Backpack Indoor Mapping at UC-Berkeley

Backpack Indoor Mapping at UC-Berkeley

Imagine the possibilities. What if Alice had one of these in Wonderland? Then she would have known where she had been. Still wouldn’t have known where she was going.

While we may be a few years away from seeing this in the mainstream, we’re there already with the same concept on the back of a truck. Go over to my friends Adam Arrington and John Dudley’s site at Earl Dudley. Watch the video here.

Indoor Mapping Technology

indoor mappingThis is the same technology (and brand) that are used by over 30 mappers who work for Google Maps that travel all over the U.S. and map the streets and surrounding buildings.  If you’ve not seen the “street-level” view, go here to my site for a glimpse. Look over on the right side of the page for the photo. If you click on it, you’ll be taken to the Google Maps for my office. Enjoy.

WARNING – First time I saw this I moved around for over an hour looking at different places.

Try this location in Google Maps = 27°59’17.62″N 86°55’30.42″E  Let me know when you find out where you are.  I just hope you come back ‘ALIVE”! (Link for those who want it.) Oh, and you’ll want to click on EARTH to get the 3-D effect.

Google Street View Raises Privacy Issues

Google Street View Raises Privacy Issues

google streetThis is a followup to my August 12th article in which I mentioned the Google Street View photos that have been taken all over the United States. I read today that Google has announced they plan to launch Street View in 20 German cities.  Seems that a LOT of the German people remember too well the “secret police surveillance” and are opting out.

     For those in eastern Germany, the secret police Stasi spied on every single aspect of private life and a well-known joke dating back to the years of communism runs like this: “Why, despite all the shortages, is toilet paper in eastern Germany two-ply? Because they have to send a copy of everything they do to Russia.”

Before that, the Hitler regime, tracking down Jewish people, communists and enemies of the state wherever they were living or hiding, was even more of a trauma.

So now that Google’s Street View wants to show images of German streets for everybody to see on the internet, politicians from all parties are up in arms against it.

I don’t see how a picture of the front of your house should cause you great alarm but maybe that’s because I haven’t lived through anything like the older Germans or those who were once a part of East Germany.

I’ll also compare this to our public records. Most of Europe’s landowners enjoy privacy. You can’t go into the local courthouse and view anyone else’s deed.  Not true in the good ole’ U.S.A. You can look at any public record – deeds, wills, divorces, marriages, taxes, etc.  Even our incorporation doesn’t shield us. Almost all states allow you to research the name of every owner or member of an incorporated company.

Google Street – What Does this Mean?

So, what does this mean to me? Well, it’s interesting. I haven’t thought about “privacy issues” related to land surveying before. I don’t mind someone having a picture of the front of my house or office. (In fact, the office picture probably helps me, as I said in the previous post.) But, I have to admit that I’ve always thought that I’d rather have my records at the courthouse more private than they are now.

     So great moreover is the regard of the law for private property, that it will not authorize the least violation of it; no, not even for the general good of the whole community. – Sir William Blackstone (1783)

Basics of a Land Survey or Boundary Survey

Basics of a Land Survey or Boundary Survey

land surveyLand Surveying dates back to ancient history when the Egyptians surveyed agricultural sites along the Nile River. Surveying is used for multiple project types today.  A land survey or boundary survey is done to establish a specific location of a parcel of land along with its exact acreage.  It is used to ascertain boundaries for defining an area of ownership and tax liability.  It is also used to identify a piece of property by a written legal description or to provide a review of the accuracy of an existing description. This data is of the utmost importance with regard to buying and selling land, and is also used to insure a clean and marketable title.

Different Kinds of Land Survey

There are many different kinds of surveys that can be performed. A boundary survey is typically done for undeveloped land. A lot survey or closing survey is typically done to re-establish the boundary of a previously established parcel of land.  These types of surveys measure the actual physical extent of the property in question. Most surveys progress through the basic procedures regardless of the type being done.

Any pertinent deeds, contracts, maps or other documents that contain a description of the property’s boundaries are located, studied and interpreted. A determination is made of what the actual property description is deemed to be, along with the locations of any physical evidence of the boundaries.

This can be in the form of both natural and man-made monuments or markers that exist in the field. The property is then measured to establish the boundaries, not only using the appropriate existing monuments but with the creation and referencing of new markers where necessary.  Measurements are accomplished using a total station and other surveying tools. A total station measures both vertical and horizontal angles, as used in triangulation networks. After these steps are accomplished, the property description and plat are prepared.

Interpreting the results of a land survey is not as difficult as it may first seem. For instance, a property plat will usually contain a directional orientation which is typically indicated with an arrow pointing north. It will contain the bearing and distance of each boundary line,  the property lines of other properties shown on the plat, and the names of adjacent property owners listed in the areas of their property. Corner monuments, along with the names of any natural monuments (such as “Smith’s Creek”, for example) or a brief description of any unnamed natural monuments (such as the “30-inch oak tree”) are on the plat. There is also a title block containing the property’s location and name of owner, the surveyor’s name and license number, the date the survey was performed, the scale of the plat and any other relevant data.

If you need the services of a land surveyor, ALWAYS be sure that you’re hiring an experienced, licensed, and highly competent professional surveyor. You can find out if the surveyor is licensed by visiting the Board of Licensure’s website. Make sure that your surveyor is licensed for the best land survey services.

Call Auburn Land Surveying today at (334) 826-9540 for more information concerning your land survey needs.