April 07, 2022 at 1:49pm | David J Anderson II
A land survey is a document which details the exact measurements of your land – shape, borders, and even dimensions of objects and buildings on the plot in question. A land survey tracks everything there is to know about the plot of land – even improvements made over time. This helps you avoid any disputes that might arise by making you aware of what it is exactly that you own.

In this article, we will tell you how you can read your land survey and master every fact about the land you have or are about to purchase!

Reading a Land Survey

Reading a land survey is no rocket science – it only requires some knowledge. Once you are aware of the required terms and what they represent, you will be fine. 


An easement lists the people who are allowed onto the land and limits what you can do on it. For example, an easement might include the entry of plumbers, electricians, neighbors, and others. This might be used to enable your neighbors to use a path within your land to go somewhere. Easements also ensure that you can’t build anything (for example, a wall) to stop those people allowed to enter from doing so.


Encroachments occur when one owner of a property infringes upon the rights of another. So, for instance, if someone has built a picket fence on your property and is not allowed to do so by the easement, this counts as an encroachment. In some cases, encroachments can be really serious, so make sure to consult your lawyer.


If you are confused about the plethora of little symbols scattered all over the map, then the legend is your best friend. This section can be found on every map and tells you what every symbol means. Everything from lakes and rivers to elevation and depressions of the land is covered in the legend, so you should find it and familiarise yourself with it. A legend is also known as a key, as it helps you decipher all the critical information.


Of course, a map will not be able to capture the full extent of your land. It is merely a scaled-down representation of your plot, and every map tells you its scale for your reference. For example, a 1:1,000 scale means that every centimeter, meter, or foot on the map is equal to a thousand centimeters, meters, or feet in real life. This gives you an estimation of just how big the piece of land you are dealing with is.

Bottom Line

With this information in mind, you now know everything you need to know about reading a land survey. Keep your land safe, know everything about it, and be able to deal with legal issues regarding it, if needed.

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