Range Definitions for Land Surveyors

range1 Two points in line with the point of observation. Some practical examples of a range are: a) A line defined by the side of a building or by a fence may be extended visually to its intersection with a survey line; the point of intersection thus determined is said to be in range with the side of the building or with the fence. b) In hydrographic surveying, a range formed by two shore objects. if suitably located, aids in keeping a boat moving in a straight line, i.e., the line defined by the range. c) In navigation, specially constructed aids mark ranges defining channels which are to be followed by vessels to keep them clear of dangers. Such ranges are often permanently marked by suitably lighted structures which are given identifying names, such as Honolulu Channel Front Light or Honolulu Channel Rear Light. d) Boundary lines across water bodies and boundary corners in water bodies where permanent marks cannot be established are sometimes defined by intersection or range lines, or by a range line and distance from a mark, the range lines bring marked by permanent monuments on the land. 2 [USPLS] Any series of contiguous townships situated north and south of each other; also. sections similarly situated within a township. Ranges of townships are numbered consecutively east and west from a principal meridian: thus “range 3 east” indicates the third range or row of townships to the east from a principal meridian. The word range is used in conjunction with the appropriate township to indicate the coordinates of a particular township with reference to the initial point; thus “township 14 north, range 3 east” indicates the particular township which is the 14th township north of the base line and the 3rd township east of the principal meridian.

range finderAn instrument for finding the distance from a single point of observation to other points at which no instruments are placed.

range-in—A process by trial and error whereby a surveyor’s instrument is placed on an established line, with the instrument being moved to one side or the other of the line joining the two points until the line of sight passes through both points.

range line—See line, range [USPLS] line, township [USPLS].

range pole—See range rod.

range rodA slender wood or metal rod, six to eight feet long, with a pointed metal shoe, usually painted in contrasting colors (red and white) and placed alternately at one-foot intervals. Frequently used as a sighting signal at the ends of traverse courses. Also called “line rod,” “lining pole.” “range pole,” “ranging pole.” and “sight rod.”

range tie—See range (definition 1).

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

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