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Definitions
The following are some of the most common definitions used in land surveying.
General
Adjoiner A parcel of land very near or butting up against your parcel of land
Abutter A parcel of land directly in contact with your parcel of land with no space inbetween,
Lot A parcel of land that has passed through a legal subdivision process created by the state and the local jurisdiction
Parcel A generic term for a piece of land
Tract A generic term for a piece of land that sometimes has a legal definition that makes it something other than a lot,
but still having many of the legal characteristics of a lot.
Abutter A parcel of land directly in contact with your parcel of land with no space inbetween,
Lot A parcel of land that has passed through a legal subdivision process created by the state and the local jurisdiction
Parcel A generic term for a piece of land
Tract A generic term for a piece of land that sometimes has a legal definition that makes it something other than a lot,
but still having many of the legal characteristics of a lot.
Area
Acre (ac.) An area of land = 43,560 square feet = 10 square chains (i.e. 1 chain x 10 chains) = about 208.71 feet x 208.71 feet
Distance
Feet (‘, ft.) Depending on where you are, the length of a foot may change. U.S. Feet (most common) and International Feet
(occasionally called for) are the most common in the U.S.
Chain (ch., chn.) A full chain = 66 feet = 100 links = 4 rods
A half chain = 33 feet = 50 links = 2 rods
Beware that occasionally a half chain is erroneously referred to as a ‘full chain’, or simply a ‘chain’
Rod 16.5 feet = 1/4 chain = 25 links
(occasionally called for) are the most common in the U.S.
Chain (ch., chn.) A full chain = 66 feet = 100 links = 4 rods
A half chain = 33 feet = 50 links = 2 rods
Beware that occasionally a half chain is erroneously referred to as a ‘full chain’, or simply a ‘chain’
Rod 16.5 feet = 1/4 chain = 25 links
Curves
Radius (R) The distance from the center point of a curve to the arc of a curve.
Arc (A) Arc length. The distance along a curve.  Imagine you are walking along a curved sidewalk. the ditance you walk on the
sidewalk is the arc length. I you were to take the shortcut across the grass, the distance will be shorter and that shorter
distance is the chord length.  Easily confused with chord length.
Chord Bearing The direction from one end of a curve to the other end of a curve.
(chord, ch)
Chord Length The straightline distance from one end of a curve to the other end of a curve. Often confused with arc length.
(len., ch. len., ch)
Delta (∆) The angular change along a curve, from the beginning of the curve to the end of a curve. It is based on using the radius
point of the curve as the reference point.
Delta = 2 x tangent
Length Arc length. The length of a curve along the arc. It is always longer than the
(L, Len.) chord length. Easily confused with arc length.
Tangent A line that perfectly transitions to a curve. This means that at the point where
(T, tan.) the arc transitions to a straight line (the tangent line), the tangent line is 90° (at a right angle) to the line drawn to the
radius point.
A measurement of the deflection (change in angle) from the tangent line coming into a curve to the endpoint of the
tangent line leaving a curve.
Tangent = 1/2 delta
Arc (A) Arc length. The distance along a curve.  Imagine you are walking along a curved sidewalk. the ditance you walk on the
sidewalk is the arc length. I you were to take the shortcut across the grass, the distance will be shorter and that shorter
distance is the chord length.  Easily confused with chord length.
Chord Bearing The direction from one end of a curve to the other end of a curve.
(chord, ch)
Chord Length The straightline distance from one end of a curve to the other end of a curve. Often confused with arc length.
(len., ch. len., ch)
Delta (∆) The angular change along a curve, from the beginning of the curve to the end of a curve. It is based on using the radius
point of the curve as the reference point.
Delta = 2 x tangent
Length Arc length. The length of a curve along the arc. It is always longer than the
(L, Len.) chord length. Easily confused with arc length.
Tangent A line that perfectly transitions to a curve. This means that at the point where
(T, tan.) the arc transitions to a straight line (the tangent line), the tangent line is 90° (at a right angle) to the line drawn to the
radius point.
A measurement of the deflection (change in angle) from the tangent line coming into a curve to the endpoint of the
tangent line leaving a curve.
Tangent = 1/2 delta