Alternate Measures for Large Properties - Bock & Clark ALTA Surveys

April 19, 2017

Alternate Measures for Large Properties - Optional Table A Item 15

For ALTA surveys of large properties, it may be beneficial to consider Optional Table A Item 15. Requesting this item frequently benefits the ordering party with both cost savings and shorter time frames to complete the survey work. Item 15 permits the surveyor to utilize alternative technologies and/or procedures where ground measurements are not otherwise necessary to locate improvement features on the surveyed property. You should consider Optional Table A Item 15 if you have the following:

  • Coal Mines
  • Forest lands
  • Wind tower or solar farms
  • Ski resorts
  • Golf courses
  • Recreational/mobile home parks

What Tools Will Be Used to Complete the ALTA/NSPS Survey?

The surveyor may look to rectified orthophotography, remote sensing, photogrammetric mapping, airborne/mobile scanning and other similar products, tools or technologies as the basis for reporting the location of certain features. These technologies do not apply to reconciling and reporting the boundary of the surveyed property, only to the interior improvements. The surveyor still must adhere to the Surveying Standards and Standard Care in Section 3 of the Minimum Standard Detail Requirements regarding the boundary of the surveyed property.

Is Optional Table A Item 15 for me?

When considering this item, it’s important that all parties involved share the understanding of the completeness and precision of the data being gathered and reported on the plat map or survey. The surveyor will have to state a qualification to the ALTA/NSPS Standards concerning the precision of the location of features that are reported by the alternative methods in a notation on the plat or map. Another important point to consider pertains to the date of the provided technology used. An important question to ask your surveyor is whether the data will be collected in real time or if the surveyor is relying on an aerial photo that is several years old.

Helpful Tips

It’s important that there is open conversation between the surveyor and the parties that are relying on the survey. Communication should take place at the very beginning of the project, not after the survey has already been provided. It’s also important to note that the cost savings are typically realized only on large format properties. For smaller properties, the survey fees and timing for ON THE GROUND survey work would be less than the cost associated with these alternative methods. Lastly, when Item 15 is requested and agreed upon, several other Table A Items are no longer applicable such as the following Items:

  • 7a, 7b1, 7b2, 7c
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10b
  • 11
  • 18

Have more questions? For more information on our ALTA land surveys, check out our survey page.

At Bock & Clark, we are dedicated to preparing quality ALTA surveys for projects of all sizes nationwide. For more information on how we can assist you with your ALTA Land Survey needs, request a quote or contact us today.