The Next Big Thing
Would you like to take the opportunity here to educate all of us on how cadasters in other countries work very well, and how land surveyors are integral to that success? I think you have some insight into the Australian way of doing business and how land surveyors are involved in that, far better than here in the US. In fact, I suspect you have some insight into many other countries and how land surveyors are integral to the success of their land information systems.
I am opposed to a national effort, I never suggested that. The guy waving the American flag may have misled some. State by state, or even several states could work together.
This would be pro-private sector and pro-geospatial authority by state(s), and not a national bureaucracy, which is something we definitely do not need more of.
In my state, the last time there was a real geospatial authority was in 1866, and that is when the office of the Surveyor General was closed in my state by the federal government. This would be run like a public service commission, yes sanctioned by each state, but then left to the geospatial professionals to run it, and not the local county politicians, as it is run now. Last I checked land surveyors are considered geospatial professionals. Now elected county politicians are currently in charge of geospatial decisions, of which they know absolutely nothing, including land surveying in 3300 counties in this country. Do you like that model? Is is working?
To the other comments:
Our current inefficient system is expensive and title insurance is worthless, when an accurate survey shows otherwise. Our current system has not involved land surveyors and it is wrought with archaisms and inefficiencies. If those who know, like COGO, the Coalition of Geospatial Organizations, give the entire country a grade of D+, are you going to just ignore that? Is D+ good enough going forward? It will take surveyors to get it up to a grade of A. Are you as land surveyors all opposed to that?
I never said this would be a national GIS. This is about involving land surveyors where we have been left out of the equation, for at least 150 years in my state. Wouldn’t you like to become relevant again?
To Frank Willis, all your concerns will be addressed by land surveyors and not by the lawyers, that is in the new system. We still have the old system, so I know that is hard to understand.
To James Fleming, I like Amish farmers too. I live not far from them. If you prefer the Amish lifestyle, you will need to cash in all your new technology and get out your compass and chain. The computer has got to go, too. Maybe some Amish farmer can help you be a chainman when he is not running a one bottom plow behind his 2 horses.
Any new system or improvement in existing systems must be built on the data we have, and some places apparently don't have much to build on.
The first step toward improvement would be to get all states to require recording of plats if there was no prior one or if a new survey shows material differences, and capping/tagging of monuments so we know more of their history.
The 2001 paper I linked above concluded with the following statement of my opinion.
Advocate or Antagonist ????
..reason #47 why I support a move back to the feudal land tenure system.
If you live in a state that has mandatory recording of plats, consider yourself lucky. I'm not going to offer an opinion about a national cadastre, but I think we need to have some minimum standards for written deeds as a start to reforming our land records system. I have seen relatively modern deeds here in Chatham County, Georgia, that are little more than a recitation of the tax assessor's ID number and a street address. While those deeds may or may not be sufficient in a legal sense to convey property, they suck when you have to figure out where the property is on the ground. Also, my personal favorite is a deed that calls for a plat or drawing that is not recorded, and most likely stuffed in a closet of the dead Surveyor's relatives, if they didn't burn all his records first. If you call for a plat in a deed, it needs to be of record. No bearings/distances in the deed, just a reference to a plat that cannot be found.
I would be interested to hear from folks in areas that have minimum standards for written deeds. Some of ours down here in the Great State Of Chatham need a great deal of improvement.