Office of Land Surveys

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In support of delivering capital projects on our State Highway system, the Office of Land Surveys provides management and coordination of the California Department of Transportation's Surveys function. The Office of Land Surveys manages the California Department of Transportation's major surveying equipment inventory, develops and procures cost-effective, new-technology surveying systems, and maintains surveying standards and procedures that foster quality surveying projects.

Right of Way Maps & Survey Records

Right of Way Maps, including Appraisal and Record Maps, are available in each district. These maps depict land acquisitions for transportation facility projects. District Surveys also maintains survey project information including survey control and associated mapping.

Right of Way (R/W) Engineering

R/W Engineering represents the boundary determination phase of the Surveys function. They are responsible for the preparation of maps, documents and legal descriptions for the acquisition and disposal of rights of way, and prepares, maintains and updates record maps of the right of way and other Caltrans properties.

  • Plans Preparation Manual
    Section 4 of the Plans Preparation Manual establishes uniform standards and procedures to use when preparing R/W Engineering mapping for all state transportation projects involving Caltrans.

  • Metric Guidelines
    Between 1993 and 2006, Caltrans had policies in place to adopt and use the metric system (see Deputy Directive DD-12-R1. Projects using the metric system must have prior approval from the Division of Design. The samples referred to in the Metric Guidelines are limited only to the Appraisal and Record Maps. Contact the local District R/W Engineering office for copies.
  • R/W Manual
    Chapter 6 of the R/W Manual establishes policies, procedures, and information for the R/W Engineering function. Districts may have a defined procedure to perform essential tasks associated with a Survey function. Any agency or contractor working with a District is responsible for following current local District procedures, as long as they do not conflict with those addressed in the R/W Manual or Surveys Manual.

Caltrans Surveys Manual

The Caltrans Surveys Manual contains policies, methodologies, and procedures for the California Department of Transportation Surveys function.

Staking Information - Chapter 12 of the Caltrans Surveys Manual

Chapter 12, Construction Surveys of the Surveys Manual, provides information regarding typical construction staking performed by the California Department of Transportation (State) – the types of stakes furnished, their density, placement, and markings.

Caltrans Topo Code Book

The Topo Code Book lists the numerous topo codes used by the Departments' Survey Crews to properly code data shots. This file can be printed and folded to make a small hand pamphlet for daily use by a crew.

Standard Plans and Specifications

The 2015 Standard Plans and Specifications are applicable to all Caltrans construction contracts. Changes to the Specifications are published as Revised Standard Specifications, which can be downloaded as the "RSS" file on the Construction Contract Standards website. References to Construction Surveys and monumentation can be found in Sections 5-1.26, 5-1.36E, and 78-2 of the Specifications. The Standard Plan A74 is for Survey Monuments. As with the Specifications, the 2015 Revised Standard Plans are also available on the Construction Contract Standards website.

Statewide Alerts and Other Information