Map and Mapping Tips and Tricks
LANDCRAWLER strives to offer the land buyer (and landowner) the most comprehensive web presentation possible. Aerial and "reality" ground video tours, tons of pictures, detailed descriptions, and yes - one of the most important visuals to the land buyer - interactive boundary maps.
So what can you do with LANDCRAWLER Maps? Quick summary - while viewing the subject property's boundary lines, you can view multiple Aerial Layers, Topo, 3D, and Street views.
You can use the measurement tools to estimate the size of lakes, pastures, woods or the distance from point A to point B (how far is the cabin from the road?)
A few basics to consider when you are viewing our maps...
1. There are multiple mapping origination sources under consideration when LANDCRAWLER draws the map you see on the web page. It is my experience that none of these original maps will be completely precise!
2. Online county tax maps, which will most often provide "source" information for the map, are often incorrect. This is not to blame the county governments or the software providers - it's beyond the scope of this tutorial but PLSS adjustments, boundary changes on the ground, curvature of the earth, etc. are involved here... BTW - do not count on the "acreage" shown on the county tax map or on associated documents to necessarily be what's on the ground. The county will often show deeded acres (which may not have been surveyed) and/or show an acreage amount based on estimates of their GIS mapping software. The only way to get accurate acreage of a tract of land will be to obtain a modern survey with a competent surveyor. Even with this, 3 competent surveyors could come up with 3 different acreage amounts. One thing I've learned from the land business over 15 years - previous landowners may not have worried about a foot or 2 (or more) off on a line and there are many situations where the owners or neighbors may have fences, etc. that are not going to be right on the line. Bottom line - when buying rural acreage you may need to relax precise expectations in terms of boundary lines and acreages!
3. These are estimated maps drawn by the LANDCRAWLER... Considering all of the above, please do not expect 100% accuracy when you view a property map on LANDCRAWLER.COM (or for that matter, on most any map on the web!). Now, let's get on with LANDCRAWLER's mapping and how to make the most of it!
Unless you are proficient viewing multiple web pages at the same time on your device screen, you may find it beneficial to print out this tutorial. You may be able to "right click" while on the web page for a print option or look for 3 dots (usually aligned vertically) near the top of your web browser for a print option.
Also - there are Help icons and Tutorials on the map - if you are proficient in using online mapping tools it may not be necessary for you to read this Tutorial!
LANDCRAWLER Mapping Basics
First, you may find it beneficial to click on the "View Full screen" button in the upper left section of the map. Then click "Go to Map". Note that full screen mode opens up another web browser tab, so when you are finished with the full screen map, you can click the X (usually in the upper right corner) of the browser tab for the map and it will close. You should then go back to the property web page with all the property details.
Let's get started in the upper right hand side of the map...
Non 3D or "Standard" maps...
- In the upper right hand corner, click on "Base Layers" - you will have a menu and can select various aerial maps, topo, or street views with property boundaries.
- The Topo map can be one of the most important maps for the land buyer. There will generally be 20' of elevation change between each line you see on the map. So, where the lines are closer together, it's steeper land, where the lines are further apart, it's less steep land.
- Bottom right of the map you will find a 3D button - Click this to get a 3D view of the subject property. In 3D mode, you will notice a Compass / Gyroscope feature where you can manipulate / rotate the map. Note you can also Zoom In and Zoom Out while in 3D mode.
- You can rotate the map by the clicking the outer ring of the compass with a mouse button and dragging; click the inner gyroscope and dragging for tilting or "free orbit" movement.
- To leave 3D mode click the now green 3D button and you will return to the "Standard" map view.
Using Touch Screens
- To perform these same functions on a touch screen, use a one finger drag to pan the map in any direction; place 2 fingertips apart and away from the subject property and move them towards each other to Zoom Out, place 2 fingertips near (or on) the subject property and move them away from each other to Zoom In.
- Place 2 fingers apart and move in the same direction to tilt the map, use 2 fingers apart moving in opposite directions to rotate the map.
General Movement Tips...
- While viewing the maps, click on the (-) symbol to Zoom Out on the map. If you are on a touch screen device, place 2 fingertips apart and away from the subject property and move them towards each other to Zoom Out. This is helpful in seeing the surrounding area, nearby cities, and serves as a "General Locator."
- Click on the (+) symbol to Zoom In on the map. If you are on a touch screen device, place 2 fingertips near (or on) the subject property and move them away from each other to Zoom In. This is helpful to close in on food plots, buildings, other features of the property.
- You can always click the "Bracket Icon" below the minus (-) symbol to reset the map to it's original position.
- You will note when features are active the icon or button show in Green,
- Above the "Zoom In" + sign, you will find 2 measurement tools.
- The first is distance measurement tool. Do you need to estimate the amount of creek flow on a property? How about the distance of the back 40 cabin from the road? Click the Ruler Icon, click your starting point on the map, double-click the ending point. Your line measurement will be shown in feet and miles.
- The second is a polygon tool that allows you to draw a shape on the map and obtain instant area measurements in acres. For example, if you wanted to estimate the size of a pasture, wooded area, or a lake you could use this tool to do so... Click the polygon button to start, click points on the map to draw the area of interest, double click at any point to complete the shape and obtain acreage. Note that you can draw multiple shapes on the map and their acreages will display next to the drawing tool icon.
Note that both Measurement tools will retain your drawings. Remove a temporary drawing from your map by clicking the small blue icon next to the measurement display (you will notice a line drawn thru the Icon); to remove the Distance or Area box just click the X in the upper corner of the box. Click the Bracket icon below the Minus sign (-) to return to the original map.
You are not necessarily locked in to LANDCRAWLER related properties! You can move the map to virtually any location and use these tools! Remember - you can always click the Bracket icon to return to the subject property.
If I can assist you in a land / farm / ranch purchase, give me a call on (770) 424-5800
Don Ellers, Associate Broker, Southeastern Land Group, Land-Farm-Ranch Agent, Accredited Land Consultant, Realtors Land Institute
Owner, West Fork Farm, Horns Valley, Clay County, Alabama