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.”