I helped a local historical society by getting approximate Property or Parcel boundaries onto their Garmin GPS. Imagine that the last time the property and parcels were surveyed in the early 1800’s and you wanted the boundaries onto your GPS so that you can get an idea of the area before you get a professional to come in and update the survey data.
We could use an image overlay but that would not be very accurate. One thing that we did have are the parcel ID from the local land registry. So we can leverage the free data from our local government and create an area or polygon to display on our GPS.
This would be very similar if you were calculating the area of a property using a GPS but in this case we are not sure of the boundaries and want an approximate area.
Luckily, I checked both my local and nearby jurisdictions and found that the odds of finding free GIS resources is pretty good. Bare in mind, this is approximate info.
Most Land Registry Has GIS Data For Free
What we ended up doing is seeing on the map the parcel boundary and we extracted GPS coordinates of each corner of the property box. In my situation, I had to manually do this, but depending on where you are you might be able to download for free.
Once you have all the waypoints collected, you can then move to your mapping program of choice like Garmin Basecamp or GaiaGPS since I can do this on either a tablet, smartphone or desktop. I used the app to manually enter the coordinates and then created an area on the desktop where each point was at each of the saved waypoints.
Then once the areas were created, I exported it as a GPX file and either copied it to a SD card or imported in into Garmin Explore to later sync to my device.
Last thing once the files are on the GPS is to go into your saved tracks or track manager and toggle their visibility so that they are visible on the map. Now you are ready to walk around the property and view on the GPS the boundaries.