My land is almost paid off, and almost a year ahead of what I expected!
I've been researching all this time; and when I bought the land, I didn't even know what permaculture was! I realize now that there are some difficulties with my land; but I'm sure there are for all properties.
I'm in Northern Maine, on a North-facing slope. Yeah, I know.
It DOES get a fairly decent amount of sunlight; but I know that I'll have to be very smart in utilizing that sun if I am to succeed in our food forest/silvo/aqua/pasturing dream to get self-sustaining.
It's 15 acres, in USDA zone 4. I currently live in Philadelphia, PA; about 600 miles South; supporting a family while running the rat race. My big plans must be made on paper, or computer, because it's costly to commute up before the transition.
All I have is the realtor's(?) survey of the land, and I've tried to trace out an approximation of it on Google Earth. I just know it's not accurate, and I really need to start planning the earthworks/function stacking with some accuracy.
How can I use the plot layout from the realtor to ACCURATELY start my plan of the land? (Or, what SHOULD I be using to start my plan?)
Thanks a lot for your help. This is where things should start really moving! Thank you!
Are you going to be in Lot 1? I think the realtor's elevation map is probably the best to go off of for now, though it may be useful to see if other sources match up. The ideal would be to actually map the contours yourself. A nice way to balance it would be to first make a plan with the info you find online and with the realtor, then when you are actually on the land, you can fine tune and correct the plan.
Here are some resources you can check out:
Weather: Weather Underground is useful for just about everything weather related. Lots of data.
RSS Weather is good for getting nice climate graphs to look at.
If you enjoy visuals, Weather Spark has the temperature, wind directions, daylight/nighttime hours, and more information organized in pretty graphs. When you do a search, be sure to check the "Averages" selection to get the graphs. You can get the graphs from dashboard view, just have to get used to their interface.
Soil: The WEb Soil Survey contains a lot of information about soil types in the USA.
Contour/Elevation: National Map Viewer is a good resource for people in the USA to check the contours of their land.
Sun: The Sun Position Calculator is a good place to start to see where the sun will come from and how it will travel across the sky. It also provides solar declination information, too. Sun Calc is another nice website that does the same thing. The Solar Electricity Handbook has good info for designing the angle of solar panels. If you want to visit the site to get the info, a clinometer may be useful.
I realize that my question wasn't as clear as I had thought, though.
The crux of my problem is that I don't understand where the individual corners of my land are located on a map.
On the survey map, all of the coordinates printed near the corner points are on some coordinate system that I don't understand. For instance, the top border says, "S 89 00 38 E 801'" --Now I understand the 801' part; but I don't know what to do with those coordinates. GPS reads from North, not South, and I tried figuring what that would be by North-reckoning, but failed.
There's the North-Easternmost corner that looks like the datum point for reference for all the others, since it's all zeros, but I don't know how I can locate just that one point on a map.
Location: Missoula, MT US Hardy:5a Annual Precipitation: 15" Wind:4.2mph Temperature:18-87F
Have you asked the realtor how to interpret the map? I checked a Find My Latitude and Longitude Map and Philadelphia, PA is at about 39.879971 degrees North and -75.113525 degrees East. I do not understand what South 89 00 or the East 801 part mean. Can you explain what the E 801 part means? Maybe that will help with the other part. is there a point of reference?