Friday, October 23, 2015

Survey Markers GIS - Montara Vicinity

The survey marker inventory for the Montara vicinity is nearly complete.  Surveyors and engineers planning work in the vicinity can access our GIS to check for nearby survey monuments.

The GIS can be found here or through our Surveying and Map Checking website.

Our data collection team will continue to inventory areas of unincorporated San Mateo County.  Either download the mobile app or bookmark the GIS on your browser and check back for updates.

Read how you can add survey marker locations directly to this GIS with your smartphone!

Friday, October 2, 2015

San Mateo County Survey Marker GIS Part 3 - Data Collection

This post will outline how the data in the Survey Marker GIS is collected.

The GIS can be found here or through our Surveying and Map Checking website.

ArcGIS Collector
When it became necessary to inventory the survey monuments in San Mateo County, many data collection methods were evaluated.  We needed it to be cost effective, easy to perform, and the ability to crowd source was also important.

This is where ArcGIS Collector came into the picture.  ArcGIS Collector is a mobile app that can turn an Android or iOS device into a GIS grade data collector.  The data collected automatically appears on a web-based GIS that anyone can browse.

The way this GIS works is pretty simple.  Once the Collector app is installed on the smartphone or tablet simply login, launch the map, collect data.

That how simple it is.  There is additional functionality to the mobile app which we'll try to cover in a video or live training session.

Detailed Data Collection Screen Shots
A collection of screen shots in this Google folder demonstrate the data collection function.  Open the "info" pane to see notes that describe each screenshot.

Questions or Comments
Anyone wishing to participate in crowd sourcing this GIS is encouraged to email

Thanks for reading our 3 part post on the San Mateo County Survey Marker GIS!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

San Mateo County Survey Marker GIS Part 2- Tools and Instructions

This post will highlight the maps main functions and provide tips for best use.

The GIS can be found here or through our Surveying and Map Checking website.

Bottom Toolbar
Listed below from left to right

Zoom buttons and 'My Location'

  • + zooms in / - zooms out
  • locator button shows your location (optimized for mobile users)

Text search
  • type address or intersection; auto complete capable


Turn layers on/off

  • check boxes to turn on/off available layers

Change basemap views

  • choose from 12 different basemaps

Driving directions

  • type or click on the locations for a route

Measuring tools

  • measure lines and routes for linear feet
  • measure areas
  • obtain the lat / long for a location

Simple drawing tools

  • enhance any map view by adding objects and text

Additional Tools

Overview map

  • toggle on/off by clicking on the arrow in the top right of the map window
Data in Table Format
  • launch a data table by clicking the small black arrow below toolbar

  • drag the table up for an expanded view
  • explore the 'Options' menu to hide columns, filter and export data

San Mateo County Survey Marker GIS Part 1- Purpose and Intended Use

This post explains the purpose and intended use of the San Mateo County (SMCO) survey marker GIS map and what kind of information can be found for monuments.

The GIS can be found here or through our Surveying and Map Checking website.

Default view of the SMCO Survey Marker GIS

Purpose & Intended Use

This is an ongoing inventory of survey monuments for the unincorporated areas of San Mateo County.  Some locations within City limits are available because we've chosen to crowd source some of the data.

It is meant to be a planning tool for San Mateo County Public Works projects as well as private surveys for firms wishing to participate.

It is not meant to be a precise network and is considered GIS grade.

Finding Survey Markers

This map acts much like any GIS when panning, zooming, and selecting objects.  Once you locate a point of interest, a single left click will open a window containing the unique data for that location.

Available Survey Marker Information

The minimum data we capture for each location include:
  • Date collected
  • Description
  • Is it tagged?
  • Tag number?
Additional notes can be added to further describe the survey marker or its location.

This GIS includes photos of the monuments as well and are found in the "Attachments" section of the window.
Typical data available and survey marker photo

Thursday, August 6, 2015

San Mateo County - Unrecorded Subdivision Maps

This is a brief post to spread the word about a set of old subdivision maps that our team has recently encountered. These are maps that aren't available through our map research website but may be referenced in old deeds or maybe in the margins of the Assessors Parcel Maps (see image below). I'm positive this isn't every unrecorded subdivision map in San Mateo County but because we found them, we thought we'd share.

See the "UNREC" reference on the Assessors map in the lower right?

This is the Unrecorded Corbett Subdivision Map from Book 5

We had no idea what we were going to find on this mission so when we found so many (50 books in all) we just snapped pictures and assembled a collection of only the index pages. The information is available at our website and in spreadsheet format you can download.

Please pass this along to anyone that I left out. Feel free to email if you've got questions or need more information about these maps. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

San Mateo County 2015 Road Projects and Monument Preservation

This is the time of year that our in-house crew is tasked with monument preservation in connection with the 25+ miles of road resurfacing.  Not only do we need to stay ahead of the crews doing repairs before the asphalt is laid; we've got to document what we find!  It's is really an enjoyable challenge and we're proud to say we've done it again.

The areas shown in blue, red and lavender are the areas we covered this year.  We've covered Coast to Bay from approximately Moss Beach to the Santa Cruz County line.

Pescadero Creek Road (click for map)

Concrete monuments like this can be found at most begin / end curves all along Pescadero Creek Road.

USGS Disk in the bridge over Alpine Creek

Gazos Creek Road (click for map)

Fence post along Gazos Creek. The original rancho map calls for a 6" x 6" post scribed "PFC". This matches the location but fire has destroyed any scribing.

Verde Road (click for map)

Hex head bolt at Highway 1.  Every time we encounter a bolt for a monument I wonder if they used a wrench to install it!

The Alameda (click for map)

12" concrete monument with pin at Santa Ana Street

Acacia Lane (click for map)

Railroad spike near Alameda de las Pulgas.
It's a bit hard to see but whomever dug the trench skipped over the railroad spike...thank you!

And many many more...looking forward to the 2016 cycle!