Ambiguity Definitions for Land Surveyors

ambiguity– The integer number of wavelengths between a receiver and a satellite, which is initially unknown and must be calculated each time a GPS receiver locks onto a signal (i.e., after every time the signal is lost or blocked); integer ambiguity. See also solution, fixed [GPS].

ambiguity, extrinsic—Ambiguity which must be explained from some source of evidence other than the writings. Once a conveyance is reduced to writings, words may not be added to or subtracted form a deed, but extrinsic evidence may be gathered to explain existing words of the deed or to explain a latent ambiguity.

ambiguity, fixed—See solution, fixed [GPS]. See also ambiguity.

ambiguity, latent—Uncertainty which does not appear upon the face of an instrument but arises from evidence aliunde, i.e., which is not involved in the words themselves but arises from outside matters. Thus, a conveyance to “John Smith, living on Fifth Avenue,” when there are two or more John Smiths so living, contains a latent ambiguity. Antonym: patent ambiguity.

ambiguity, patent—An ambiguity which appears on the face of the instrument, and arises from the defective, obscure, or insensible language used.

Source: NSPS “Definitions of Surveying and Related Terms“, used with permission.

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