Cadastral Subcommittee Projects

The Cadastral Subcommittee Projects, or work groups, are identified business drivers or applications that can benefit from the use of cadastral data. The work groups have completed their work and this page presents the reports and results. Reviewing this will require some scrolling. Background documents are found on the Reference Documents page.

PLSS Work Group
This work group worked with federal, state, and private sector representatives to define the content of standardized PLSS data sets.

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. All data is downloadable from links in the 
PLSS Data Availability document.

PLSS Tools
There are many GIS tools available for managing PLSS data in GIS. The BLM has developed a set of tools for publishing standardized data sets from the parcel fabric. In addition the Esri local government solutions page has supported tools and examples for the PLSS and parcel data at the local government solutions site

PLSS Stewardship
The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) is a cadastral reference data theme that provides a basis for legal descriptions and mapping the rights and interests in land. The PLSS is maintained by two authorities (1) federal authority and (2) state authority. On federally managed lands the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is the legally identified PLSS authority. On all lands without a federal right or interest the PLSS is under state authority or the state delegated authority. The Manual of Survey Instruction, 2009, defines survey procedures and provides definition to the PLSS nationwide.

PLSS Change Management
This document provides guidance on the policies and procedures for managing change and updates to Public Land Survey System Cadastral National Spatial Data Infrastructure (PLSS CadNSDI) data sets. This document is focused on state management of the PLSS but may be applicable to any agency maintaining PLSS or cadastral reference data sets.

US Rights Work Group
This work group reviewed the information required to manage the status and history of the rights in land on federal lands.

Rights and Interest Summary
The US Rights, Authorizations, and Restrictions Working Group is focused on describing the attributes, domains of values, features, and spatial extent of US Rights, Authorizations, and Restrictions for properties that have an interest held or managed by the federal government.

Final Report of the Working Group
This is the final report of the US Rights Working Group recommending an optimum solution for a consistently maintained and authoritative US rights data set would focus on the BLM’s federal lands data systems and encourage all federal agencies to report acquisitions and holdings to this system.

BLM Surface Management Agency Discussion
This "Surface Management Agency" (SMA) GIS data layer depicts federal land for the United States and classifies these holdings by the active federal managing agency. Federal 
surface land management agency means a Federal Agency having administrative jurisdiction over the surface of Federal lands.

Oregon Land Status Demonstration Powerpoint
This is a powerpoint on the Oregon Land Records System presented at the Dec 10 Meeting.

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Powerpoint
This is a powerpoint on the EBCI Land GIS System presented at the Jan 26 Meeting.

Tribal Data Sovereignty Story Map
This story map describes the data management and privacy issues impacting tribal data along with a Tribal Lands and reservation history.

Wildland Fire Workgroup
The FGDC Cadastral Subcommittee involvement with the wildland fire community began in 2005. This multi-disciplinary group had a wide range of experiences and expertise with the business operations of wildland fire planning, response, and recovery as well as knowledge of cadastral information and its potential uses in emergencies.

Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico, Story Map
The Santa Clara Pueblo is located in northern New Mexico and includes 90 square miles of tribal lands. Over the past 20-years, three large wildfires have impacted more than 90% of Santa Clara forests. This Story Map describes some of the mitigation and recovery efforts.

Parcel Data and Wildland Fire - Needs Assessment 2005
The Wildland Fire and Parcel Data Workshop was sponsored by the Federal Geographic Data Committee’s (FGDC) Subcommittee for Cadastral Data in response to policies and guidance issued by the Western Governors Association and to national homeland security needs for all agencies to be prepared and responsive in emergencies.

Presentation on Parcel Data in Wildland Fire Management - 2007

Wildland Fire Parcel Data Report 2007
This report provides a high level summary of the status of parcel data acquired for the wildland fire program in 2007.

Wildland Fire Parcel Data Report - 2012
This report provides a high level summary of the status of parcel data acquired for the wildland fire program in 2011-2012 including status of parcel data, agreements, and limitations on the availability and use of the data.

State of Washington - Parcel Data for Wildland Fire
Rural Technology Initiative (RTI) developed an online tutorial on how to use the Washington State Parcel and Forestland databases to assist wildland fire fighters, incident commanders, and response teams.

State and National Parcels Work Group
The State and National Parcel Data Working Group developed information to provide assistance for states with the development of state parcel management programs including developing state business plans, conducting inventories, parcel conversion, and data access. Another aspect of the project is to provide information and coordination for a national parcel data system, which is recommended to be a federated system that is based on data assembled by the states from the local authoritative sources.

State Parcel Data Management

State Management Programs Summary
The end product of this effort is to provide the user community with published parcel data that includes a representation of the parcel geometry and a subset of the local assessor attributes and comparable attributes for public lands.

An Assessment of Best Practices in Seven State Parcel Management Programs (2006)
Recognizing the importance of state administered programs for achieving complete parcel conversion, maintenance and publication nationwide, the Subcommittee initiated an evaluation of seven state parcel management efforts (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin) for best practices that could be transferable to other states. The goal of this effort was to identify a set of best practices for implementing statewide parcel management programs.

Parcel Management Business Plan Template
This 2006 document provides a checklist and outline for a state business plan for aggregating and publishing authoritative parcel data.

Land Surveying Rules/Regulations by State

Parcel Stewardship and Management

Parcel Stewardship 2004 Presentation
This presentation summarizes some of the discussions on data stewardship arising form Subcommittee meetings

State Stewardship for parcel data
This paper describes the FGDC Cadastral Subcommittee perspective on the role and levels of stewardship for a state level organization in hosting and providing parcel data from the many parcel producers in the state. The goal is to describe a path for states to provide a trusted source for parcel data in their state.

Parcel Identifiers
The Parcel Identifier is defined as a label or tag for a parcel that is unique within a jurisdiction. The parcel identifier can be a numeric or alpha-numeric, but it must uniquely identify the parcel. This paper describes the characteristics and uses of parcel identifiers.

An Assessment of Parcel Data in the US - 2003 Survey Results
(2003) - The conversion of parcel databases appeared to be well underway in 2003 with over half of the 140 million parcels converted into a form that can be used in a GIS.

Federal Agency Customers for Cadastral Data
In June of 2008 the Cadastral Subcommittee was asked to determine which federal agencies have a need for cadastral data and what data do they use. This study summarizes the findings of detailed surveys of federal agencies represented on the Cadastral Subcommittee.

An Assessment of Parcel Data in the US - 2009 Survey Results
(2009) - This document is an update to the 2003 Survey.

The Feasibility of Developing a National Parcel Database of County Data Records: Final Project Report
(2010) - In 2010, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) charted new territory in an effort to develop a national database of standardized parcel-level (property) data collected directly from the most authoritative sources: local counties. HUD contracted with Abt Associates Inc. and their subcontractors, Fairview Industries and Smart Data Strategies, to embark on an exploratory project for assembling local assessor data, including key attributes such as property address, assessed value, land use, sales price, and sales history, for 127 targeted counties. The primary tasks of the project included identifying the appropriate data sources in each community, assembling the data and metadata, and standardizing the data in a common format to be accessible for HUD research efforts and for possibly aggregating data to higher levels of geography for public dissemination.

Land Records Modernization History
(2013) - This history of parcels, land records, and GIS is a personal reflection from one of the founders of the principles and concepts for automating land records that we still strive for today. Dr. David Moyer is thoughtful and knowledgeable about land titles, the role of landownership to society, and its importance in supporting policy and decision-making. He has quietly taught and influenced many of the leaders in modern GIS principles and programs. He has agreed to put pen to paper for this reflective piece. It is a history through his eyes, derived from his experiences. He has identified some of the critical points in the development of automated, modernized land records, so that those building today’s systems understand the paths that have led here. The references in the footnotes provide a guide to key points in history. The foundational materials he describes contain important information that is carried forward into all of our work on land records today.

Other Workgroup Final Reports

Energy Workgroup - 
Cadastral Data and the Energy Community
This paper discusses the need for accurate survey boundaries and land ownership information required by the energy community (exploration, production and reclamation), regulatory agencies and private individuals to provide decision support tools necessary to manage the life cycle of energy development from prospect to production. From the early stages of prospect identification through leasing, permitting, drilling, completion, production and marketing, land ownership rights and interests contribute to each step in this life cycle. Knowing who owns mineral rights, which local, tribal, state and federal regulations apply in an area and how to gain access to the drilling locations and development sites often hinges on surface and subsurface rights and interests.

Mortgage and the Economy - Mortgage Crisis Workshop Final Report
The Mortgage Stakeholders meeting resulted from a request by the FGDC Steering Committee to the FGDC Subcommittee for Cadastral Data. In October 2008 the Cadastral Subcommittee established the Mortgage Study Team to begin investigating the role of land parcel data and the mortgage crisis. The Cadastral Subcommittee in collaboration with the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) hosted a meeting of stakeholders in Washington D.C. on May 7, 2009 to explore the potential uses of land parcel data for more effective management of mortgage and financial oversight programs and activities.

WGA - 2003 Second Workshop Final Report
The forum was a follow up to the first WGA Cadastral Forum held in 2000. Both forums examined how the cadastral community, as a collective body from multiple organizations, could more effectively digitize, share and integrate land records data needed for policy decision making, public and private management of property, and emergency response in the West.

WGA - 2000 First Workshop Final Report
To address multiple land related issues, the Western Governors recognize the importance of the collection, integration, maintenance and distribution of digital geographic data representing the legal land subdivision from the Public Land Survey System (PLSS), land ownership and other related information. To this end, the Western Governors' Association (WGA) encourages member states, local governments and tribal entities and the private sector to engage in a coordinated effort that will lead to standardized best practices and land record modernization as well as a solid digital cadastral infrastructure.

Hurricane 2004 Hurricane Isabel Workshop Final Report
The Cadastral Subcommittee met in the fall of 2003 to identify situations where parcel data was needed to respond to natural disasters and to meet homeland security requirements. In January 2004 in Raleigh, North Carolina with more than thirty federal, state, and local representatives that had been involved with Hurricane Isabel. Participants described events that they had experienced during the different phases of emergency response operations and the importance of parcel data to addressing their problems and issues.

Hurricane - 2008 Hurricane Ike Final Report
Before Hurricane Ike made land fall the US Forest Service (USFS) asked the FGDC Subcommittee for Cadastral Data (Subcommittee) to provide them with assistance for the
acquisition of parcel data in those counties that were in the path of Ike and were in proximity to USFS lands. This report summarizes the lessons learned and the firecasts for future efforts.

IAAO - 2008 - Parcel Data Sharing to Rebuild Communities
The purpose of the “Sharing Parcel Data to Protect and Rebuild Communities” workshop was to explore the advantages, opportunities and issues of sharing parcel data from government-to-government. The FGDC Cadastral Data Subcommittee (Subcommittee) and the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) have a common interest in identifying the parcel data needed by federal and state agencies and industry as well as identifying the partnerships and successes that could be achieved through shared efforts