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types of surveys

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types of land surveys

standards of surveys and reports in indiana
surveyor location report
retracement & record document surveys
original surveys
alta\acsm land title survey
topographic surveys

in 1988, the board of registration for professional land surveyor's adopted certain standards of competency and adequacy required for the preparation of a surveyor's report or a survey performed in the state of indiana.  these standards are now part of the indiana administrative code 865 iac 1-12 and generally known as "rule 12" or "title "865".

"rule 12" has established a number of requirements for not only the practice of land surveying, but also in the preparation, documentation, execution and explanation of a finished survey.

the primary emphasis of "rule 12", is the requirement placed upon surveyor's to determine and comment on the various uncertainties inherent in any survey, as a result of reference monumentation, record deed descriptions of the subject tract and its adjoiners, occupation, and measurements made during the preparation of the survey.  this information must be outlined and referenced within the required "surveyors report", and provided to the client.


surveyor location report:

a surveyor location report is typically prepared for use in the transfer of residential property. 

the standards outlined in "rule 12" states the following:

surveyor locations report are designed for use by a title insurance company with loan policies on small tracts containing a one to four family house even if now used for commercial purposes.
a registered land does not assume responsibility regarding the location or existence of any underground use except that indicated by readily visible surface evidence.  the client shall be responsible for providing any title documents other than recorded plats that are required for the report.
the report must be done according to its record description, if any. no corner monuments are required to be set.  the uncertainty of location for the report shall not exceed plus or minus one foot on tracts in platted subdivisions or two feet for small unplatted tracts, unless otherwise specified and explained on the drawing.
house locations more than on hundred feet from an exterior boundary may be estimated and need not comply with the previous paragraph.
obtaining accurate and complete data on or near the perimeter of larger tracts is beyond the scope of the report.  therefore, on larger tracts, location data for items more than one hundred feet from the house may be estimated and need not comply with standards for smaller tracts.


retracement & record document surveys:
(existing boundary & lot surveys)

for surveying properties that exists as a matter of record (current recorded deed), the following  are some of the minimum requirements according to "rule 12":

research shall include obtaining a copy of the record description of the parcel to be surveyed, along with the record descriptions of adjoining properties as necessary to reveal any gaps or overlaps with the adjoining properties.

field investigation for retracement or record document surveys should include extensive searching and locating of monuments defining the subject boundary along with monuments which may reference missing control monuments. relationships to physical occupation such as fences, tree and shrub rows should be located. parole evidence accompanied by affidavits may be used in establishing obliterated control monuments.

publication of results of retracement and record document surveys shall require the registered land surveyor to furnish the client with a written surveyor's report, which in addition to other pertinent data, gives the registered land surveyor's professional opinion of the cause and the amount of uncertainty in the lines and corners found or established by the survey because of the following:

(A) availability and condition of reference monuments.
(B) occupation or possession lines.
(C) clarity or ambiguity of the record description used and/or adjoiner's descriptions.
(D) the theoretical uncertainty of the measurements.

the registered land surveyor is also required to record the plat of survey and the associated surveyor's report in the county recorder's office in the county where the property is located.

a typical survey on a platted lot would include the monumentation of the lot corners per the recorded plat.  any improvements on either side of the perimeter lines; within plus or minus 5 feet, of the lot lines should be noted and depicted. the location and depiction of interior improvements are generally not included within the scope of services for a lot survey unless specifically requested by the client.


original surveys:

rules and requirements for performing original surveys, where a new parcel would be created are similar to that required for retracement surveys. revealing of gaps and overlaps would only apply if the new parcel adjoins an existing recorded document.

subdivision of property for new parcels must be performed in accordance with requirements set forth by local government agencies.


alta\acsm land title survey:

an alta\acsm (american land title association \ american congress on surveying and mapping) land title survey was designed by the title insurance industry and the surveying profession for use by lenders and insurance companies to address particular concerns related to the transfer of real property.  the most recent revision of the requirements outlined in an alta\acsm land title survey is 1999.

it should also be noted that the performance of a land title survey in the state of indiana must also comply with "rule 12."

if a commercial real estate transaction or the transaction of a tract of ground to be developed into a residential or commercial development involves a lender, a land title survey is typically required.

additional requirements for the preparation of a land title survey are included in table "a" of the minimum standard requirements for this type of survey. the table "a" items allow the client to request site or situation specific request of the surveyor that are above and beyond the requirements typically associated with an alta\acsm land title survey.

a typical alta\acsm land title survey would include the standard information the client should expect in a perimeter boundary survey along with data involving the interior improvements on the site.


topographic surveys

topographic surveys are those made for determining the shape of the ground and the location of both natural and artificial features upon it.

elevation datum may be assumed or tied into a national geodetic datum. intervals of contouring can range from one foot intervals, depending on the severity of the change in elevation.

physical features may include trees and brush lines, buildings, waterways, or other customized requests of the client. above and below ground utility locations may be shown based on location of evidence and markings provided by the respective utility companies.


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