Control Point Generated Public Land Survey (PLS)

This page last updated: 09/24/2014
Metadata created using Minnesota Geographic Metadata Guidelines


Go to Section:
1. Overview
2. Data Quality
3. Data Organization
4. Coordinate System
5. Attributes
6. Distribution - Get Data
7. Metadata Reference

Section 1 Overview
Originator Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR)
Title Control Point Generated Public Land Survey (PLS)
Abstract The Control Point Generated PLS layer contains line and polygon features to the 1/4 of 1/4 PLS section (approximately 40 acres) and government lot level. The layer was created using the most accurate information available at the time, including Government Land Office plat drawings and survey notes, official resurveys, and PLS control points from MNDNR's Control Point Inventory database.

For the details about the creation of the PLS layer to the forty/government lot, refer to the documentation that comes with the downloaded data:
pls40glotpyMetadata.pdf for the polygons, and
pls40glotlnMetadata.pdf for the lines.
Purpose Detailed PLS forty level mapping at a 1:24,000 scale of any information georeferenced to the Public Land Survey System, especially land ownership and management. It can also be used as a general PLS reference map for any other data projected into UTM - meters, extended zone 15, NAD83.
Time Period of Content Date 02/22/2013
Currentness Reference Time Period of Content date indicates the date which the user can be confident of accuracy and completeness of the dataset. This data should be considered up-to-date. Data is derived from sources dating continuously from mid-nineteenth century survey notes to results from current modern surveys.
Progress In work
Maintenance and Update Frequency Irregular
Spatial Extent of Data Minnesota
Bounding Coordinates -96.832273
-89.394358
49.345099
43.435410
Place Keywords Minnesota, MN
Theme Keywords planningCadastre, PLS, Public Land Survey, Townships, Sections, Forties, Government Lots
Theme Keyword Thesaurus ISO 19115 Category
Access Constraints None
Use Constraints Use of the data are constrained only by the DNR GIS Data License Agreement. See the Distribution Liability section below for a link.
Contact Person Information Renee Johnson, ITS 3
DNR-Lands and Minerals
500 Lafayette Road - Box 45
St. Paul, MN  55155
Phone: (651) 259-5396
Fax: (651) 296-5939
Email: renee.johnson@state.mn.us
Browse Graphic Click to view a data sample
Associated Data Sets

Section 2 Data Quality
Attribute Accuracy
Logical Consistency Polygons and lines are coincident, verified closed, and intersect where intended.
Completeness All available Government Land Office Land Survey notes, plats and resurvey information was used in the creation of this data set. Since the meander line data is being derived from the Government Land Office PLS survey notes, margins around meandered water bodies tend to have a coarse representation and may not accurately reflect the current shape of these features on the ground. Meander lines are NOT land ownership boundaries. The Public Land Survey process was conducted, in part, to inventory the rough acreage of land for the purposes of selling it for agriculture, timber, railroads, etc. Meander lines were used to determine how many acres of land were available for sale at the time, whereas the beds of navigable water bodies are held in ownership by the state. Depending upon when the survey was conducted, surveyors followed different guidelines for what was to be meandered. 'In subdividing any one township, you are to meander as hereinafter directed, any lake or lakes, pond or ponds, lying entirely within the boundaries thereof, of the area of [twenty five to] forty acres and upwards, and which cannot be drained and are not likely to fill up, or from any cause to become dry.' (A Collection of Original Instructions to Surveyors of the Public Lands, 1815 - 1881, Roy Minnick, Landmark Enterprises)
Horizontal Positional Accuracy Variable. At its least accurate, the data is based upon points derived from manual digitizing of PLS section corners from 1:24,000 scale paper media (GISMO and SECTIC-24K points). At its most accurate, the data is based upon points collected using GPS units operating at a sub-meter level of accuracy. Refer to the ACCURACY and METHOD fields in the related PLS Control Point layer (cornrpt3), for specific information.
Vertical Positional Accuracy Not Applicable
Lineage For the details about the creation of the PLS layer to the forty/government lot, refer to pls40glotpyMetadata.pdf for the polygons and pls40glotlnMetadata.pdf for the lines. These documents can be found in the download for the data.

The following layers are included in this geodatabase:
pls_fortypy3 - statewide PLS layer to the forty/government lot (also referred to as quarter‐quarter sections)
pls_fortyln3 - statewide PLS layer to the forty/government lot differentiating the type of line
pls_fortypt3 - statewide PLS layer to the forty/government lot - the centroid of each polygon
pls4own_fortypy3 - statewide PLS layer to the forty/government lot, modified to better match the MNDNR Land Records
for mapping purposes
pls4own_fortyln3 - statewide PLS layer to the forty/government lot differentiating the type of line
pls4own_fortypt3 - statewide PLS layer to the forty/government lot - the centroid of each polygon
pls_sectpy3 - statewide PLS layer of PLS sections, created by dissolving the Pls4own_fortypy3 layer on the COUN,
TOWN, RDIR, RANG, SECT fields
pls_sectpt3 - statewide PLS layer of PLS sections - the centroid of each polygon
pls_twpspy3 - statewide PLS layer of PLS townships, created by dissolving the Pls4own_fortypy3 layer on the COUN,
TOWN, RDIR, RANG fields
pls_twpspt3 - statewide PLS layer of PLS townships - the centroid of each polygon
twprng - statewide PLS layer of PLS townships, created by dissolving the pls4own_fortypy3 layer on TOWN, RDIR, RANG
fields
twplabpts - layer of points to label the townships and ranges around the outer edge of the state and through the middle
of the state where the 4th and 5th Principal Meridians come together
twplabptsAnno - annotation layer of the twplabpts layer

Section 3 Spatial Data Organization (not used in this metadata)

Section 4 Coordinate System
Horizontal Coordinate Scheme Universal Transverse Mercator
UTM Zone Number 15
Horizontal Datum NAD83
Horizontal Units meters

Section 5 Attributes
Overview
Detailed Citation
Table Detail:
PLS_FORTYLN3 - Feature Class Attribute Table
Field NameValid ValuesDefinitionDefinition Source
PLSLINETYP
-
This field contains the corresponding text for the numeric values in the PLSLINE field. See the 'Description' column of the PLSLINE field
ANGLE
-
The direction of the line in degrees from true north. This field is not consistently populated, since in some instances it has been necessary to restructure the data during processing in such a manner that this information is eliminated. The field itself is retained since it is mandatory for use within the ARC/INFO COGO package
FLAG
-
A flagging field used in edgematching township to township and county to county
PLSLINEenumeratedThe type of boundary that the line feature represents. The PLSLINETYP field contains the corresponding text for the numeric values in the PLSLINE field, as seen in the description column below
0Neatline
01State line that is also a township or range line (all PLS state lines are county and forty/governmen
02State line that is not a township line but is a section line
03State line that is a PLS line but is neither a township line nor a section line (e.g. east side of s
11County line that is also a township or range line (all county lines are forty/government lot lines)
12County line that is not a township or range line but is a section line
13County line that is a PLS line, but is neither a township line nor a section line (e.g., south side
14County statutory boundary that is not a PLS line (e.g., center lines of rivers)
21Township or range line (all township and range lines are also section lines and forty/government lot
21Township lines
22Pseudo township or range line (line extending across meandered water body to complete the polygons).
23Type 2 pseudo township line. Same as above except that at least one point defining the line was not
31Section line (all section lines are also forty/government lot lines)
31Section lines
32Pseudo section line (line extending across meandered water body to complete the polygons). Both poi
33Type 2 pseudo section line. Same as above except that at least one point defining the line was not
41Quarter section line
42Sixteenth section line
43Meander line (Note: Meander lines are rough approximations of water body outlines at the time of th
44Pseudo government lot lines (e.g., lines extending from meander line to current water boundary)
45Reservation line dividing forties and forming government lot boundaries. (e.g., Red Lake Reservatio
46Miscellaneous government lot line. (e.g., previous meander line; originally a meander line but now
DISTANCE
-
The length of a line in map units. This field is not consistently populated since it has been necessary to restructure the data during processing in such a manner that this information is eliminated. The field itself is retained since it is mandatory for use within the ARC/INFO COGO package.


Section 6 Distribution
Publisher MNDNR - Division of Lands and Minerals
Publication Date 06/01/1995
Contact Person Information Zeb Thomas, GIS Data Systems Coordinator
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Rd
St. Paul, MN  55155-4011
Phone: 651-259-5637
Email: zeb.thomas@state.mn.us
Distributor's Data Set Identifier plan_mndnr_public_land_survey, pls_fortypy3
Distribution Liability The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources General Geographic Data License Agreement is online: www.dnr.state.mn.us/sitetools/data_software_license.html
Ordering Instructions Please visit the download page for this dataset on the Minnesota Geospatial Commons website using the web link below (Online Linkage).
Online Linkage I AGREE to the notice in "Distribution Liability" above. Clicking to agree will either begin the download process or link to download information. See "Ordering Instructions" above for details.

Section 7 Metadata Reference
Metadata Date 09/24/2014
Contact Person Information Zeb Thomas, GIS Data Systems Coordinator
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Rd
St. Paul, MN  55155-4011
Phone: 651-259-5637
Email: zeb.thomas@state.mn.us
Metadata Standard Name Minnesota Geographic Metadata Guidelines
Metadata Standard Version 1.2
Metadata Standard Online Linkage http://www.mngeo.state.mn.us/committee/standards/mgmg/metadata.htm


This page last updated: 09/24/2014
Go back to top