Chain Definitions for Land Surveyors

chain-1 Directed, non-branching sequence of non-intersecting line segments and (or) arcs bounded by nodes, not necessarily distinct, at each end. 2 A unit of length used in the subdivision of public lands of the United States (1 chain is 66 ft; 10 square chains equals one acre). The chain was superseded by the tape. See also Gunter’s chain; link (definition 2).

chain coding—A raster data compression technique in which an entity is recorded as a set of line segments defining its boundary. The line segments are represented by their lengths and directions.

chain geometry—The shape of a series of connected points; may be straight or curved.

chain of title—A chronological list of documents which comprise the record history of title of a specific parcel of real estate.

chaining—The operation of measuring distances on the ground with a tape or chain. Formerly the words “chaining” and “taping” were used synonymously; “taping” is now preferred for all surveys except those of the public land system. See also chain; tape; taping.

chaining, slope—Taping wherein the tape or chain is held, by design, out of the horizontal. By observing either the slope angle or the difference of elevation of the ends of the line, a reduction to the horizontal can be made.

chaining pin—See pin (definition 2).

chainmaker—A person who assembles a chain of title.

chainmen—The persons who mark the tape ends in chaining.

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

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