Tuesday Term of the Week | Boundary Monument

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A permanent physical object that marks an accurately surveyed point location is known as a boundary monument.  It is usually found on or near a geographic boundary and is also known as a boundary marker.  Put simply, it is an object that marks a reference point from which an area of land, from a small individual homeowner’s parcel to a vast international boundary, can be accurately located.  Accurate boundaries are of the utmost importance in mapping; people depend on it.  It can inform someone if the tree they are cutting down, or garage they are building is actually on their property.  In the case of building a fence or modifying a structure, it also informs zoning officials as to whether lot-line setbacks or other physical requirements have been properly followed.

Boundary monuments date back thousands of years, and have obviously evolved many different times in that period.  A common material for them in ancient times was the most solid of items: stones, which were usually piled up into mounds to mark the location. In the modern age, boundaries may be marked by small stone or concrete pillars, rebar, or metal pipes, firmly anchored to the ground. Boundary marker points can also be stored in a digital manner on a computerized map, signified as pairs of x,y coordinates.