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. National cadastral data standards include the ability to combine or aggregate information on an as needed basis from multiple authoritative sources and providing data in a standardized form.

To simplify this site all standards information is on this page, but it will require scrolling. If you had access to a document in other versions of this site and cannot find it, please contact us.

Subcommittee Cadastral Standards

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 all of the 30 Public Domain states. 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 to data are in the PLSS Data Availability document

Cadastral Metadata

Cadastral Publication Metadata Guidelines
These are guidelines for metadata information that should be considered for publishing cadastral data sets.

FGDC Essential Metadata
The following is a set of recommended metadata elements that can be used to as a boilerplate for the development of organizational metadata and templates.

PLSS Decision Document on Metadata
There will be on metadata across all of the records and this is a national template for BLM metadata records for the PLSS

Cadastral Data Content and Implementation Standards

Cadastral Data Content Standard ver 1.4
In 1996 the FGDC approved the first version of the Cadastral Data Content Standard. This is the current version of that content standard (same document as linked above).

CADNSDI Publication Standard Version 2
This is a zip file containing the implementation guidelines for PLSS and Parcel data that conforms to the current FGDC cadastral data content standards.(same document as linked above).

CadNSDI Domains of Values
These are domains of values for the standardized attributes in the PLSS CadNSDI Publication Standard Version 2.

BLM PLSS Point Identification Standard
This is a standard developed to support BLM PLSS corner collection activities and is used in the BLM sourced standardized PLSS data.

The multi state database description is a zip file contains the field descriptions and a sample geodatabase for control points used to support PLSS and other cadastral data updates.

Education and Training

The BLM and Esri have developed supporting materials to assist with the deployment of PLSS maintenance using the Esri parcel editing solution. In addition to the core software help and core product training there are some materials that will assist with PLSS specific tasks.The PLSS editing is fully supported through the Esri Help Desk.

PLSS Story Map
story map provides an overview of the PLSS and its components. If you are not familiar with the rectangular and non-rectangular PLSS this will provide examples and an overview