We are working on a project where we need to plot some part of Canada (Alberta) over Google Maps. We can plot maps on Google with coordinates (lat/long) or geometry values. But our client provided us data in form of Township, Meridian, Range, Section, and LSD (legal subdivision or quarter). Could someone out there guide us how can we plot this data on Google Maps? Client doesn't want to use any converter to convert this data to coordinates as he assumes that TRS data has its own curvature, etc.

  • Welcome to GIS SE. Please edit some extra info into the body of the question for clarification: e.g. which province?
    – Martin F
    Apr 4, 2015 at 6:30
  • Thank You Chris. Yes, we are dealing with DLS, and we need to show map in layers means first for township grid then sections and then subsections inside. I am not sure what base data layer you are reffering to and how can we plot township,range, sections and subsection in it.
    – arjun
    Apr 6, 2015 at 7:14

3 Answers 3


1st. You will likely have to go province by province, as provinces usually manage spatial data like that and may have to pay for it. For Saskatchewan you might find what you're looking for here or here.

2nd. You will need to then convert the data to kml and upload it to fusion tables.

3rd. Query out what you want to display in fusion tables and then show it on a google map.

There are many ways to do steps 2 and 3 but step 1 will be the hardest.


The LSD data is open data, you may download it yourself or use a web service to access it.

For example: http://geocoder.ca/?locate=W5M-07-53-30-NE&geoit=GeoCode

Newell County, AB » 141031 Township Road 193, Newell County, AB » T1R1A6 » 50.6099141130001,-111.830418182 Directions Parcel LSD-09 SEC-14 TWP-019 RGE-14 MER-4 Polygon This is your location (50.6099141130001, -111.830418182)

geocoder.ca provides 3,000 free lookups per day, or you can grab their server on amazon aws for unlimited lookups.


You say Canada, so I assume you're dealing with the Dominion Land Survey as opposed to the US Public Land Survey System - both use township/range/section references. I'm not as familiar with the DLS and there are some differences to the PLSS. In the PLSS your client would be right, the grid isn't regular. Assuming the information you've been provided is whole quarters rather than individual lots with metes and bounds, the best thing would be to locate a base data layer that has the DLS grid for your area. You can then get bounding coordinates or shapes from that (official?) source.

I approach this from a GIS software perspective and looking at the underlying data needed. Working directly in a web mapping environment like Google Maps is beyond me. QGIS is a free GIS software you could use to open base data in shapefile format and then get coordinate information from there. There are also options to export things to KML, JSON and other formats.

The DLS is just a reference grid. If you can obtain a dataset that has that grid, preferably at the smallest component level, then all you have to do is reference the attributes of the grid to locate the subsection your client provided, select it, and copy to your own dataset or map it. You can also dissolve up the smaller components into the larger one (ie sections to townships). However if your grid only does down to the section level and you need something smaller like a quarter, you'll end up having to draw it on your own. You'll probably want to reference/credit that source, since the actual coordinates can vary from source to source (at least with the PLSS).

As others mention and my searching seems to indicate, the DLS grid info is maintained by province (in the US PLSS it's by State BLM office).

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