information from your survey drawing to generate a plot in the app. You will need to know the coordinates of the point of beginning in order to correctly place the plot on the map.

Our Stakeout functions will help you get to a point or node (where the stake is supposed to be).

These functions are provided in a few of our apps, such as Deed Calls & Stakeout, iCMTGIS III and iCMTGIS PRO.

iCMTGIS III and iCMTGIS PRO also provide GPS data collection functionality that will let you record the corners of your home or any other points, lines and areas.

The important issue is what compatible GPS receiver to use to meet the degree of accuracy that you need. The GPS on iOS devices are good to about 10 meters.

GIS-grade GPS like the Bad Elf GPS and the Dual XGPS-150A claim 2 – 5 meter accuracy. You could use a GIS-grade GPS and Deed Calls & Stakeout to roughly check the stake locations against the drawing.

Survey-grade GPS devices from EOS and Geneq are quite expensive. You might be able to rent an iSXBlue Platinum or an EOS Arrow from a supplier to use with iCMTGIS PRO for best accuracy in stakeout and recording GPS points.

App for fencing property

“I am trying to find a app that I can use to find property corners and go from one corner to another in a straight line ( for fencing ) I have good surveys and legal descriptions to enter for my property. I would like to use my IPhone for this.”

With the legal descriptions and the coordinates of the point of beginning, you could create a deed plot in the Deed Calls & Stakeout app then use the Line Stakeout function to help you walk along the boundary line to find the property corners.

Now, the iPhone GPS is accurate to about 30 ft. An external GIS-grade Bluetooth GPS, such as the Dual XGPS-150A or a Bad Elf GPS, usually claims 2 – 5 meters accuracy (about 6 to 15 ft). You will need better accuracy for fencing a property boundary. You could use iCMTGIS PRO in conjunction with a high-precision GNSS receiver (such as a SXBlue Platinum or an EOS Arrow). The high-end GNSS receivers are very expensive. There are places that rent them out. You might check with them to see if the total cost justifies the one-time use.

EOS Arrow 100 Case Study

If you missed Håkan Bergstedt’s article published in the March/April 2018 issue of the GeoConnexion International Magazine, here is the link to an in-depth write-up posted on the EOS website.

When faced with the challenging task of finding survey markers or boundaries in an area overgrown with thickets, think iCMTGIS PRO and a high-precision GPS receiver such as the EOS Arrow 100.

Using iCMTGIS PRO to work out land boundaries in Swedish forests

One of our customers, Håkan Bergstedt, wrote an article about using iCMTGIS PRO in conjunction with an EOS Arrow 100 GPS receiver to determine land boundaries in the forests of Sweden.

This interesting story was published on pages 28 and 30 of the March/April 2018 issue of the Geoconnexion International Magazine. You can view this article online for free before the May/June issue is released:

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.

Do you have an app with enough accuracy to walk a property line, stake it and build a fence?

We have such apps for use on iPad and iPhone devices. The accuracy depends on the GPS receiver used.

The iCMTGIS PRO with EOS Arrow Gold or iSXBlue II+ GNSS is for performing a survey-grade job with high accuracy. This system has a high price tag. Consumer-grade GPS such as the Dual XGPS-150A or a Bad Elf GPS only claim 2 – 5 meter accuracy and are much more affordable.

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.

Stake out using iPhone device

“I search application to stakout a polyline with my iphone. I see you make this for ipad but i don’t see for iphone.”

The Stakeout iCMT app can run on iPhone and iPad devices.

If your polyline is stored in a DXF file or as Shapefiles, you can import it into the “Stakeout iCMT” app and let the app help you stake it out.

The accuracy of your work depends on the GPS used. The iPhone GPS is not quite accurate. You can get a compatible external Bluetooth GPS (such as Dual XGPS-150A or Bad Elf GPS) to achieve about 2 – 5 m horizontal position accuracy. High-precision GPS receivers will cost a lot more than these GIS-grade GPS receiver.

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).

I have the LAT-LON coordinates of the four corners of a piece of rectangle-shaped property. Will Partition & Stakeout let me place the four corners in the app and help me get to them on the property?

Yes, you can use the Add Point by Coordinates function to add the LAT-LON coordinates of each point into the app. Make sure you enter the North, South, East and West designations correctly. Otherwise the points will end up in unexpected places in the world.
After the points have been created, you can use Point Stakeout to help you approach each point. Or, you could use the Add Area Manually function to form an Area Feature that represents the property then use the Line Stakeout function to help you walk along the boundary of the property.

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.”

Using Stakeout iCMT to stakeout a property

“Although the buying price for the iSXBlue II GNSS is too high for our project, I did find a company in OH, that would rent it too me for a very decent price for a week. . . . . I would like to be able to put in precalculated GPS coordinates (say about 30-50 of them, one every 5-10 meters), on the iPad, and then use the iSXBlue II GNSS and iPad to tell me when I have reached them on the property, so I can physically mark them on the ground. . . Can Stakeout iCMT communicate with the iSXBlue II for some audible or visual help when reaching a preconfigured GPS point?”

If this is the only type of project (i.e. stakeout) that you will be doing using your iPad, you could get the Stakeout iCMT app from the App Store.

You will be able to put in pre-calculated GPS coordinates into Stakeout iCMT on the iPad, and then use the iSXBlue II and iPad to help you physically mark them on the ground.

The steps you will be doing are:
1. Use Add Point by Coordinates to enter the latitude-longitude coordinates of the points. The accuracy of these coordinates is important.
2. Create property boundary line by using Add Line Manually and snapping to the points.
3. Use Line Stakeout to go from one node to the next on the property boundary line.

On Page 17 of the Help document you will see that you can set the distance tolerance for the app to notify you when you get within that distance from the target.

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.

Canadian question – iCMT Stakeout

“I am interested in purchasing the iCMT stakeout app for my iphone. The reason for the purchase is I am looking to use it as a quick way to find survey control points/survey markers. It looks like this app allows me to enter geographic coordinates and then do a rough stakeout in the field to the point, or to a line. I am wondering: Am I reading the description correct, does the app allow me to what I’m looking for?
Does it work in Canada? I would hate to purchase it if it doesn’t support Canadian maps.
Can the units be changed to metric?”

Yes, you can use Stakeout iCMT on your iPhone to help you get to the vicinity of a location with geographic coordinates, or do a rough stakeout along a line.

Stakeout iCMT will let you select English or Metric distance/length units. You can also choose to display angles as Azimuth or Bearing.

This app supports the Apple Map, which is available when Wi-Fi is turned on.

If you have Shapefiles or DXF files for the area in which you will be working, you can import those into this app for use as off-line background reference.