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Old 05-08-2015, 06:28 AM   #1
adam_c_eckhardt OP
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looking for a GPS app

Here's what I'm trying to do... and I imagine "there's an app for that" and that someone here probably knows just the one to get!

I'm locating several property pins on my land AND trying to figure out where the line is between those points. I'd love an app where I can drop pins where the pins are, draw an imaginary line between the pins, and follow that line to determine where my line is. It's "heavily" wooded, terrain varies, distances are up to 1300 feet, and the lots are odd shaped. I sure as shit can't figure out how to do that with the google maps app. edit- dropping pins in google is an exercise in futility on the phone- nowhere near as exact as I'd like it to be

Cheap or free is good because this little project is mostly to satisfy my curiosity (and to post the land since idiots have been shooting onto the land- argued with a guy the other day that swore my house didn't exist). We're also looking to cut in some trails for skiing, biking, etc, so it would be neat for that as well.

Thanks!
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:47 AM   #2
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I don't have any experience with apps (of any kind) but quite a few years of GPS use and a background (mostly pre-electronic) in survey work.

IF you can find a GPS/navigation app you should be able to make waypoints for each corner marker then using nav functions, follow a route between them while monitoring XTE (cross track error) to stay/get back on the property line.
Whether the level of precision you can obtain with a phone and app is adequate for your needs remains to be seen.
The handheld devices that I am familiar with can tell you how close they 'think' you are to the location shown at any given time. Apps may do that as well. That is certainly NOT precise enough to set a boundary corner but if you err on the side of caution i.e. stay inside your property by enough to allow for the level of precision indicated, it should keep you close enough to put up Safety Zone signs.

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Old 05-08-2015, 07:22 AM   #3
adam_c_eckhardt OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire Escape View Post
I don't have any experience with apps (of any kind) but quite a few years of GPS use and a background (mostly pre-electronic) in survey work.

IF you can find a GPS/navigation app you should be able to make waypoints for each corner marker then using nav functions, follow a route between them while monitoring XTE (cross track error) to stay/get back on the property line.
Whether the level of precision you can obtain with a phone and app is adequate for your needs remains to be seen.
The handheld devices that I am familiar with can tell you how close they 'think' you are to the location shown at any given time. Apps may do that as well. That is certainly NOT precise enough to set a boundary corner but if you err on the side of caution i.e. stay inside your property by enough to allow for the level of precision indicated, it should keep you close enough to put up Safety Zone signs.

Bruce
Thanks! That's pretty much what I'm trying to do, but I'm kinda dumb when it comes to these things.
We know where the pins are- it would just be nice to drop virtual pins to make them easier to find. And as for finding the lines- it doesn't have to be all that precise, but if I'm within 10-20 feet I'm happy. Between posting signs, cutting trails, cutting firewood... I'll just use caution and make sure I err on my side of the line.
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_c_eckhardt View Post
Thanks! That's pretty much what I'm trying to do, but I'm kinda dumb when it comes to these things.
We know where the pins are- it would just be nice to drop virtual pins to make them easier to find. And as for finding the lines- it doesn't have to be all that precise, but if I'm within 10-20 feet I'm happy. Between posting signs, cutting trails, cutting firewood... I'll just use caution and make sure I err on my side of the line.
yeah, you're going to get about 20' accuracy for the most part.

There's an app called GIS Cloud, Mobile Data Acquisition that will do some stuff like you want. It's a little much for what you want, but has it's utility. I'd recommend another one called GPS Essentials. I can't remember if you can make the polygons in the app or not, but you most certainly can export points (pin locations) to Google Earth and connect the dots there. http://www.gpsessentials.com/

I should also add that if you know where the pins are, then you can add locations precisely in any of the google tools by dropping a lat/lon pin. Earth is better for this stuff than Maps.
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:53 AM   #5
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Well we just went out to try to figure more out and I realized that when I was out yesterday I missed two pins, not one. We found the one I couldn't find yesterday, but we still couldn't find the one that I didn't even realize I missed.

Between the lots being odd-shaped, and in the middle of the woods without any good reference points, it sure is tricky. My wife tracked us on one of her walking apps, and it was pretty obvious which lines we were familiar with, and which ones we weren't.

The good news is that there's a nice little chunk of land that we own that I never realized. Good potential for trails!
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:11 AM   #6
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:52 AM   #7
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the Delorme software will let you do that
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:50 PM   #8
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Try Caltopo.com. They have pretty cool stuff. I haven't used their phone app, but I do use their maps with Back Country Navigator, which also has some ability to kind of do what you want.
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:52 AM   #9
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Try to find a "Landman". They have some pretty impressive GPS software.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...92885102,d.aWw
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Old 05-10-2015, 05:57 AM   #10
adam_c_eckhardt OP
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I've got two buddies that work with maps and they put me onto some software that is "easy" and "awesome" but I found it to be neither.

I've made a little progress on my own, but still looking for something to help. I might end up just paying one of the guys to come out. I guess it would be nice to throw a stake in the ground every 50 feet or so along the line. The surveyors that last did it (about 7 years ago) flagged a few trees here and there, but it's not all that accurate, and they did very little to nothing on several of the more challenging lines.

Still open to suggestions, and thanks for the help so far!
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:41 AM   #11
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I can't help with a phone app though I have tried many. Basically any hiking type navigation app will get you from point to point. But even approximating a straight line under tree canopy with GPS is virtually impossible. I do it all the time just to get from point to point. But I know better than to expect anything more than a very random path reflecting the large GPS error you get in the forest. But I sometimes do it to recon property for boundary evidence before my field crews go in to actually do the work or to set aerial mapping targets.

To be honest a decent forestry compass is a better tool than GPS for making a straight line. Your GPS waypoints are a good way to get compass bearings or check your plat the compass bearings. But GPS waypoints will also reflect those large random errors. Averaging a bunch of readings over the corner helps. Then stand over the corner and sight down the compass bearing. Set a flag or mark the first tree you hit. Move to there and do it again. When you get to the other end measure how much you missed by, solve that triangle and you have your correction to try again.

A survey or forestry guy with some practice will flag an almost perfectly straight line this way. Once you get it marked correctly blaze mark trees with paint or scribe the bark or both. There is a right way to scribe bark that doesn't harm the tree but leaves a permanent visible scar. That scar, when done correctly, has meaning to a surveyor or forester. That is how timber companies, hunting clubs, etc. mark boundary lines after they have been staked and/or blazed by surveyors.

http://www.blm.gov/cadastral/Manual/73man/id161.htm

http://northernwoodlands.org/article...ur_boundaries/
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Grreatdog screwed with this post 05-10-2015 at 06:51 AM
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:26 AM   #12
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Wife and I just two weeks ago tried to find corner pins on a large lot (over 1 acre) of a house we are buying, We have successfully located lost property boundaries before. Both wife and I have degrees in surveying.
We tried lots of things but gave up knowing we just couldn't be accurate enough, we hired a surveyor, cost approx $550 (rual Oklahoma) for them to locate the corner pins which turns out previously there were none. (trivia...our best guesses were only off by 2 inches on one corner and about 7 inches on another.

off topic kinda...
Years ago, when I had to find the property line between me and a neighbor, the property line was heavily wooded.
I knew where the corner pins were (thats why this post is off topic).
The corner pins were about 1/4 mile apart.
I took a small garden tractor and "blazed a path" thru the under brush between the pins as best I could to get to where I could kinda maybe see thru the forest from pin to pin.
Then I put a tall PVC pipe at the far corner so I could see that corner better.
Then, after dark wife went to the far pvc pipe and pointed a flashlight at it so I could see the upright pipe. Turns out there were only two trees that were directly on the line, I cut them down.
I then took a cheap pocket laser pointer thing and taped on a post at my corner with it pointing directly at the PCV pipe.
I then, in the dark, walked the property line staking boundary stakes along the laser line, I could see when the laser made a little red dot on the stakes, pounded them into the ground below the laser line so they didnt block the laser so i could then proceed to locate the next stake along the laser line.
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:07 AM   #13
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greatdog & bill.... great ideas! Thank you!

I know this is going to sound stupid, but I can't make sense of the compass bearings on the survey we have. One of the bearings makes sense, and when I used that and a compass the other day I was able to find the last "lost" pin easily. But then I tried to do the same with my next leg and the bearing just didn't make sense at all.

I'll keep at it... thanks all!
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:14 AM   #14
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Try Google's my tracks and then walk the line. You can then export the track that you save to Google Maps or Google Earth I believe.
You can also try "here" in the App Store it's a free GPS mapping program where you download the maps to your phone
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:48 AM   #15
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Wink Bearings, Headings, Degrees, oh my!

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_c_eckhardt View Post
greatdog & bill.... great ideas! Thank you!

I know this is going to sound stupid, but I can't make sense of the compass bearings on the survey we have. One of the bearings makes sense, and when I used that and a compass the other day I was able to find the last "lost" pin easily. But then I tried to do the same with my next leg and the bearing just didn't make sense at all.

I'll keep at it... thanks all!

Can you better explain the bearing not making sense? Most bearings in a land description or on a survey plat are referenced by degrees away from North or South and the direction away. Lots of compasses and GPSs these days are intended to read as azimuths, degrees clockwise from North. It is not hard to convert between the two but you have to recognize that they are not the same system. Are you working from a deed? Is this something which has been mapped previously by a surveyor? Frequently deeds will make reference to plans that are recorded in the county Registry of Deeds where you can look at them or have a copy made.

Be very careful cutting anything close to the property line. Value can be in the eye of the beholder, that can be a bad thing when your neighbor is beholding something of his that you cut down. Last I knew the going rate for timber trespass in NH was about 7X the actual lumber value.
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