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The Value of a Good Map

April 8, 2020
  • Facts & Insights
  • Tips For Buying
  • Tips For Selling

Article written by Wyoming Sales Associate Kirby Berger

There are several things that can add value to a ranch or property.  Some are obvious and expensive, like a house or other improvements, but there are many other things that add value at a much smaller cost.


Having a good ranch map can add value to any ranch, farm, or hunting property.

Good maps help us with grazing plans, fencing projects, giving directions, and keeping guests inside the property lines!   In my experience of creating and using ranch maps, my Return On Investment (ROI) came mostly in the form of time saved and peace of mind.  For example, I went through a season of high turnover of employees on my family’s ranch where I was working.  I can’t begin to quantify the amount of time I spent sketching on the back of envelopes, reminding people of pasture names and ultimately having to redo work that was done wrong because no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t describe well enough a sagebrush ridge that was surrounded by five other sagebrush ridges!

Then, I spent some time and made some simple but good maps with satellite imagery and colored markings for fences, roads, property boundaries, and even irrigation water.  I gave this to my next employee and the results were amazing!  He spent time on his own looking at the land, memorizing pasture names and gates, and my time spent agonizing over how to describe what a certain rock pile looked like next to a fork in a two-track road went down considerably!


Maps are not just for employees

Maps are not just for employees, but for anyone that needs to know and understand the lay of the land quickly   ̶ hunters, fishermen, guests, family, lessees, etc.  Hunters are a great example.  They usually only want to know two things:  Where they can hunt, and how to get there!  Simple maps with roads and property boundaries will help your hunters be more successful and keep them out of trouble.


Another group of people who need to know and understand the land quickly are land buyers.

Any buyer who considers purchasing land will want to see a map of the property to gain an understanding of what they are considering buying.  At Swan Land Company, our agents have spent countless hours mapping properties.  This experience has allowed us to recognize which mapping programs are the most effective, and which features are most valuable to landowners. If property mapping is something that you feel would add value to your agriculture or recreational property, contact one of our agents and we would be happy to help.


Maps are a great tool or system to have.

Once completed, maps are something that you can continue to use for your operation, and at some point, if you wish to sell, will, or lease your property, they will be useful during the transition, and will likely add value to the new interested landholder.