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Land Survey Glossary
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IMPERCEPTIBLE - See Gradual & Imperceptible. 

INCHOATE - Imperfect; partial; unfinished. Begun but not completed; as a contract not signed by all the parties or a wife's interest in the lands of her husband during his life, which may become a right of dower upon his death. See DOWER. 

INCHOATE TITLE - The beginning of a title or one not yet perfected into a legal title. When only a portion of the requirements for title has been completed, the title is "inchoate." 

INCORPOREAL PROPERTY - That which cannot be seen or touched. Property, such as a right, which exists only in contemplation, as distinguished from corporeal property which has a material existence and which may be seen and touched. See CORPOREAL. 

INCREMENT BORER - Sometimes called increment boring tool, it is a tool used to cut a plug from a tree to permit a count of the growth rings in determining the age of the tree. 

INDEMNITY LANDS - Alternate lands granted to states under the public land laws when granted lands were unavailable. See INDEMNITY LIMITS, SCHOOL-LAND INDEMNITY SELECTION and LIEU LANDS. 

INDEMNITY LIMITS - In railroad and wagon road grants, the strips of land lying within a specified distance on each side of, and adjacent to, the primary limits, within which the grantee could make lieu selections for lands lost to the grantee in the primary limits; also, the outside boundaries of these strips. See RAILROAD LIEU SELECTION. 



INDENTURE - In conveyancing, formal written instrument made between two or more persons; the name is derived from the ancient practice of indenting or cutting the deed in a waving or saw-tooth line. In this way a part could be proved genuine by the way in which it fit into the angles cut into the other part. 

INDEPENDENT RESURVEY - An official rerunning and remarking intended to supersede the records of the original survey and establish new section lines and subdivisions on public lands only. Any patented lands involved must be identified and segregated according to the original survey. Only remaining areas of the public lands may be resurveyed without regard to the original survey. See DEPENDENT RESURVEY and RESURVEY. 

INDEX CORRECTION - 1) As used in the resurvey of the public lands, an average error in the lines of the original survey. The average error in the lines of an original survey (if conclusive) may be in alinement, or measurement, or both. 2) A correction applied to a reading to compensate for displacement of the zero mark. 

INDIAN ALLOTMENT - An allocation of a parcel of public lands or Indian reservation lands to an Indian for his individual use; also, the lands so allocated. 

INDIAN CLAIMS COMMISSION ACT - The act of Aug. 13, 1946, under which Indian claims to land based upon fair and honorable dealings that are not recognized by any existing rule of law or equity may be submitted to the Commission with right of judicial review by the United States Court of Claims. 


INDIAN FEE PATENT - An Indian patent which conveys fee title. 

INDIAN HOMESTEAD ENTRY - A homestead entry which is made by an Indian. 


INDIAN MERIDIAN - The principal meridian which governs surveys in all of Oklahoma except the "panhandle;" it was adopted in 1870. 

INDIAN PATENT - A patent which is issued to an Indian. 

INDIAN POWER RESERVE - A power-site reserve within an Indian reservation. 

INDIAN PUEBLO - An Indian reservation for the Pueblo Indians in New Mexico. 

INDIAN PUEBLO ENTRY - A claim by a non-Indian for a patent to land within an Indian pueblo. 

INDIAN RESERVATION - Lands reserved for the use of native Indians and, in Alaska, for Aleuts and Eskimos. 

INDIAN RESERVATION EXCHANGE - An exchange whereby the Federal Government receives title to lands within an Indian reservation. 

INDIAN TRUST PATENT - An Indian patent which is issued with the condition that title to the land remains for a specified period of time in the United States in trust for the patentee. 

INDICATED CORNER - A term adopted by the USGS to designate a corner of the public land surveys whose location cannot be verified by the criteria necessary to class it as a found or existent corner, but which is accepted locally as the correct corner and whose location is perpetuated by such marks as fence-line intersections, piles of rock, and states or pipes driven into the ground, which have been recovered by field investigation. See OBLITERATED CORNER. 

INDIRECT MEASUREMENT - Determination of a distance using a method, i.e., triangulation or traverse, which employs both direct measurement and calculation. Also, determination of distance by use of photogrammetry, or timed travel of light or sound waves. See DIRECT MEASUREMENT. 


IN FEE - Ownership in land. See FEE SIMPLE. 

INFORMATIVE TRAVERSE - A survey made to obtain topographic data or to define the present river bank in front of patented lands. In the second case the informative traverse is used to apportion the lands formed by accretion to the public lands. 

INFRA - Below. Under. When used in text it refers to matter in a later part of the publication. See SUPRA, OP. CIT. SUPRA. 

INGRESS - The right to enter a tract of land. In the law of riparian rights, the right of return to his land from navigable water which a riparian owner enjoys. See ACCESS, EGRESS, INGRESS. 

INGRESS, EGRESS AND REGRESS - These words express the right of a lessee to enter, go upon, and return from the lands in question. See ACCESS, EGRESS and INGRESS. 

INITIAL MONUMENT - A physical structure which marks the location of an initial point in the rectangular system of surveys. See INITIAL POINT. 

INITIAL POINT - A point which is established under the rectangular system of surveys and from which is initiated the cadastral survey of the principal meridian and base line that controls the cadastral survey of the public lands within a given area. See PRINCIPAL MERIDIAN, BASE LINE, RECTANGULAR SYSTEM OF SURVEYS and INITIAL MONUMENT. 

INITIAL POINT OF A METES AND BOUNDS SURVEY - Also called "beginning point." In a survey such as the survey of the boundaries of an Indian reservation, each angle point is monumented and assigned a number. The numbers are in series with number 1 at the initial point. 

INITIAL POINT, PUBLIC LAND SURVEYS WITHOUT - There are eight public-land surveys, seven in Ohio and one in Indiana, which have no initial point as origin for township and range numbers. They are: The Ohio River Survey, started in 1785, in which townships are numbered North from the Ohio River and ranges are numbered West from the west boundary of Pennsylvania; The U.S. Military Survey, started in 1797, in which townships are numbered North from the south boundary of the military grant and ranges are numbered West from the west boundary of the Seven Ranges; The West of the Great Miami, started in 1798, in which townships are numbered North from the Great Miami River and the ranges are numbered East from the Ohio-Indiana boundary; The Ohio River Base (Indiana), started in 1799, in which the townships are numbered North from the Ohio River and the ranges are numbered from the Ohio-Indiana boundary and its projection south; The Scioto River Base, started in 1799, in which the townships are numbered North from the Scioto River and the ranges are numbered West from the west boundary of Pennsylvania; The Muskingum River Survey, started in 1800, in which the townships are numbered 1 and 2 and the range in number 10; The Between the Miamis, north of Symmes Purchase, started in 1802, in which the townships are numbered EAST from the Great Miami River and the ranges are numbered NORTH from the Ohio River (as a continuation of the numbering of Symmes Purchase) and the Twelve-Mile-Square Reserve, started in 1805, in which the townships are numbered 1,2,3 and 4 and there is no range number. 

INLAND WATERS - Such waters as canals, lakes, rivers, watercourses, inlets and bays, exclusive of the open sea, though the water in question may open or empty into the ocean. 

IN PRAESENTI - At the present time. The Swamp Lands Act of 1850 is an example of a grant taking effect in praesenti, that is, on the date of the passage of the act. 

INSTRUMENT - An angle measuring device such as a compass, transit or theodolite. See INSTRUMENT, LEGAL. 

INSTRUMENT, LEGAL - A written document. A formal or legal document in writing, such as a contract, deed, lease, will, bond or other writing of a formal or solemn character, such as a document given as a means of affording evidence. See DOCUMENT. 

INTEREST - As applied to lands, "interest" means any direct or indirect ownership in whole or in part of the lands and resources of the lands. It includes any participation in the earnings therefrom, or the right to occupy or use the property or to take any benefits therefrom based upon lease or rental agreements, or upon any formal of informal contract with a person who has such an interest. It includes membership in a firm, or ownership of stock or other securities in a corporation which has such an interest. 


INTERIOR DECISIONS - Decisions of the Department of the Interior. Prior to 1932 these decisions were called "Land Decisions" and included volumes 1 thru 52. Since 1932 they have been published and referred to as "Interior Decisions," and are cited thus: 60 I.D. 85. See LAND DECISIONS and BOARD OF LAND APPEALS. 

INTERNAL IMPROVEMENT GRANT - A grant made to aid in the construction of roads, canals, railroads, or for other public improvements. 

INTERPRETATION OF PLAT - Deductions which are based on symbols, bearings, areas and dates of approval shown on plats and which are used to determine the probable intention when information is missing or ambiguous, or when data shown on various plats needs clarification. See PROTECT THE PLAT. 

INTERROGATORIES - A set or series of questions drawn up in writing for the purpose of being propounded to a party in equity, a garnishee, or a witness whose testimony is taken on deposition. In taking evidence on depositions, the interrogatories are usually prepared and settled by counsel, and reduced to writing prior to the examination. See DEPOSITION. 

INTERSECTION - 1) The method of establishing the legal center of section and the centers of the various quarter sections. 2) The point at which a survey line passes through an object, such as a tree. 3) The point of crossing of two or more survey lines with each other, usually a junior line crossing a senior line. 4) The legal point of closing where a junior line closes on a senior (fixed) line. 5) The confluence of two or more streams of water. 6) The cutting or crossing in any combination of straight lines, curves, or semitangents to curves. 7) Area where two streets or roads intersect, generally including the space enclosed by the right-of-way lines as extended plus any transition curved boundaries. See LINE TREE, JUNIOR LINE, SENIOR LINE, INTERSECTION* AND CONFLUENCE*. 

INTESTATE - Without making a will. A person is said to die "intestate" when he dies without leaving a valid will to testify what his wishes were with respect to the disposal of his property after his death. The word is also used to signify the person himself, as "the intestate's property." 

INTRALIMITAL RIGHTS - In mining, rights extending downward within the limits of the claim to center of the earth. All surface rights and everything within the limits of his intralimital rights, except the extralateral rights attached to other veins apexing in another's claim, belong to the owner of the claim. There are no rights to explore in another's land or to approach the vein from any location other than the vein itself. If veins intersect, all the ore within the intersection belongs to the senior claimant, but a right of way through the intersection is assured. See EXTRALATERAL RIGHTS. 

INURE - To take effect; to result. Provide service to the use or benefit of a person. 

INVESTIGATIVE SURVEY - A preliminary survey made to determine the physical condition of existing Cadastral Survey evidence. 

IPSO FACTO - By the mere fact itself. 

IPSO JURE - By the law itself; by the mere operation of the law. 

IRON POST - The iron post adopted by BLM for monumenting the surveys of the public lands evolved after passage of the 1908 act which provided for the purchase of the 1908 act which provided for the purchase of metal monuments to be used for public-land survey corners wherever practicable. Specifications for the brass-capped survey marker call for zinc-coated pipe cut to 30-inch lengths. One end of the pipe is split and the two halves are spread to form flanges. The dimension from the top of the pipe to the top of the brass cap is from 1/4 to 1/2 inch. The measurement from tip to tip of the flanges is specified at 41/2 inches. The measurement from the foot of the flange to the top of the marker is 28 inches, more or less. The inside diameter of the pipe is 2 inches. The weight is approximately 9 pounds. The words "U.S. DEPT. OF THE INTERIOR BUR. OF LAND MANAGEMENT - UNLAWFUL TO DISTRUB - CADASTRAL SURVEY" and (at least for the next several years), the numerals "19," are cast into the brass cap. 

IRREGULAR - As applied to units of the rectangular system, exceeding the rectangular limits. 

IRREGULAR BOUNDARY - Township or section lines not originally established as straight lines or which a retracement reveals as not having been surveyed as a straight line. See IRREGULAR BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENT. 

IRREGULAR BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENT - A modified form of single proportionate measurement used in restoring some lost corners. Sometimes considered as a Broken Boundary Adjustment. See IRREGULAR BOUNDARY, BROKEN BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENT and ADJUSTMENT*. 

IRREGULAR SECTION - A section having two or more adjacent boundaries, as returned on the original survey, that are not within 0º 21' of cardinal or exceed 25 links from 40 chains in measurement. 

ISLAND - A body of land extending above and completely surrounded by water at ordinary high water. See ORDINARY HIGH WATER and ISLAND*. 

ISOLATED TRACT - a parcel of vacant public lands, not exceeding *1,520 acres, which is surrounded by appropriated lands. 

Source:  Glossary of Cadastral Surveying Terms, 1980,  Bureau of Land Management, U. S. Department of the Interior 
                 * = consult separate BLM Glossary of Mapping Terms, not included herein.

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