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Question:

I have struggled to find a good/verifiable source for high quality PLSS data (USA Public Land Survey System). BLM publishes a national PLSS dataset, but in my experience working with it, that dataset is very rough and poor quality. I have found this very useful document listing much better State-based PLSS GIS datasets, of varying flavors and quality, does anyone know if there is a national standard for integrating these state files, or making them into a better national dataset?

Brief overview of why this data is important:

The PLSS system is national survey grid created by USA General Land Office (now Bureau of Land Management), that created initial property boundaries for much of the interior continental USA. Many land conveyance records still reference this system, but do not provide GPS coordinates, which is why it is important to have a good GIS dataset for modern land title research. Each State has its own baseline, which means that different US States have slightly different origin points (vertical datums). Since the different States used different origin points, it would make sense to have a national standard around developing this data so that the different State authored files line up.

Sidenote:

I have previously asked a similar question on the GIS Stack Exchange, but that was focused on finding data, whereas this question is more in regards to the metadata integration of those State files

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The FGDC Cadastral Subcommittee, which coordinates US national cadastral and land records information, has these resources on their website:

Cadastral Data Standards and Guidelines

Cadastral Data Standards and Guidelines: Cadastral Metadata

Cadastral Publication Metadata Guidelines (Direct link to download a pdf)

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