A licensed land surveyor determines the location of record boundary lines based on the evaluation of many pieces of information. A survey will document record right(s) of way, deeded or mapped easements, and encroachments both ways over boundary lines. If a plan is prepared, the improvements will be located and shown. Lines of occupation (fence, edge of lawn, hedge, etc.) will also be shown or otherwise documented. During the course of a survey, a surveyor will review title documents and research the parcel deed and the deeds of the neighboring properties.
The role of a surveyor is to precisely establish property boundaries when it has not been surveyed before, mapping those boundaries and producing a legal description of the boundaries.
A surveyor also helps in interpreting deed descriptions. For example, a deed description might read something like: “North by Smith, East by the road, South by a fence, and West by Michael, containing ten (10) acres of land, more or less.”
A surveyor uses the information to determine what area constitutes the parcel legally described. The surveyor works to find the metal pins, fence, blazed trees, or other markers used to mark the corners of a surveyed parcel or establish where those pins should be placed.