The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) is a rectangular survey system. It is called a rectangular system because wherever practicable the units are in rectangular form. The rectangular survey system divides land into townships and ranges. A regular township is six miles on a side bounded on the North and South by township lines, and the East and West by range lines. The township is divided into thirty-six sections, each one mile on a side, comprising about 640 acres, which was the basic unit under the Land Ordinance Act of 1785. No township or section is mathematically perfect for various reasons, including the fact that the earth's surface is not flat.
|The Geographic Coordinate Data Base (GCDB) is the digital coordinate-based representation of the Public Land Survey. The GCDB is where GIS and the Public Land Survey meet. For more on the GCDB, see Part Three.|
Use the links below to learn more about the PLSS.
Metes And Bounds Surveys, and Lots
Return to Part One main page
Table Of Contents - Cadastral Information For GIS Specialists
Links to the other Cadastral Courses:
Learning The Cadastral Data Content Standard
County Recorders And The Cadastral Data Content Standard
Surveyors And The Cadastral Data Content Standard
Presented by the United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management, and
the Federal Geographic Data Committee Cadastral Subcommittee