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Don’t Forget to “Look Up” When Doing and ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey

by Cindy on December 4, 2014

In today’s society we are constantly in a rush, walking and looking down at our phones and not paying attention to what is around us or above us.  When I started working my first surveying job, I was in a meeting going over the current ALTA/ACSM standards at that time and one of the comments from that meeting that stuck with me was “don’t forget to look up!”
 
When looking up, we notice lots of things.  The beautiful sky, clouds, trees, mountains, birds, buildings, utility lines, and the list goes on. So, how can some of these things affect surveying?  The 2011 version of the ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey Standards states in Section C, sub section iii. that the surveyor should locate the following: fire escapes, bay windows, windows, and doors that open out, flue pipes, stoops, eaves, cornices, areaways, steps, trim, etc., by or adjoin the property, or onto rights of way.
 
The information we see when looking up can be critical to a tract of land.  These things can be an encroachment on a boundary line or show evidence of an easement which are all important items when a person is looking to develop or purchase a piece of property.
 
Sometimes we get so focused on what is on the ground or evidence of what is below the surface we forget what is above is just as important.  So next time you are out doing a survey “Don’t forget to look up!”