This brief overview of the Public Land Survey System and related topics is meant to provide you with general background information on the PLSS which should be useful while working with cadastral information in GIS applications. Clearly, each of the topics touched on could be investigated in much greater detail, beginning with the references noted below. In addition, thanks to Bob Dahl of the Bureau Of Land Management for comments and insights on these topics.
Sources And Further Reading
A History Of The Rectangular Survey System, U.S. Government Printing Office, C. Albert White, 1983.
Basic Geodesy, Student Pamphlet, Defense Mapping School, Fort Belvoia, Virginia, 1977.
Geodetic Aspects of Land Boundaries and The PLSS Datum In a Cadastral Computation System, Jerry L. Wahl, Bureau of Land Management, and Raymond J. Hintz and Blair Parker, University of Maine.
Glossaries of BLM Surveying and Mapping Terms, Cadastral Survey Training Staff, U.S. Department Of The Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Second Edition, 1980.
Initial Points of the Rectangular Survey System, Professional Land Surveyors of Colorado, Inc., C. Albert White, 1996.
Land Tenure in the United States – Development and Status, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 338.
Land Interests, Earl F. Epstein and Patricia M. Brown, in MPLIS: The Guidebook, June 1990.
Manual of Instructions for the Survey of the Public Lands of the United States 1973, U.S. Government Printing Office, BLM Technical Bulletin 6.
Property Boundaries, Patricia M. Brown, in MPLIS: The Guidebook, June 1990.
The Public Land Survey System, Gary Speight and Jon Abrams, in MPLIS: The Guidebook, June 1990.
Specifications for Descriptions of Tracts of Land for Use in Land Orders and Proclamations, U.S. Government Printing Office, BLM Cadastral Survey 1979.
Surveys and Surveyors Of The Public Domain 1785 – 1975, Lola Cazier, U.S. Government Printing Office, Stock Number 024-011-00083-6.
Also, for more on geodesy, you can begin by looking at
the following web sites:
Also, for more on the PLSS, you can begin by looking
at the following web site and its links:
This concludes the sections on How the PLSS Works, and also concludes Part One - Overview of the PLSS
Continue to Part Two - Cadastral Information
Return to How The PLSS Works main page
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