Cadastral Data Standards and Guidelines

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Cadastral Survey program has been assigned the lead responsibility for facilitating the cadastral component of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) (OMB Circular A-16). The NSDI includes the level of cadastral data that is needed to support activities across government and private industry and reduce or eliminate redundant data collection across organizations. The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) ( Subcommittee for Cadastral Data (the Subcommittee) re-articulated the characteristics of the Cadastral NSDI at the October 2003 meeting in Portland Oregon. Guidance for FGDC Data Standards - 2004. The characteristics in this document include the ability to combine or aggregate information on an as needed basis from multiple authoritative sources, sustaining metadata, currency, and providing data in a standardized form.

The Subcommittee has made significant progress on developing standards and guidelines for cadastral data.

See links under More on Cadastral Standards on the right for
implementation efforts, metadata, and related standards including states and others.

In 1996 the FGDC approved the first version of the Cadastral Data Content Standard. This is FGDC Standard 003 and it has been revised several times. (
Cadastral Data Content Standard ver 1.4 ). This content standard reflects the definition and relationships of cadastral elements that need to be considered in the collection and publication of cadastral data.

Recognizing that local jurisdictions are often the authoritative source for cadastral data, the Subcommittee acknowledged that there are three commonly used types or levels of cadastral data, production, which is the day-to-day operation and maintenance data sets, publication, which is the data assembled for distribution and access, and project or business focused, which is a specifically defined set of cadastral data to support a current or ongoing project. These three types of cadastral sets are described in this document. (
Parcel Data: Production, Publication and Project Data)

Focusing on publication data standards, which were deemed to be the most important for fostering coordination and NSDI data sets, in 1995 the Subcommittee began defining a set of core publication data that contained cadastral reference information, the data need to support the definition and construction of parcels, and parcel level core data. A Reference Document that lays out the background on the cadastral core data. (
Cadastral NSDI Reference Document)

Concurrent with these efforts the Subcommittee also defined what compliance with the publication standard means. The subcommittees proposed guidance on Cadastral Publication Data Compliance is found in this document. (
Compliance with Cadastral Publication Standards)

The most recent version of the Cadastral Publication Standards (CadNSDI) is version 2 and a zipped file with the data set definitions, a schema for building a geodatabase and the definitions can be found at this link. (
CADNSDI Publication Standard Version 2)

A handbook for GIS users of the CadNSDI Publication data set can be found at this link (
CadNSDI PLSS Handbook) this material reflects the content of the Version 1 formats and is currently being updated to support the version 2 formats, but the basic content of the publication data has not changed between version 1 and 2 and the handbook is valuable resource for GIS users.

BLM Cadastral Survey, the FGDC Cadastral Subcommittee, Premier Data Services, and Fairview Industries, have teamed over the past four years to complete the standardized PLSS data for nearly all of the 30 Public Domain states. Oklahoma is the only state waiting to be completed and it is in process. These data sets represent about 40 million parcels that provide the basis for parcel mapping, land governance decisions, and navigation of cadastral data in Public Domain states. Links are in the PLSS Data Availability document