Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Minimum Control

I am seeing a disturbing trend in Arizona Boundary Surveying practice.  I see more and more on plats the tendency for the registrant to calculate and monument a boundary and only show tries to street center line monuments and/or section corners.  Whatever happened to the principal of "Minimum Control"?

 I brought up to believe that a boundary survey started on the subject property and worked its way out until  sufficient control was recovered to re-establish the subject boundary.  However, on plats I have seen recently, there is a trend that starts at the section and works its way in.  WHY?  unless you are the first to subdivide the section you don't need to do this (unless there is a very good reason).  By acting in this manner you are re-inventing the wheel.  It may satisfy the urge to play with the math but on the ground it doesn't prove anything.  I believe that a mathematical conclusion does not overturn a monument in the field that has been relied upon and is substantiated by proper pedigree.  Moreover, I am seeing plats that set all of the lot corners in a subdivision with no ties to the adjoining lots or block corners.  No ties to boundary evidence like fences or occupation.  just mathematical sketches that are baseless and cannot be defended or re-traced.  I understand the reluctance to use a fence line to reconstruct a boundary.  In the hinterlands fences can be scary.  However in a subdivision fences between neighbors should be a good indicator of where the lot is or at least where the owners thought it was.  Either way, the mathematical expertise of the surveyor is not the determining factor.  

Land Surveyors are to quick to rely on math and ignore the obvious.  We are supposed re-establish boundaries not prove our mathematical abilities.  My father once told me that COGO and AutoCad will destroy land surveying.  Well I don't think technological advances have killed it.  But they damn sure dumbed it down.  I have been a HUGE fan of recordation.  However it is days like today that make me think I may be wrong.  Some of the surveys I am seeing should have NEVER been recorded and the fact they exist in the record only clouds the record information for the adjoiners.

Getting a license to practice does not prove you are ready to practice.  The license only proves you scored better than 70% on a test.  I am leaving for the field to try to retrace one of these 1:100000000000000000 closure sketches that is now at home in the courthouse.  We shall see what transpires.  However I am predicting a bad day for surveying and an excellent day in the Hinterlands.