I have several hundred coordinates in an Excel file. I would like to identify the township range and section they are located--what is the easiest way to do this? I have you QGIS and basic GIS skills (i.e. digitizing). I googled my question and came across the following website: http://www.esg.montana.edu/gl/trs-data.html. This allows you to go from TRS to longitude and latitude. I'm thinking GIS would provide the best solution but I'm not sure where to start. I would like to identify actual legal descriptions.
I recommend mapping the XY coordinates using QGIS. This will create a Point shapefile. There are many posts about how to do this. Next, if don't have the landgrid shapefile containing Township/Range/Section data, it should be easy to find on the Internet, search for "State Name" GIS data. Finally, Intersect the two shapefiles using QGIS. Each Point should now have Township/Range/Section attributes.
EDIT, if some Points do not Intersect the TRS Polygons, you can try the Hub Distance tool in MMQGIS plugin to attribute the Null TRS attribute. This tool adds a distance and a user defined Attribute. Closest Polygon