Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Concept of Minimum Control

Think back to high school geometry.  Two pints define a line, three points or elements define an arc.  This is basically the concept of Minim Control.  I have discussed in previous posts about my frustration with my bretheren surveyor whom believe that every survey starts at the section corner.  My hat is off to Brian Dalager and his efforts to bring the surveying profession GDACS.  However I am sure that Mr. Dalager is sharing a similar feeling as Alfred Noble.  How could something so powerful be so destructive?  Well like any tool; if used improperly it can be dangerous.

The concept of minimum control is simple.  If you are attempting to replace a lost property corner you calculate your way in from THE CLOSEST acceptable evidence that controls the calculated position.  Think about lot surveys.  If your missing a lot corner you don't replace it be surveying your way in from the sections corner that controls the subdivision (or at least you didn't until GDACS made it possible).  It was normal procedure to up and down the street adjacent to the lot and look for monumentation.  Or in many cases the best available evidence of the lot corner's location.

The dirty little secret is you can't locate and monument a boundary without seeing it.  GIS based calculations are great tools for establishing search areas.  THEY ARE NOT boundary determinations.  Calculating search areas be using GIS and GDACS is a great place to start.  However I am seeing more and more the these are being used as the solution.  Evidence on the ground will rule the day.  Calculations to the Nth decimal place will only prove you are EXACTLY wrong.   

Monday, March 17, 2014

Well I guess....

its time for me to consider whether or not there is any point to striving to make the land surveying profession any better.  Apparently I was under the mistaken belief that the purpose of a professional organization was to promote the betterment and development of the profession.  I guess what we are really supposed to do; is have meetings and discuss stuff so we can feel better about ourselves without actually doing anything.  Silly me.....