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ALTA/ACSM Standards and the Record Description
It is unfortunate that Mr. Leininger wrote an entire column that completely misled his readers with a patently false proposition and a flagrant misrepresentation of the 2011 ALTA/ACSM Standards.

The very first sentence of his column states "Did you realize that the 2011 ALTA/ ACSM standards prefer you not show your surveyed geometry of the boundary outline on the plat?" Joel has committed the sin of omission by quoting numerous sections of the 2011 standards, but conveniently omitting the one that completely shreds the premise of his entire column.

The second sentence of Section 6.B.iii. of the 2011 Standards states "Where a measured or calculated dimension differs from the record by an amount deemed significant by the surveyor, such dimension shall be shown in addition to, and differentiated from, the corresponding record dimension." [emphasis added]. It is utterly impossible to somehow twist these words into what he wrote (the "standards prefer you not show your surveyed geometry").

Before taking exception to the words "deemed significant by the surveyor" one needs to consider that if these words are not included, a measurement that differs from the record by 0.01 feet in distance or one second of arc would have to be reported, which is, in my opinion, absurd. I can report, however, from having talked with surveyors from, and presented programs in, all 50 states, that what surveyors deem significant varies widely across the country. I can also report that some will most assuredly show 0.01 foot and 1 second differences on a survey because they believe their board requires it, or because their board does require it (I have heard both). In any case, the standards appropriately give the professional leeway to decide what is significant.

I could go on, but will not. Contrary to the last sentence of his column in which he states "Someone, somewhere on behalf of NSPS and the rest of us, rolled over [a] nd we all look silly as a result," the only one here who looks silly is Mr. Leininger, and an apology to his readers is in order for his disturbingly deceptive column.

Gary Kent, PS

A 42Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE