The land survey plat includes a scale drawing of the boundaries of a parcel of land, which is compiled by a series of exact and precise linear and angular measurements taken from a known point of origin developed by mathematical principals of surveying. The purpose of the land survey plat is to determine, locate and or restore real property boundaries. The land survey plat will also indicate any conflicting boundary evidence and any recorded and/or apparent rights-of-way or easements.

The improvement survey plat is comprised of the same precise information as is the land survey plat mentioned above, and in addition indicates the location of all structures (improvements) on the parcel of land. The improvement survey plat also shows visible encroachments and any fences, hedges, or walls on or within two feet of both sides of all boundaries. The improvement survey plat details all visible above-ground utilities, and all underground utilities for which there is visible surface evidence.

An improvement location certificate (ILC) is another method of describing and approximately locating property, and is often required by lenders and insurance companies. it offers certain reasonable insurances regarding potential boundary or encroachment problems that may affect their interest. It also illustrates the location of improvements and conditions of the property. However it is based on assumptions regarding boundary location and in not a precise survey.

An ILC is:

  1. a representation of boundaries and improvements based on a surveyor's general knowledge in a given area
  2. a depiction of the property boundaries showing the size and shape of a parcel which is based on the legal description provided in the warranty deed
  3. a document signed and sealed by a professional land surveyor who has certain professional responsibilities for its accuracy
  4. a representation of the location of improvements, encroachments and easements based on their relationship to a reasonable estimate of the location of property lines
An ILC is not:
  1. a survey
  2. evidence of exact boundary location
  3. a precise property corner locator
  4. to be legally relied upon for locations or property lines or future improvements