School of Forest Resources and Conservation

SUR 4403: Cadastral Principles

(Boundary Law and Legal Aspects of Surveying)

Instructor : Dr. David W. Gibson

304 Reed Lab, P.O Box 110565

University of Florida, Gainesville FL 32611-0565

Ph 352 392 4995  Email:




Readings are from the required course text: 

          Boundary Control and Legal Principles by Robillard, Wilson, and Brown.

          ("Brown's", 5th or later edition)


          Note: You are expected to complete all the Homework assignments in the course. 

          As a grading incentive, for each HW you fail to submit,

          you will loose the course points for one of the ones you did submit. 

          See the course syllabus for grading Policies.           


          Module 1    Intro to Boundary Surveying and Real Property

          Read:           Brown's: Ch 1.1 - 1.19             

          View:           Lecture 1: Intro Boundary Surveying   

                             Lecture 2: Real Property

                             Lecture 3: Development of Land Title Concepts

                             Lecture 4: System of Law

          Assign:        HW1: Research Case Law


          Module 2    Title, Deeds, Estates   


          View:           Lecture 5: Chain of Title

                             Lecture 6: Types of Deeds and Estates

                             Lecture 7: Land Tenure Systems, Assurances of Paper Title

                             Lecture 8: Assurances of Location Title, Life of a Land Parcel

                             Lecture 9: Resolution of Boundary Problems

          Assign:        HW2: Deeds, Estates, Title


          Module 3   Creation of Land Boundaries -- Land Location Systems


          View:           Lecture 10: Objectives of a Land Location System

                             Lecture 11: Land Location Systems for Single Lots (Sequence)

                        Lecture 12: Land Location Systems for Multiple Lots (Simultaneous)

                             Lecture 13: Multiple Lot Creation by Protraction

          Assign:        HW3: Land Location Systems


          Module 4   Writing Land Descriptions


     View:           Lecture 14: Writing Legal Descriptions – Lines and Curves

                        Lecture 15: Writing Descriptions – Non-tangent Curves, Water

                        Lecture 16: Writing Dividing Line Descriptions

                        Lecture 17: Sectional Breakdown Descriptions

                        Supporting documents:  Metes and Bounds Descriptions.doc    Words and Phrases.doc

          Assign:        HW4: Write Metes and Bounds Description, West Palm Beach Sketch here


          Module 5    Interpreting Descriptions, Using Text Principles, Writing Surveyor's Reports

          View            Lecture 21: Describing the Intent

                             Lecture 22: Text Principles, A Surveyor's Report

                             Lecture 18: The Function and Purpose of a Boundary Survey

          Assign:        HW5: Junior and Senior Rights                    HW5 Solution: here


          Module 6   Locating Sequence Deeds

          Read:           Brown, Chapter 11 Locating Sequential Conveyances

          View:           Lecture 19: Rule of Intent

                             Lecture 20: Corner Classifications and Dignity of Calls

         Assign:         HW6: A Simple 300 x 100 ft Parcel             HW6 Solution: here and here

                             HW7: Frost's Survey                                  HW7 Solution: here


         MIDTERM EXAM: Covers all lectures and Homework assignments up through Module 6,

         Lectures 1-20, HW1-7.   Find the date and times of availability on the ELearning website. 


          Module 7    Locating Lot and Block Simultaneous Deeds

          Read:           Brown, Chapter 12, Locating Simultaneously Created Boundaries

                             Lecture 23:  15 Principles

          Assign:        HW8: Palm Court                                      HW8 Solution: here

                             HW9: Palm Harbor                                    HW9 Solution: here


          Module 8    Locating Sectional Survey Deeds      

          Read:           Brown, Chapter 10, Resurveying and Retracing Sectionalized Lands

          View:           Lecture 24: U.S. Public Land Survey System – History and Methods

                        Lecture 25: U.S.P.L.S.S. – Following the Footsteps

     Assign:        HW10: Sipe Williams Brown                     HW10 Solution: here


                             Lecture 26: Platting and Protracting a Township in the Public Land Survey System

                             Lecture 27: Retracement Surveys in the PLSS

          Assign:        HW11: Sections 1 and 2                            HW11 Solution: here


          Module 9   Unwritten Rights – Possession Principles


          View:           Lecture 28: Possession Principles, Adverse Possession

                        Lecture 29: Adverse Possession, Prescription, Implied Dedication

                        Lecture 30: Possession Principles, Estoppel, Acquiescence, Agreement                  

                        Further Information: Florida Adverse Possession – a scan of James Day's Article

                        P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 P7 P8 P9 P10 P11 P12 P13

          Assign:        HW12: Possession Principles


     Module 10  Water Boundaries and Riparian Rights

          Read:           Brown, Chapter 9 Riparian and Littoral Boundaries

          View:           Lecture 31: Water Boundaries

                             Lecture 32: Riparian Rights

          Assign:        HW13: Massasuppi River                          HW13 Solution: here


          Module 11  Roads and Water as Boundaries

          Read:           Brown, Chapter 8 Locating Easements and Reversions

          View:           Lecture 33: Roads as Boundaries

                             Lecture 34: Apportionment – Riparian Rights, Roads

          Assign:        HW14: Apportionment                              HW14 Solution: here


          FINAL EXAM: Covers all Lectures and Homework assignments, L1-34, HW1-14. 

          Find the final exam's date and times of availability on the ELearning website. 

          A portion of the final exam will be based on the "Oak Acres" situation – download from here

          (right click on the link, "save target as")





For questions or comments, contact the webmaster,