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Surveying Terms

ACRE
A unit of area equal to 43,560 square feet, or 10 square chains. It derives from a plowing area that is 4 poles wide and a furlong (40 poles) long.

SETBACK
The area within a certain distance from a road or body of water which may not be developed and which may carry other land use restrictions. For example, in Boothbay, usually the setback from a property line is 20-feet and a building may not be placed within this area.

DEED
A deed is a written instrument which, when executed and recorded, conveys ownership of property.

TIE LINE
A survey line that connects a point to other surveyed lines use for curving or irregular boundary lines to provide a straight measurement from one point to another.

CORNER
The beginning or end point of any survey line. The term corner does not imply the property is in any way square.

BEARING
The direction of one point or object to another, where the direction of the line is expressed by the acute angle with respect to a referenced meridian. The reference direction can be North or South and the meridian may be assumed, grid, magnetic, astronomic or geodetic. A typical bearing is North 60 degrees 10 minutes 33 seconds East. [top]

BENCHMARK
A survey mark made on a monument having a known location and elevation, serving as a reference point for surveying.   [top]

MONUMENT
A permanently placed survey marker such as a metal rod driven into the ground (commonly called a "pin"). Other types of monuments can include drill holes, magnetic nails, stone cairns or boulders and trees. [top]

METES and BOUNDS
An ancient surveying system that describes the perimeter of a parcel of land in terms of its bearings and distances and its relationship to natural features and adjacent parcels. [top]

TRAVERSE
A method of surveying in which lengths and directions of lines between points on the earth are obtained by field measurements and used in determining the positions of those points. [top]

CHAIN
Unit of length - heavy metal chain of 100 links that was used by surveyors to measure property bounds.  [top]

LINK
Unit of length equal to 1/100 chain (7.92 inches or 0.66 feet). [top]