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ALTA/NSPS 2021 Standards (Course 2) – Measurement Standards and Uncertainties

ALTA/NSPS 2021 Standards (Course 2) – Measurement Standards and Uncertainties

ALTA/NSPS 2021 Standards (Course 2) – Measurement Standards and Uncertainties

Mr Gary Kent PS
Mr Gary Kent PS
on behalf of GeoLearn LLC

$39.00 $ 39.00 $ 39.00

$ 39.00 39.00 39.00
39.00 $ 39.00 39.00 39.00
Normal Price: $39.00 $39.00


Launch date: 22 Feb 2021
Expiry Date:

Last updated: 23 May 2021

Reference: 196797

TIming: null

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Latest User Comments

Brad Kagan (2 May 2021)
Very well presented and explained.
Michael Taylor (31 Mar 2021)

I would like to...

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There are random errors in every survey measurement, but how do surveyors manage and account for them? It all starts with understanding the sources and magnitude of those errors. Once armed with that information, surveyors can logically analyze the quality of each individual measurement and the resulting impact of those errors on the overall survey. Surveyors also expend a lot of time avoiding blunders and analyzing and accounting for random errors in their measurements. Yet the effect of random errors on a boundary determination is minuscule compared to the potential uncertainties in a boundary associated with field or record evidence of questionable lineage. As the 2021 ALTA/NSPS Standards say, "...a boundary corner or line may have a small Relative Positional Precision because the survey measurements were precise, yet still be in the wrong position (i.e. inaccurate) if it was established or retraced using faulty or improper application of boundary law principles." So, in this course, in addition to providing background and details related to the issue of measurement uncertainty on ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys, we will also explore the uncertainties that can impact the integrity of a boundary survey that are not related to measurements—and that are often the answer to the question, "Why can't two surveyors ever agree?!"


Objective 1
Describe the primary sources of random error in survey measurements
Objective 2
Explain how to analyze survey measurements and assess the magnitude of the random errors
Objective 3
Calculate the allowable measurement uncertainty on an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey
Objective 4
Interpret the results of an analysis of the measurements on an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey with respect to the allowable measurement uncertainty
Objective 5
Design an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey that will result in measurements that do not exceed the allowable relative positional precision
Objective 6
Outline the four sources of uncertainty in boundary locations
Objective 7
Explain how to effectively communicate important information about the uncertainties in boundary location to client, attorney and other surveyors
Objective 8
Describe the changes in the definition of Relative Positional Precision in the 2021 ALTA/NSPS Standards.
Mr Gary Kent PS

Author Information Play Video Bio

Mr Gary Kent PS
on behalf of GeoLearn LLC

Gary Kent has served in a variety of leadership positions at Schneider Geomatics, a surveying and consulting engineering firm based in Indianapolis, since starting his employment there in 1983. He has been chair of the Joint American Land Title Association (ALTA)/National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) committee responsible for the ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey Standards since 1995. Gary is a past-president of both ACSM and the Indiana Society of Professional Land Surveyors. From 1999-2006, he taught boundary law, legal descriptions, property surveying and land survey systems for Purdue University in Indianapolis where he received Excellence in Teaching and Outstanding Associate Faculty Awards. He has served on the Indiana State Board of Registration for Professional Surveyors since 2004 and is frequently sought as an expert witness in cases involving boundaries, easements and land surveying practice. Gary regularly presents programs across the country on a variety of survey-related topics, and he writes columns for The American Surveyor magazine and contributes to NSPS News and Views.

Current Accreditations

This course has been certified by or provided by the following Certified Organization/s:

  • Texas A&M University Corpus Christi
  • 1.00 Hours

Faculty and Disclosures

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User Reviews (2)

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Brad Kagan (2 May 2021)
Very well presented and explained.
Michael Taylor (31 Mar 2021)


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