Course Number and Title: CET 248 Boundary Surveying and Law
This course studies the fundamentals of boundary control and legal principles associated with land surveying. Boundary control and location, site development, topographic mapping, subdividing, contour/runoff, and other common land surveying practices are covered. Total stations and computers are used to process data.
Surveying field book for data entry, Civil Engineers Scale
- Explain the development of surveying and boundaries in the United States. (CCC 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; PGC: SET 1)
- Explain a surveyor’s rights, duties, and liabilities. (CCC 3, 4, 5; PGC: SET 1)
- Identify the rights and interests in land ownership. (CCC 1, 3, 5; PGC: SET 1)
- Apply legal principles and problem solving skills using reference resources to identify potential issues in surveying. (CCC 1, 2; PGC: SET 1)
- Illustrate a meander line in regard to its purpose, location, description, and legal interpretations. (CCC1, 2; PGC: SET 1)
- Identify evidence, monumentation, and retracement surveying as it applies to current surveying practice. (CCC 2, 6; PGC: SET 1)
- Employ terms and phraseologies as applied in legal descriptions. (CCC 1, 3, 5; PGC: SET 1)
- List the rights and liabilities that arise when land abuts a body of water. (CCC1, 2; PGC: SET 1)
- Explain the acquisition, surveying, and retracing of lands and highways as applied to fieldwork in this area. (CCC 1, 2, 3, 5; PGC: SET 1)
- Perform boundary surveys through field procedures, field book entries, and evaluations. (CCC 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; PGC: SET 1, 2, 4, 6)
- Demonstrate professional and ethical conduct as expected in industry. (CCC 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; PGC: SET 1, 3, 4, 6)
See Core Curriculum Competencies and Program Graduate Competencies at the end of the syllabus. CCPOs are linked to every competency they develop.
Upon completion of this course, the student will:
- Explain the development of surveying and boundaries in the United States.
- Briefly explain the legal concept of boundaries.
- Define colonial surveying, Indian rights, public domain, state lands, and boundaries.
- Explain a surveyor’s rights, duties, and liabilities.
- List the four roles a surveyor plays in establishing law.
- Apply why a surveyor cannot legally establish a boundary.
- Interpret the surveyor’s importance as a witness in a court of law.
- Describe the personal liability of the surveyor for the accuracy of his work.
- Identify the rights and interests in land ownership.
- Define the terms associated with statue law, common law, and unwritten rights.
- Explain the interest in land an individual may have.
- List rights an individual may have in land ownership.
- Explain the different types of interests others may have in land, including liens.
- Apply legal principles and problem solving skills using reference resources to identify potential issues in surveying.
- Describe the current systems used to define land.
- Distinguish between Geographic Information Systems (GIS) versus Land Information Systems (LIS).
- Define terminology associated with metes, bounds, fixed monuments, distances, proportional distances, parallels, meridians, baseline, townships, ranges, sections deficiency and excess.
- Illustrate a meander line in regard to its purpose, location, description, and legal interpretations.
- Define meander line in terms of legal meaning, high watermark, low watermark, navigable water, and non-navigable water.
- Apply locating and the legal considerations of meander lines for islands, lakes, ponds, streams, and mean high watermark marshes.
- Identify evidence, monumentation, and retracement surveying as it applies to current surveying practice.
- Define terms associated with evidence, corners, monument, witness corner, obliterated, latent ambiguities, and patent ambiguities.
- Describe the process of retracing a survey with existing evidence.
- List the five ways boundaries may be ascertained in a metes and bounds description.
- Explain the order of priority of boundary descriptors in metes and bounds description.
- Identify the three roles a surveyor plays as a professional in terms of legal evidence.
- List and describe the different type evidence and their legal priority.
- Describe the difference between monuments and corners.
- Employ terms and phraseologies as applied in legal descriptions.
- Correctly search a conveyance when given the grantor or grantee of a piece of property.
- Write an acceptable conveyance when given the plot of a piece of property.
- List the rights and liabilities that arise when land abuts a body of water.
- Define riparian and littoral rights.
- Discuss the use of the shore of a body of water being used as its boundary.
- Discuss the riparian or littoral rights that arise by abutting ownership.
- Explain the acquisition, surveying, and retracing of lands and highways as applied to fieldwork in this area.
- Explain three ways land is acquired for highways.
- Describe the process of surveying a highway, including location surveys, preliminary surveys, and layout surveys.
- Apply the research and procedures used to retrace highways and in locating lost lines.
- Perform boundary surveys through field procedures, field book entries, and evaluations.
- Describe the categories of land surveys.
- Explain the distinction between a property boundary and its representations such as deed lines, lines on imagery, and boundary depictions in cadastral databases.
- Differentiate what should be included in a metes and bounds survey.
- Employ what is included in a retracement survey.
- Integrate what is included in a subdivision survey.
- Define adverse possession and easement, condominium surveys, partitioning of land, and registration of title.
- Demonstrate professional and ethical conduct as expected in industry.
- Identify the need for self-discipline and time management in technical industries.
- Demonstrate the ability to communicate and function effectively as a member of a team.
Students must demonstrate proficiency on all CCPOs at a minimal 75 percent level to successfully complete the course. The grade will be determined using the Delaware Tech grading system:
Students should refer to the Student Handbook for information on the Academic Standing Policy, the Academic Integrity Policy, Student Rights and Responsibilities, and other policies relevant to their academic progress.
Calculated using the following weighted average
Percentage of final grade
Exam 1 (Summative)
Exam 2 (Summative)
Exam 3 (Summative)
Exam 4 (Summative)
Field Survey Project (Summative)
- Apply clear and effective communication skills.
- Use critical thinking to solve problems.
- Collaborate to achieve a common goal.
- Demonstrate professional and ethical conduct.
- Use information literacy for effective vocational and/or academic research.
- Apply quantitative reasoning and/or scientific inquiry to solve practical problems.
- Apply the knowledge, techniques, skills, and applicable tools of the discipline to engineering and surveying activities, including but not limited to site development, hydraulics and hydrology, grading, and structural systems.
- Conduct standardized field and laboratory testing on civil engineering project materials.
- Select appropriate materials and estimate material quantities for technical projects.
- Use graphic techniques and productivity software to produce engineering documents.
- Integrate appropriate surveying methods for land measurement and/or construction layout and the acquisition of spatial data in accordance with the laws and regulations pertaining to Professional Land Surveying.
- Demonstrate a commitment to quality, timeliness, professional development, and continuous improvement.
The College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the campus Disabilities Support Counselor to request an accommodation needed due to a disability. A listing of campus Disabilities Support Counselors and contact information can be found at the disabilities services web page or visit the campus Advising Center.