Questions on maps, surveys and trails

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Dear Capt. Paul:

Can I use the property deeds to find property lines with a GPS unit?

Thanks for your answer.

Robert Warren

Captain Paul’s response:

Yes you can, but remember that it is not a legally surveyed position. Read the disclaimer that appears during the boot-up when you first turn on your GPS unit.

With a GPS that has a WAAS differential, the accuracy should be within 3 meters, but an error of three meters in a position could make or break a court case. It should, however, give you a close idea of the boundaries.

Some property lines may be stated in a UTM format, degrees minutes and seconds or the state plane coordinates, so you may need to reconfigure the GPS to agree with the position format of the stated boundary lines.

To get a close property line, you will need to plot every corner listed on the survey, then draw a line between the positions. This is very easily done with a computer mapping program such as Maptech Terrain Navigator. The Maptech program can import waypoints from the GPS as well as export them to a GPS.

By plotting the corner positions in the Maptech program, you can “see” the corners of the property and then download them into the GPS unit for an on-site inspection.

I have provided several clients positions on a map of their hunting lease. These positions were then installed in their GPS units for them to verify in the field. With their adjoining lease holders, they used their GPS unit and placed a stake at each corner of the lease. All parties agreed to use that position as the boundary line.

When doing so, be sure to use the correct datum that was used to plot the property. The datum should be listed on the deed or lease, and your GPS should be configured to display the same datum.


Dear Capt. Paul:

I own a Garmin 176c and use it primarily for the map program I downloaded. I need to learn how I can better use the unit, and will have to attend one of your classes when I get the time.

In the meantime, I have a couple of questions. First, under the category of “Trip,” does the clock run when the unit is in motion and stop when it is not? I assume this feature is primarily used for long trips, not running around the marsh.

Second, how do you take advantage of the crumb trail feature of this unit. Is it the “Track” tab?How do you start, stop and save the track?

Thanks for your help in advance.



Capt. Paul’s response:

Yes, the clock is running whether the unit is in motion or not.

The trip feature records a trip odometer, moving average speed, total average speed, maximum speed, stopped time, moving time, total time and odometer. You can record segments of a trip, and still a have the total trip recorded.

As you see, you can select several of the logs without disturbing the others. I still have a max speed calculation in one of my Garmin units of 550 m.p.h. when we were traveling via air to San Diego. So you don’t have to clear all of that data, but it is recommended.

By noting the trip odometer, you can figure your miles per gallon of fuel, and if you have an hour meter on your vehicle, you can figure the average gallons per hour that your vehicle uses.

Instructions can be found on page 46 of your owner’s manual.

You reset the trip feature first by going to the trip screen by pressing the menu button, then selecting reset trip, then reset max speed, reset odometer or reset all and pressing enter.

So to answer your question, yes, the clock is always running, but it may or may not record, as per your configuration setting, a specific function of your trip. It is recommended that you allow it to calculate all of the features in the trip screen and later clear out those that you do not want the unit to store.

Basically the TracBack is designed to allow you to retrace your path for your present trip. It is designed as a temporary trail that begins where you last reset it. TracBack should be cleared for each journey, allowing you an uncluttered screen of your most recent trail.

Pages 27 and 28 of your owner’s manual offer instructions on how to clear, start and save a TracBack as a route.

You can access the TracBack settings by pressing the menu button twice to display the Main Menu page. Then use the arrow to highlight the track tap.

Once on that screen, you may want to either activate the feature, in which case it will allow you to follow the trail back to your beginning while using any of the normal navigation screens, or you may wish to clear the TracBack.

To save the TracBack, first make it active, then save it by selecting the icon on the bottom of the screen.

To stop the TracBack, press the nav key, highlight “stop navigation” and press enter.

If the trail is important enough for you to use again at another time, save it. Do not try and navigate freehand over the TracBack trail, as it will become cluttered with the present and past trails.

Keep in touch and let me know how you make out.


Dear Capt. Paul:

First let me say I truly enjoy your column in Louisiana Sportsman magazine.

My question is: I have a Lowrance LCX-15 MT, and would like to know what map software or digital memory cards have the best detail of the Biloxi Marsh and Lake Borgne areas.

I plan to move to Slidell in the very near future, and will be fishing that area quite often.

Thanks and keep the excellent magazine articles coming.

Ronnie Nye


Capt. Paul’s response:

Thanks for the kudos on my columns in Louisiana Sportsman. I appreciate it.

In my opinion, the Lowrance MapCreate 6 of U.S. topographical maps is the way to go. I believe that the topo maps offer greater detail than the navigation type charts for the interior marshes.

Get the program yourself, and custom design the map coverage you want. You should also consider getting additional blank memory cards. With these cards, you can download maps of other areas in the event that you make a trip to those locations.

About Captain Paul Titus 192 Articles
Capt. Paul Titus has been responding to G.P.S questions on since 2000. He has been fishing and hunting in Louisiana since 1957. Titus holds a USCG license and conducts instruction courses in the use of GPS for private individuals and government agencies.