Ethics of Restoring Lost Corners in The Public Land Surveying System
When restoring a lost corner that can’t be found within the public land surveying system, many could wonder how you could go about doing that while maintaining the public trust required. Before the technology that the GPS(Global Positioning System) gave us, we had to use technology that was outdated and not as accurate. Finding those obliterated corners can be a challenge, but with the right mindset can be placed in an ethical manner.
GPS is more accurate for finding lost corners than any other technology before it. Technology should be used to attempt to replace the lost corner in order to complete or have it so future surveyors can find the point you are referencing. There are ways to double check or even triple check your point while placing it into the ground. You can always move it around a bit till it is within a certain small margin of error or right above the point from the GPS module. If the machine is calibrated correctly and the GPS is correctly utilized, then there can’t be as much error as with human error in measurements.
There are times when even GPS can’t accurately portray the correct coordinates of a point. If there is a sheet of metal anywhere near the working module, the GPS scanner may get funky coordinates. If you are up in the mountains under a tree, you may not get the correct coordinates for the job. Is your GPS module in working condition and is it set to the right settings? Calibration is important, with environmental factors such as heat, bumps against the machine and constant movement you might have a tendency for the machine to go out of calibration while out in the field.
My position: Even with the flaws of the GPS, it is a better technology and can remove most of the human errors associated with measuring. Back in the day we used chains and measuring tapes to try to figure out the associated measurements for our points. Monumentation may be off of the record but, as federal law states, you have to use the original record and monumentation in order to keep the record clean. If there is an error, the feds do defer back to the original record and monuments in order to keep the survey ethical.
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