Update: Latest Issue of the Cornerstone Boundary Surveying Newsletter Is Now Available

I’ve just published the latest issue of the Cornerstone Boundary Surveying Newsletter. In this issue we continue our article series on preparing boundary survey maps and GIS for linear boundaries. We also review a boundary dispute court case from California and an IBLA decision on PLSS surveys from Idaho.

You can download the Latest Issue of the Cornerstone Boundary Surveying Newsletter as a PDF.

I hope you enjoy reading the issue.


Update: February 2018 Issue of California Supremes Now Available

I’ve just published the February 2018 Issue of the California Supremes on Land and Water. In this issue we review the Supreme Court decision in Lynch Versus The California Coastal Commission.

The dispute, in this case, revolves around a permit to rebuild a seawall protecting two homes on top of a cliff on the California Coast.

I’ve chosen to review this court decision because it is a recent California Supreme Court case that raises and answers important questions about permits and permit conditions regulating land use in California.

You can download the February 2018 Issue of the California Supremes on Land and Water as a PDF.

I hope you enjoy reading the issue.


Redefined Horizons: The Best Source For Free Learning Resources For Land Surveyors

Welcome to Redefined Horizons! Our web site is the best place (online or offline) to find free learning resources for land surveyors. (We make learning resources for other land professionals too.)
The free resources we make available for land surveyors include:
1) Articles
2) Videos
3) Online Courses
To access these free resources for land surveyors, visit our “Learning Resources” web page.
We are especially proud of the work we do to review and highlight the principles of cases related to land use and boundary surveying.
You can also find paid training and learning resources on our site.
Landon Blake
Redefined Horizons

Event: “Right of Way Management for Public Works” In Pleasanton, California on April 12, 2017

We are holding a workshop entitled “Right-of-Way Management for Public Works” in Pleasanton on April 12, 2017.

You can download a summary flyer for the workshop in PDF:


You can learn more about the workshop here:

Event: “Right-of-Way Management for Public Works Projects” In Pleasanton, California on April 12, 2017


Update: New Articles Published for December 2016

I’ve just published the December 2016 Issue of the California Supremes on Land and Water. In this issue I begin a review of the case Mansell Versus the City of Long Beach. This Supreme Court Decisions deals with issues related to tidelands, riparian boundaries, and land title.

You can download the new issue as a PDF file.

You can also subscribe to the California Supremes on Land and Water and our other publications.

The December 2016 Issue of the Cornerstone Boundary Surveying Newsletter has just been published. This issue contains for articles:

  1. “Going the Distance”. This article looks at the 4 types of distances we show on boundary survey maps.
  2. “GIS for Linear Boundaries – Part 2”. This article is our second in a series that explores how to apply GIS to the maintenance of linear boundaries.
  3. “A Review of Prewitt Versus Norsworthy”. In this article, I review a court case from Texas dealing with chain-of-title and adverse possession.
  4. “A Review of IBLA 181-291”. In this article, I review an IBLA decision dealing with dependent resurveys and the doctrine of boundary-by-agreement.

You can download the December 2016 Issue of the Cornerstone Boundary Surveying Newsletter as a PDF file.

You can also subscribe to the Cornerstone Boundary Surveying Newsletter and our other publications.





Event: Phasing Boundary Surveys to Reduce Risk

On December 14th, 2016 Landon Blake will be the volunteer instructor presenting a short version of his workshop “What Do Your Filed Survey Maps Say About You?”. In the workshop, Landon will talk about common shortfalls in the typical practices related to the drafting of filed survey maps. In the workshop, Landon will look at examples of filed survey maps and will talk about how they could be improved.

Update: In The Hopper – Public Surveyors

I wanted to let you guys know about a few items I’m working on related to the professional work of public surveyors:

  1. The first item is a lead article for the upcoming issue of California Surveyor Magazine. (This is the Fall 2016 Issue if the magazine.) The article is entitled “Why Every City Needs a Strong City Surveyor”. It features an interview with Turlock City Surveyor Rich Fultz.
  2. The second item is the first in a new series of articles about the relationship between public agencies and private land surveying companies. Selected articles from this series will also be published in the California Surveyor Magazine, including this first article in the series. The first article will discuss the consequences of legal and ethical violations during the selection of consulting land surveying services by public agencies. Future articles in the series will talk about prevailing wage, qualifications-based selections, and land surveying services request-for-proposals.
  3. The third item is an article and infographic entitled “The 5 Worst Mistakes You Make In Your RFP for Land Surveying Services”.
  4. The fourth item is a second article related to the role of a strong city surveyor. It is entitled “The Problems With 2 Common Alternatives to a Strong City Surveyor’. The article examines dual licensed survey/civil professionals and contract land surveyors in the city surveyor role.

I hope to have all of this content published by the end of October.


Update: In The Hopper

I wanted to give you guys a quick update on some of the articles I’m currently working on. These should all be published before the end of the year. In the Fall 2016 Issue of the California Surveyor Magazine I should have 4 new articles:

  • A Review of Brothers Inc Versus Johnsons: This is the first article in a short series looking at the role of the land surveyor in adverse possession. In this first article we discuss the recent court decision from Louisiana in which an erroneous survey led to a successful claim of adverse possession against a 170 foot wide strip of land between two parcels.
  • A Review of IBLA 99-363 (Part 1):  This is the first article in a series of articles reviewing IBLA decisions related to land surveying and land title. This article is the first part of a set of articles in the series examining a recent IBLA decision from Washington state in which the BLM’s rejection of a corner stone led to major building encroachments onto federal land.
  • Understanding Survey Error Adjustment (Part 1): This is the first article in a series that will explain survey error adjustment basics using an easy-to-understand teaching style and basic math. It will also feature working error adjustment software written in Java and Groovy and released under an open source license. Although the article series will teach the weighted least squares adjustment method popular among surveyors today, it will cover a variety of other topics related to error adjustment. These topics will include alternate adjustment methods, creating measurement error statements for maps, analyzing and reporting measurement error, and creating error budgets when planning surveys. The goal of the article series is to put basic error adjustment tools into the hands of every surveyor. The first article in this series will provide basic definitions, will look at the components of a survey measurement system, and will look at the 3 main types of errors in survey measurements.
  • The Structure of California Land Planning Authority: This is an introductory article on land use planning law in California. It will look at the structure of land use planning authority, with a basic description of the general plan, specific plan, zoning regulations, and subdivision regulation. It will be the first article in a series that explains land use planning to land surveyors, and examines real life examples from the plans and regulations of two very different California Cities.
  • The 5 Mistake Public Agencies Make When Issuing an RFP for Land Surveying Services: In this article series members of the ACEC California Qualifications Based Selection Committee will examine common mistakes, misunderstandings and best practices for the acquisition of land surveying services in California. The first article in the series will examine the worst mistakes a public agency can make when issuing an RFP.

I’ll make regular posts in the future to this category on our web site about upcoming work on articles, workshops, and online courses.


Event: San Diego “Determining Land Boundaries” Workshop

Landon Blake, the owner of Redefined Horizons, will be teaching a workshop entitled “Determining Land Boundaries” in San Diego, California on September 9, 2016. The workshop will be managed by Half Moon Workshops. Details on the time and specific location will be coming soon.

You can learn more about the “Determining Land Boundaries” Workshop here.


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