Survey Monuments

Welcome to first installment of our JPH Land Surveying blog! For our first topic, we wanted to visit an important yet very fun and interesting subject, Survey Monuments. Survey Monuments are the result and backbone of one of the most important parts of a developed society, an organized geodetic and cadastral (land boundary) system. Think about the sheer amount of physical reference that you encounter daily, whether it be Google directions, the “you are here” map at your favorite park or even the survey map of your new home. So much of our society and what we do in daily life relies on our physical location and reference to another physical location! But where did these maps start, how were boundaries defined? Well surprise, it all boils down to Survey Monuments. Simply put, these monuments are physical locations on the planet that have been expertly measured and assigned a latitude, longitude, elevation and other attributes.

Ok, now the fun part…. What do they look like? In short, they can be just about anything! This is one of the most exciting parts of a Land Surveyors job because finding these can be just like a treasure hunt. Just to name a few, I’ve found everything from broken horse buggy axles driven into the ground in west Texas, an NGS monument atop the Hoover Dam, concrete blocks buried in the east Texas swamp and even a Brass Cap monument in the mountains of Washington!

Well, Surveyors shouldn’t get to have all the fun, if you are curious about finding some of these yourself then you may enjoy Geocaching! This is fun a way for just anyone to find some of the better known Survey Monuments around the world. Check out more here

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