David F. Gallagher of the fine photo blog lightningfield.com had a link last week to an older version of his site, with what he called "a never-ending hell of useless splash pages", actually a series of lovely photos. One of them showed a witness post.
A ... what?
So I sent him an email, asking what a witness post was, to which he replied: "Witness posts are used to find (relocate) significant cadastral points. Without witness posts, very few cadastral points would ever be found. (http://www.nps.gov/focl/garnett.htm)"
Oh, right, cadastral points ... cada-what?
I had no idea what cadastral meant either. Looking at the linked page made it clear it has to do with land surveys, and Webster's says it means
1 : of or relating to a cadastre
2 : showing or recording property boundaries, subdivision lines, buildings, and related details.
Actually, I should have been able to figure this out. A cadastre in German is a Kataster. Not too far away, word-wise ... anyway, cool, all the things you learn online.