How do you use GIS?

How do you use GIS?

Posted by Perry Trunick on Dec 11, 2017 2:47 pm

How are you using GIS in your surveying practice?
POB recently published an article on its special report on GIS https://www.pobonline.com/articles/101111-gis-trends-study-surveyors-increasing-use-of-gis and we received some questions about how surveyors use GIS.  So, how are you using GIS?

Re: How do you use GIS?

Posted by ynot on Dec 27, 2017 1:06 pm

     BACKGROUND:  I happen to work now and live full-time in Montana (after moving state-to-state 32 times doing surveying-mapping for the U.S. Gelogical Survey, Nat'l Mapping Division & the U.S. Army).  Montana has an extremely progressive GIS operated by the State called Montana Cadastral Mapping website.  Most western states lack such sophistication, and usually only large counties have anything that even resembles this in other states I have lived in and performed surveying-mapping in.
     As a matter of operating procedure, before I go to a client's property in the field to find property corners or to stake boundaries, I find and save a digital version of the property's orthophoto, and print it out from off of the State's Montana Cadastral website. But before printing the orthophoto I insert lat/long coordinates on property corners from off of My Topo Map Pass or Google Earth using imagery comparisons.  If the section corners for a particular section (640 acres, 1 mile long on a side - for easterners that don't have sections) in Montana Cadastral are shown accurately then internal property boundaries are very much able to be recovered easily and accurately;  usually the search areas are only 25-50 feet in diameter, or less, and corner monument recovery is hugely expedited.  If I find a Public Land Survey System section corner or quarter corner that is way out of true position on the orthophoto I provide the State GIS folks with lat/long coordinates using a hand-held Garmin GPS;  the purpose in this is to enable State GIS folks to later refine postions of all properties within a section (square mile) and thereby increase the accuracy of all property boundaries shown within that section.
     I also sell rural & remote Montana properties being the only known P.L.S. dual licensed as a real estate broker in the entire state, our nation's fourth largest.  When I list a property for sale, I create a Montana Cadastral map of it with lat/long coordinates on its corners following aforementioned procedures.  This GIS map is used to market the property on worldwide Realtor.com.  I get many, many queries of interest from buyers in other states using these GIS and GPS methodologies, and sometimes even get an offer to purchase off of Realtor.com from a buyer who has never been to the property - occasionally a buyer will close the deal sight unseen. The properties are mostly fishing, hunting, wildlife observation, and/or boating/rafting properties - recreation properties - but a small few buyers want to live off-grid and be self sustaining.
     I have attached an example property map using GIS and GPS.  In this general location comprised of 18.5 square miles of 10- and 20-acre parcels, this methodology has enabled me to find property corner monuments, flag boundaries, and sell 175 (one hundred seventy five) properties.

Tony Novotny, Professional Land Surveyor-Broker/Owner
M.A.P.S., P.L.L.C. - Belgrade, MT
mappinglandstosell@gmail.com
   
Attached Files

Re: How do you use GIS?

Posted by Bernie Marocco_4 on Jan 4, 2018 9:26 pm

I often use GIS's georeferencing tools to re-scale, stretch, and overlay historic aerial flightline imagery on top of current satellite raster data and CAD parcel maps to reconstruct search areas for problematic rural boundaries. I work in the Appalachian region of Western PA where,over nearly a century, landscapes and ground cover have transformed from crop cultivation
to forests either by a transformation away from intensive agriculture and/or by obliteration through the early periods of unregulated coal strip mining. I am able to use GIS to georeference aerial photos (usually circa 1939 ; before coal stripping really took off) on top of current satellite raster imagery to reconstruct historic occupation lines, farm sites, abandoned roads, or any other historic features.
I'll use the georeferencing toolbar's  scaling, rubber sheeting, and derived RMS values in order to align common features visible on the historic and current raster data sets (ie: road intersections, roof lines, etc.). The raster images can then be blended through transparency. Though the accuracy and registration is only as good as the image resolution and data components, it has, nevertheless, been a useful tool in reconstructing some obscured or obliterated boundaries in order to help establish ground search areas as well as extrinsic boundary evidence. 
Bernie J. Marocco; PLS 
Western Pennsylvania