How to Survey Your Property

In Part 2 of her land surveying article, Aimee Gelwick explains mastering the complications and mysteries of surveying, including elevations, foundations, angles and leveling.

| September/October 1975

  • Property Survey Level
    This tripod-mounted instrument resembles a telescope and can be rotated on its base to indicate where a single elevation will fall anywhere on a 360-degree circle around the level's location.
    ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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    Figure 9: Target rod.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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    Figures 12 and 13: Engineer's transit.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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    Figure 10: Leveling the foundation.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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    Figure 11: Sample diagram in field notes.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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    Figure 14: Turning the desired arc for support position.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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    Figure 15: Read the transit scale in the direction it was turned.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 035-096-01-figure16_01-01
    Figure 16: Transit work notes.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • Property Survey Level
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  • 035-096-01-figure16_01-01

Surveying, says Aimee Gelwick, isn't by any means as complex and mysterious as many lay persons believe . . . and it can be a very useful and enjoyable skill for the homesteader to learn how to survey your property. In Part 1 of this article, How to Survey Land, the author described how to measure distances and record the findings in field notes. She now turns to the two other basics of the surveyor's art: the determination of comparative elevations and the measurement of angles on the land.

How to Survey Your Property: Elevations

Problems to do with leveling and relative elevations require the following equipment:

[1] A hand level, or surveying level with tripod. The tripod mounted instrument resembles a telescope and can be rotated on its base to indicate where a single elevation will fall anywhere on a 360-degree circle around the level's location.

[2] A leveling rod with target (see Figure 9 in the image gallery).



[3] A set of chaining pins (see Figure 1 in Part 1, How to Survey Land).

[4] A 100 foot steel or metallic woven tape (optional).






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