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Home arrow Archives   The American Surveyor     

The HP 35s Calculator—A Field Surveyor's Companion: Part 9—Intersections Print E-mail
Written by Jason E. Foose, PS   
Thursday, 04 June 2015

A 141Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

e can calculate anything and everything under the sun or the dismal grey Cleveland skies of FirstEnergy Stadium, however, a decision to set aside previously fixed local survey legal subdivision corners must be supported by evidence that goes beyond mere demonstration of technical error, reasonable discrepancies between former and new measurement, and less than strict adherence to restoration and subdivision rules. Were (we) obliged to open the question as to the location of a particular tract or tracts over technical differences or reasonable discrepancies, controversies would constantly arise, and resurveys and readjudication would be interminable. The law gives these activities repose.

"Oh, what's this pile of meadow muffins?" you say. Well, save the dismal grey nonSuperbowl rubbish, it is a direct quote from the summary of Chapter III section 137 of the 2009 BLM Manual of Instruction located on page 74. The instructions to establish the center of section in the vacuum of title known as the public domain are clearly acknowledged as being out of character in the fruited and colorful non-federal arena. Where States like Colorado have provided the Manual of Instruction as a statutory reference (CRS 38-51-103.1) they cite "such professional land surveyor shall proceed according to the applicable rules contained in the current "Manual of Instructions for the Survey of the Public Lands of the United States" published by the United States..." rather than "Place the center one-quarter corner in accordance with Chapter III Section 114 of the Manual of Instruction". The States and their Honorable Courts understand that the Manual contains a set of instructions defining the act of subdividing lands gestating within the prenatal title of a sovereign. The fabric of the non-federal arena is on the other hand a series of bona fide conveyances referencing protracted division lines within a section. The weight of conveyancing coupled with occupation and local surveys is wholeheartedly acknowledged in numerous places throughout the 2009 Manual. So, before you open up to page 68 and intersect those straight lines to fire another salvo into the center quarter, remember that retracement surveying is an evaluation of evidence, not a pop quiz in geometry class. Consequently "intersection" is a tool not an answer!

Please do not hesitate to send any comments, concerns, questions, or criticism to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

This Month's Program
Program L: Intersections includes routines for Direction/Direction, Direction/ Distance, and Distance/Distance. The program operates by assuming a base line from the first point to the second point. Direction/Distance and Distance/Distance naturally have 2 solutions. The preferential solution may be defined as being left or right of the line facing the second point.

This month we will focus on Azimuth/ Azimuth(Direction/Direction) and create the curve referenced in the AREA program installment. The Direction/Distance and Distance/Distance examples will follow next month. I encourage all readers to try the routines preemptively and send feedback. I promise a speedy response and I'll do my best to include your comments in the next installment. I think the good folks of the campus bookstore bevy refer to that as "an interactive reader experience".

Example Data and Running The Program
If you have carried coordinates through from the compass rule adjustment article you may find insignificant differences in solutions as noted in the last month's area listing. The source of the error is the difference between hand entering coordinates to two decimal places versus the computed (adjusted) values that are carried out to the full 12 digit precision of the HP 35s. This is a great example toward accepting tolerance in measurement through the assessment of the source data. The amount of these differences is insignificant, however the reason they exist must be identified before considering the impact. I will be reporting will the 2 decimal coordinates listed above.

Jason Foose is the County Surveyor of Mohave County Arizona. He originally hails from The Connecticut Western Reserve Township 3, Range XIV West of Ellicott's Line Surveyed in 1785 but now resides in Township 21 North, Range 17 West of the Gila & Salt River Base Line and Meridian.

A 141Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

 
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