3

In Oklahoma should i be using the PLSS or BLM Boundaries

I am struggling with:

  1. Which Surveying system to use in ArcGIS.

    The PLSS (Public Land Survey System) or the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) survey systems for the Township / Range / Section Boundaries? Also, which datum / Coordinate and projections I should be using to have Accurate Maps?

    The problem i am having is my data and data coming for others is not lining up. I know this could be from other people using different datum's, but Arc should be able to transform to the correct projection.

  2. I don't know the correct starting point or what data sets I should be using. So I can't say / explain where my data should actually be.
  3. What would be best "data set" to create a "Mapping Standard" I should be using?

How we are operating now: My team is building maps in Oklahoma's North West Corner of the PLSS Base Line, and Principal Meridian. enter image description here I am currently using:

Projected to State Plane_Oklahoma North GCS Coordinate System NAD_27

NAD_1927_StatePlane_Oklahoma_North_FIPS_3501

WKID: 32024 Authority: EPSG

Projection: Lambert_Conformal_Conic

False_Easting: 2000000.0

False_Northing: 0.0

Central_Meridian: -98.0

Standard_Parallel_1: 35.56666666666667

Standard_Parallel_2: 36.76666666666667

Latitude_Of_Origin: 35.0

Linear Unit: Foot_US (0.3048006096012192)

Geographic Coordinate System: GCS_North_American_1927

Angular Unit: Degree (0.0174532925199433)

Prime Meridian: Greenwich (0.0)

Datum: D_North_American_1927

Spheroid: Clarke_1866

Semimajor Axis: 6378206.4

Semiminor Axis: 6356583.799998981

Inverse Flattening: 294.9786982

My reasons for using these current parameters:

I know that NAD_27 originated in Kansas. Logical this make me think NAD_27's most accurate point would be closest to Kansas, and my data would be the least distorted using it over NAD_83 or WGS_84 (possibly).

Here is the description of the BLM and PLSS, from the data itself:

From the https://OKmaps.org website - BLM Sections.

Title BLM Sections Date 2006-05-03
Organization Name U.S. Forest Service

Role originator Presentation Form mapDigital

Abstract THIS DATASET IS NOT COMPLETE FOR OKLAHOMA. This layer is based on Geographic Coordinate Data Base (GCDB) coordinate data. The locations of Public Land Survey System (PLSS) corners, as represented in geographic coordinate pairs, were derived from a variety of source documents, which include U.S. General Land Office and BLM survey plats/notes, as well as survey data obtained from other U.S. Government agencies, private sector survey firms, and local governments. The attributes assigned to PLSS polygons were taken from the BLM's Legal Land Description (LLD) data set, contained within the Legacy Rehost for the year 2000 (LR2000) automated records system. The coordinate data was produced by using control stations of known location, with varying degrees of accuracy, from various sources which include but are not limited to; U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) topological quadrangles and other sources, National Geodetic Survey (NGS) and US Coast & Geodetic Survey (USC&GS) Cooperative Base Network (CBN) control, Federal Base Network control (FBN), and Continuous Operating Reference Stations (CORS), and Global Positioning System (GPS) data, which is then analyzed and adjusted in concert with official survey data for any given geographic area. The Land Survey Information System Data Base (LSIS) data is a useful representation of the geometry and topology of parcels contained within the PLSS, but its application is intended for mapping purposes only. The GCDB data served from LSIS is not a substitute for a legal land survey.

Purpose The GCDB Data was created to provide the BLM and its public with a set of geographic foundation data that accurately portrays the locations of PLSS corners. The GCDB data is based on the best and most current survey records available and uses known geographic positions of control stations within the PLSS network. This data is a key component of the Land Survey Information System (LSIS) framework upon which parcel boundary information will be assembled.

Status onGoing Descriptive Keywords Cadastral, PLSS, Land Grids, Township, LSI, Range, BLM, National Spatial Data Infrastructure, General Land Office, GLO, NSDI, PLSS, LSIS, Cadastral, Land Survey Information, LIS, Bureau of Land Management, Land Information System, Geographic Coordinate Data Base, GCDB, Sections, Oklahoma, Legal Description, Land Survey Information System, Public Land Survey System, PLSS, Arizona, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Wyoming, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, Arkansas, California, Idaho, North Dakota, Colorado, Washington, Contiguous US, Downloadable Data

Data Quality Evaluation Method
Topological Consistency The data set is topologically structured with nodes at all intersections. Labels representing the legal land description are assigned to each land unit. Absolute Positional Accuracy Accuracy of the individual points contained within the GCDB layers of LSIS that were determined using GMM software were adjusted using both compass rule and a least squares analysis, which examines the geometry of PLSS parcels in relation to the coordinate values of known locations for control points within the PLSS grid. Each individual point carries a reliablility factor indicating the error ellipse in both northing and easting which is reported after the least squares analysis is completed. Accuracy of the individual points contained within the GCDB layers of LSIS that were determined using PCCS software were adjusted using a succession of compass rule adjustments between the control points followed by a least squares analysis, which examines the geometry of PLSS parcels in relation to the coordinate values of known locations for control points within the PLSS grid. Each individual point carries positional reliability factors for the average of the misclosures in the data set and the maximum misclosure in the data set. Attribute Accuracy Data was checked for attribute accuracy by the GCDB personnel in each of the respective BLM State Offices. Process Step GIS coverages are edgematched with adjoining township data sets to insure a seamless PLSS grid is created. Source Survey control data from the official control station sheets (CBN, FBN, CORS). Responsible Party National Geodetic Survey

PLSS Sections

Title Sections Date 2002-06-10

Date Type publication Edition Organization Name Troy L. Frazier Role originator Presentation Form mapDigital

Abstract This is a copy of the of a data set that contained township, range, and section boundaries from the public land survey system for Oklahoma. This data set was created by appending and editing U.S. Geological Survey Digital Line Graph data sets (1994) based on 1:100,000-scale topographic quadrangles. Purpose To allow searching by section-township-range and to allow labeling of sections Status completed Descriptive Keywords SECT_NUM: the section number by itself, NORTH_SOUT: the direction north or south from the base point, Base Point: one of two points of origin for the rectangular surveys (as stipulated by the Northwest Ordinance of 1785) of Oklahoma the base point for the panhandle is in the southwest corner of Cimarron County, the base point for the rest of the state is in the south central part of the state, EAST_WEST: the direction east or west from the base point, SECTIONS: the section-township-range, MERIDIAN: CM refers to the Cimarron Meridian for the panhandle, IM refers to the Indian Meridian for the rest of the state, sections, TOWNSHIP: the township number north or south of the base point, RANGE: the range range number east or west of the base point, Land Grids, TRS, TR, PLSS, PLS, GLO

Data Quality Evaluation Method
Topological Consistency Polygon topology present. Absolute Positional Accuracy unknown Attribute Accuracy unknown Process Step Dataset moved. Source
Responsible Party USGS Role originator

  • 1
    Have you looked at both datasets overlayed upon each other? I'm fairly certain that BLM is using PLSS with additional information. if BLM has additional data that you need, and it is complete for the area that you are looking at, I would suggest BLM. Otherwise, if you are just looking at boundaries, PLSS should be fine. Again, check the data and see if they are actually the same. If not, figure out which of your sources is the more reliable. – MaryBeth Aug 3 '16 at 20:00
  • MaryBeth - They are not the same, but you are correct " I'm fairly certain that BLM is using PLSS with additional information." When the BLM took over PLSS, they used a number of things to correct the grid (Accuracy of individual points were determined using GMM software were adjusted using both compass rule and a least squares analysis, which examines the geometry of PLSS parcels in relation to the coordinate values of known locations for control points within the PLSS grid.checked for attribute accuracy by the GCDB personnel in each of the respective BLM State Offices). – GIS_BLAIR Aug 3 '16 at 20:15
  • MaryBeth_continued - I believe the BLM is the most reliable for mapping, and has been corrected to account for sections not being 640acres (i believe). If that is the case, should i be using "State Plane_Oklahoma North GCS Coordinate System NAD_27 NAD_1927_StatePlane_Oklahoma_North_FIPS_3501"? – GIS_BLAIR Aug 3 '16 at 20:24
  • The reference layers should have coordinate systems already defined. Do they? For your working coordinate system, it should be whatever your boss says and/or whatever is the majority of your existing data or new data is. NAD27 is generally outdated, so NAD83 (and possibly a latter adjustment) is more likely. You need to set tfm in ArcMap. It doesn't do it automatically. – mkennedy Aug 3 '16 at 22:45
  • mkennedy - We receive our data in NAD_27 Oklahoma North. I don't know how to ask the question but, if i mapped in NAD83, i would have to convert data from NAD_27 to NAD_83. Then if someone needed a shapefile i would have to export it out as NAD_27. does the transforming back and forth mess with the accuracy of data? – GIS_BLAIR Aug 9 '16 at 17:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.