Surveyor Spotlight: Roving GPS with the Carlson Supervisor

Carlson Supervisor resized 600As with all GPS technology, it has come a remarkably long way very quickly. And though it is still a long ways from being survey-grade acceptible in accuracy, it has an array of practical applications that are saving surveyors a lot of time and hassle.

A big part of every job is what we call “recon,” or the recovery of previous monumentation and boundary evidence called out in maps or deeds. Finding this monumentation is an essential part of producing a boundary opinion for a property and is used to reaffirm what is called out in a deed.

However, depending on the terrain, this process can become very tedious. Imagine trying to find monumentation set in the middle of a 40 acre parcel of land some 80 or more years ago. Even with a highly detailed map, you would not be able to reference your position to a landmark within the accuracy needed to find what you were looking for.

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 The Carlson Supervisor is used to locate a monument in the middle of a 40-acre wooded lot.

This is where our Carlson Supervisor GPS Rover comes in. Luckily, we found some magnetic nails in a nearby road that were once used as control points for a prior survey. Even though these nails had been paved over, we were able to locate them sufficiently with a metal detector and then “localize” on them with our GPS unit. This process of localization allowed us to locate ourselves within a high degree of accuracy on the old survey of this 40 acre parcel.

We were then able to compute the location of all other monuments using our known location of the magnetic nails. Then, it was just a matter of taking the rover around the parcel and in real-time, know within several feet of accuracey how close or far we were to the nearest monument.

This example highlights just one of the many real benefits to having a GPS rover. Such technology allows us to reduce some of the notoriously tedious aspects of our fieldwork and get the job done much more efficiently. Of course, on a job such as this one, finding those monuments would have been likely harder than finding a needle in a haystack.

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 Can you see the wild turkeys?