Land survey to GPS coordinates

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jason812
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Land survey to GPS coordinates

Postby jason812 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:48 pm

Anybody know how to convert a land survey into GPS coordinates? The surveyor who did my land submitted the paperwork so we could buy the land but never drove the pins in the ground. This was 6 months ago and myself and my wife have both left numerous voicemails and emails and have not heard back. I need to know where my property line is so I can build a shop, dig a well, and what not.

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lonestar144
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Re: Land survey to GPS coordinates

Postby lonestar144 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:21 pm

There is no possible way of doing GPS coordinates, everything is done by degrees of point. IE. at starting point, 35* NE 356 ft to next marker, etc... Only way to get this right, would be to have the surveyors or other survey crew come back out and redo it and properly stake your bounds. This of course would mean extra $$ shelled out. I had to fight the same thing when my place was surveyed.


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Re: Land survey to GPS coordinates

Postby jason812 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:34 pm

lonestar144 wrote:There is no possible way of doing GPS coordinates, everything is done by degrees of point. IE. at starting point, 35* NE 356 ft to next marker, etc... Only way to get this right, would be to have the surveyors or other survey crew come back out and redo it and properly stake your bounds. This of course would mean extra $$ shelled out. I had to fight the same thing when my place was surveyed.


What I was afraid of. I have an electronic copy of the survey and looks like I need a compass and measuring tape. :mrgreen:


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Re: Land survey to GPS coordinates

Postby locke_n_load » Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:40 pm

If your survey and land have some easy to spot items like some fencelines, buildings, driveways, etc. do this:
Take your survey and scan it. Use adobe photoshop or paint to remove (make transparent) everything out of the outside of the property line, and to remove a bunch of stuff on the inside (but keep buildings, landmarks, etc). For paint, you will need to save as a special filetype in order to have a transparent and not white background - google is your friend.
Download google earth and find your property. You can then insert (overlay) the image file on top of google earth and resize it until all your landmarks are in the right place/size. Then you can place markers on the corners and right click to display the gps coordinates.
There is a youtube video that shows how to do the overlay.
If you are bad with computers, if I have time, I may be able to make a tutorial for you. But I did this with my property and it worked great.
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jason812
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Re: Land survey to GPS coordinates

Postby jason812 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:48 pm

I think I can download it to our design software at work. I could even drop my 3d model of the shop on there. I need to get my laptop this weekend I reckon. Outter perimeter fence should be a good reference.

It shouldn't be too big a deal as I bought half of my in-laws land and what I need surveyed is the 3acres the house and shop will be built on. I just want it right and it aggravates me that I paid somebody who didn't finish his job.

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The Annoyed Man
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Re: Land survey to GPS coordinates

Postby The Annoyed Man » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:57 am

jason812 wrote:I think I can download it to our design software at work. I could even drop my 3d model of the shop on there. I need to get my laptop this weekend I reckon. Outter perimeter fence should be a good reference.

It shouldn't be too big a deal as I bought half of my in-laws land and what I need surveyed is the 3acres the house and shop will be built on. I just want it right and it aggravates me that I paid somebody who didn't finish his job.

It might get you some results to let the kind of people who would be referring him to customers - such as realtors, contractors, etc. - that he did what he did, and perhaps they should use someone else. Maybe he could be pressured that way to get back to you and do right by you.
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Re: Land survey to GPS coordinates

Postby flechero » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:39 am

I have called out surveyors before and just paid them to find & flag the corners of a recent survey that wasn't staked. a $50 bill took care of it, but I knew where one corner pin was. If you are talking big acreage, increase price accordingly or just have them mark the area near the building site.

Your survey should have at a minimum, a point of beginning that was "found"... usually a rod or pin. (although not often visible, we use a metal detector to locate them)

We always have corners staked now, on every survey we order...

Good luck

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Re: Land survey to GPS coordinates

Postby oohrah » Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:26 am

Yes, there should be a benchmark or found pin as a starting point. Technically it's possible to do the math to calculate the lat/long points using the surveying lingo, there might even be an app for that. While it probably would not be considered legal in a dispute, it would certainly get you close enough for practical purposes.
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Re: Land survey to GPS coordinates

Postby treadlightly » Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:45 am

Technically possible? It’s just simple trig. You can use polar to rectangular functions in a calculator without knowing any trigonometry, in fact.

In high school, I was taught I had to know about 40 rules about the relationships between sides and angles in right triangles. Then I learned there’s really just one rule - SOHCAHTOA. From that, derive whatever you need on the fly.

Edited to add:
I should have said that you can ignore spherical geometry (or the more complex geoid) over short distances. Unlike the idiotic flat earth arguments seen on Youtube, the Earth is not so huge that the curvature isn't readily visible. For instance, Redfish Island in Galveston Bay has a peak elevation of about 40 feet. Before you sail from Redfish to Kemah, about 10 miles away, Redfish has sunk below the curve of the Earth. The Earth isn't just a little curved, it's nowhere near flat.

But, if your distances are, say, a half mile or less, you'll get acceptable accuracy by pretending, just for a moment, that the Earth really is a big dinner plate. Just don't admit that to your kids. :biggrinjester:


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Re: Land survey to GPS coordinates

Postby priusron » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:34 pm

My kids bought 4 acres last year in the panhandle. We met the surveyor and he showed us the starting points in the middle of the dirt road. We then walked to the corners and he showed us the stakes. 2corners were in a corn field. He placed multiple stakes down the sides. He came out 2 times to move the stakes when further research showed that they were wrong. We were very pleased with the job he did. He was very thorough.

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OldCurlyWolf
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Re: Land survey to GPS coordinates

Postby OldCurlyWolf » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:19 am

oohrah wrote:Yes, there should be a benchmark or found pin as a starting point. Technically it's possible to do the math to calculate the lat/long points using the surveying lingo, there might even be an app for that. While it probably would not be considered legal in a dispute, it would certainly get you close enough for practical purposes.


Not really for anything that is within 10 feet or less of the property line and depending on what you want to do, not for anything within 20 feet.

BTW, a benchmark is for elevation determination.

I am a surveyor, second generation. I started over 50 years ago when I was still in Jr. High. I offered some help to the OP. So far that offer appears to have been ignored.

EDIT:

Have communicated with both Surveyor and the OP. Apparently a little friendly conversation has likely resolved the situation. Should be a Happy OP by the end of the week.

:thumbs2: :txflag:
Last edited by OldCurlyWolf on Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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lonestar144
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Re: Land survey to GPS coordinates

Postby lonestar144 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:13 pm

When I had my land surveyed, I got a plat/map with the coordinates on it. I found where most points were, but needed to rest. I zoomed in on Google Earth and took a screen shot, then overlaid the plat. It wasn't perfect, but was real close. I then had google earth running on my phone and paired that up with the image I made. Not perfect, but it was close enough to locate most flags and posts that was put down by survey crew. Since boundary lines ran in straight lines (except for following the creek), I just set up my spotting scope and had my son go through and put extra post up, while i kept him in line with the lines in the scope.

BTW, I did all this, this past weekend after reading this thread. I didn't get the chance to fully post up my boundaries when property was first surveyed, so stakes were lost due to weather and overgrowth. Reading this thread got me to thinking about it, lol.


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Re: Land survey to GPS coordinates

Postby jason812 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:40 am

An overdue update:

Old Curly Wolf is the man. :tiphat: He made a phone call and had the original surveyor get a hold of me who then came out and pinned the property. Many thanks goes out to Old Curly Wolf.


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Re: Land survey to GPS coordinates

Postby Interblog » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:09 am

I'm glad your surveyor came through for you - it should have been pinned in the first place.

I have 5 acres in a thickly-forested area and I had surveyor's pins in place but still, I could not see diddly in all that mess. It cost about a grand to hire someone to cut and blaze the entire perimeter last year. It was well worth the investment. If the land is more open, pins alone might suffice, but if there are obstructions, cutting the perimeter can be a big help in the long run.


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Re: Land survey to GPS coordinates

Postby philip964 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:59 am

Interblog wrote:I'm glad your surveyor came through for you - it should have been pinned in the first place.

I have 5 acres in a thickly-forested area and I had surveyor's pins in place but still, I could not see diddly in all that mess. It cost about a grand to hire someone to cut and blaze the entire perimeter last year. It was well worth the investment. If the land is more open, pins alone might suffice, but if there are obstructions, cutting the perimeter can be a big help in the long run.


Yes pinned in the first place. A lot of times especially if has had a number of sales, the pins are already there, so they just flag it.

Doesn't hurt to kinda check if the locations make sense. Surveyors are human.

Finding the property lines with trees is a mess. A lot of times the property corner is a tree.


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