Reference Documents Related to Cadastral Data

Cadastral Data Background

The Ohio Surveys - The PLSS Proving Ground
Ohio was the testing and proving grounds of the Public Land Survey System (PLSS). As a result Ohio contains many varied land descriptions and survey systems. Further complicating the Ohio land description scene are large federal tracts reserved for military use and lands held by other states prior to Ohio statehood.

Water Boundaries and the PLSS
This is a powerpoint providing some highlights and cautions related to water boundaries, meanders and the PLSS

PLSS Standard Data Handbook
A revised version of the PLSS Standard Data Handbook has been published to the Nationalcad web site. A recent update (October 2014) includes the standard domains of values.

Parcel Data: Production, Publication and Project 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.

Authority and Authoritative Sources
The vision for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) and the National Cadastre within the NSDI is to have a single source of authoritative cadastral data that is controlled and managed by designated data stewards. These would be data sets that decision makers could rely upon as current, maintained, and accessible. Cadastral data collections that do not come from authoritative or trusted sources are “unofficial” copies whose value degrades over time relative to the rate of updates to the authoritative data.

Annotated Bibliography: Foundational Documents
(2009) - All of the Subcommittee reports, publications, presentations and meeting notes have been posted the FGDC Cadastral Data Subcommittee’s web site. Within these documents the Subcommittee recognized that there are a set of foundational publications that are core to understanding the Cadastral NSDI and the strategy that the Subcommittee is pursuing. This annotated bibliography provides an overview of these publications along with a few related publications from other sources. Authors: David Stage and Nancy von Meyer.

Opportunity and Challenge - The BLM Story

Case Studies - History - Experiences

One County’s Experiences with Digital Parcel Data
(2012) - Development of a parcel-based GIS system is often prohibitively costly and a daunting expense to smaller or more rural counties with fewer Real Estate transactions than their larger, more metropolitan counterparts. In the interest of encouraging those counties that currently don’t have a parcel-based GIS system, we have assembled some examples of cost and time saving efforts facilitated by the implementation of parcel data GIS. The benefits and uses of the parcel data described in this paper is the result of work done under the auspices of the Minnesota Digital Cadastral Data Committee and is an aggregation of cadastral GIS data uses from many counties, not just a single county. Most of the counties reviewed were rural counties with medium sized municipalities and the compilation creates a typical county view of potential uses and benefits. This typical county is a relatively small population base with a mix of small urban and rural lands so many of larger urban uses are not captured in this list.

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.

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.

Related Standards - A Sampling of State Standards

Arkansas GIS Standards – Mapping and Centerline
(2019) - The State Land Information Board developed several land information standards including cadastral mapping and a centerline file standard. These were updated in 2019 and 2018 respectively. This link directs the user to the State of Arkansas page.

Florida Parcel Data Model
(2006) - Draft data model by the Florida Department of Revenue. An MS Access database is available from the FDOR link. The Florida Department of Revenue is in the process of developing a Cadastral Data Model as part of the Cadastral Mapping Guidelines.

Florida Cadastral Mapping Guidelines
Florida Department of Revenue Cadastral mapping guidelines compiled by the Florida Department of Revenue, PropertyTax Administration Program, Mapping & GIS Section to provide direction and assistance to the county property appraisers of Florida.

New Mexico Parcel and Assessors Handbook
(2001) - County Assessors must produce fair and accurate tax assessments. It is the role of the County mapping staff to produce assessor’s maps that are uniform, clear, complete and accurate at a reasonable expense. The mapping standards in this report are intended to support the county assessors. A re-write of these standards is currently under way.

Minnesota Statewide Parcel Identifier Study
(2001) - The need for a unique, statewide parcel identification number has been an issue for many years within the Minnesota geographic information system community. Some users want a standard format for identifying and locating land parcels, while others maintain that this would be costly and disruptive for many local governments. Needed now is a discussion that includes the views of those interested in a standard and the local governments that would be affected by such a standard. This document reviews a statewide parcel identifier standard.

Montana Core Cadastral Initiative
The Montana Department of Administration, Information Technology Services Division, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Bureau began construction on a cadastral database in 1998 and completion is expected in 2002. At the present time the database is available via the Internet and is being transitioned to an Arc/PARCEL Geodatabase model. The bureau serves the role as cadastral data integrator. As the state integrator, the GIS Bureau integrates data maintained by the Montana Department of Revenue and eight other counties that produce their own parcel layer.