Locating Features Using the United States Public Land Survey System (Township and Range) and Google EarthTM

Section: The standard unit of the system, a square piece of land also one mile by one mile containing 640 acres.

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Township: 36 sections arranged in a 6 by 6 square, measuring 6 miles by 6 miles. Sections are numbered start via the northeast-the majority of area (#1), proceeding west to 6, then south along the west edge of the township and to the east (#36 is in the SE corner).
Range: Assigned to a township by measuring eastern or west of a Principal Meridian
Range Lines: The north to south lines which note township borders.
Township Lines: The eastern to west lines which mark township boundaries.
Principal Meridian: The recommendation or start allude for measuring eastern or west varieties. Map of meridians & base lines from the BLM yellowcomic.com server
Base line: Reference or start allude for measuring north or south townships.

Understanding Land also Descriptions We"ll start via the largest grouping, the township. The place of a details township is given utilizing the terminology of "township and range". The township is called in referral to a Principal Meridian and a Baseline. Here is an example, T.2N., R.1E. The T.2N. refers to Township 2 North (of the Baseline), and also the R.1E. describes Range 1 East (of the Principal Meridian).

Next, each township is split right into 36 sections. Each area is one mile square and also contains 640 acres. The sections are numbered from 1 to 36 in the order shown in the chart to the left (check out the yellow squares which display a "complete" township). The other colored squares represent "incomplete" townships.

Within each area, the land also is described as fifty percent and quarter sections. A one-sixteenth department is dubbed a quarter of a quarter, as in the NW1/4 of the NW1/4. The descriptions are read from the smallest department to the biggest.



A section is likewise broken down into acres. Sample descriptions are in the ( )s.
A complete area includes 640 Acres.
A fifty percent area (S1/2) consists of 320 Acres.
A quarter area (NE1/4) includes 160 Acres.
An eighth section (N1/2 of NW1/4) contains 80 Acres.
A sixteenager area (SW1/4 of NW1/4) contains 40 Acres.
Locating a Place Using USPLS Land also Descriptions A land also description mainly starts with the smallest part of the description and proceeds to the biggest definition. For example, NW1/4 of NE1/4 of Section 8, T.2N., R.1E. would be the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter of section 8 in township 3 north and variety 2 eastern. To find a function on the landscape using a land summary, you have to job-related from the biggest part to the smallest component.


Step 1
As stated over, to find a feature of interest, you should locate the biggest part making use of the township and also variety provided in the summary initially. In this instance T.2N., R.1E. Remember the T.2N. describes Township 2 North (of the Baseline), and also the R.1E. refers to Range 1 East (of the Principal Meridian).
Tip 2 After you have actually located the correct township, you will certainly next have to find the correct section within that township. Using the instance provided over the land description claims Section 8, T.2N., R.1E. So you would look in the township found in action 1 for section 8.


Step 3 Now that you have located the correct section you must uncover where in this area your land also feature is situated. Our instance says NW1/4 of NE1/4 of Section 8, T.2N., R.1E. So you would first look in area 8 for the NE1/4 of the area (displayed as ovariety in the chart to the left.) After locating the NE1/4 of the section your last action will certainly be to find the NW1/4 of that NE1/4 (displayed in aqua in the chart to the left.) The well is mainly situated at or close to the facility of the last unit offered.

Let"s look at an instance using Google EarthTM in Arizona

The picture listed below reflects the townships bordering the interarea of the Principal Meridian and the Baseline (the township via Avondale and Tolleson plus the 2 directly southern of them) in the State of Arizona. Of theseTownships, the ones labeled T. 1 N. are in a position one township north of Baseline (which is Baseline Road) and those labeled T. 1 S. are one township to the southern. Range values labeled through a "W" are one township west of the Principal Meridian and also those through an "E" are one to the eastern. I have likewise marked the facility of township T. 1 S., R. 2 W. (one township southern of Baseline and also two townships west of the Principal Meridian). We will zoom in on the township containing Tolleboy in the following picture listed below.


Next we see the township T. 1 N., R. 1 E. along with the 36 sections that makeup the township itself. Note the numbering mechanism. Section 1 is in the excessive NE corner of the township and we number them moving west. Drop dvery own a row and proceed numbering relocating eastern. Keep numbering in this fashion until we reach the last area, number 36, found in the too much SE corner of the township. In an exercise, you are asked to recognize if there are any type of "complete" congressional townships. To identify this, you must watch all 36 sections in their totality for the entire township numbered as presented listed below. If any kind of part of a section or sections is missing, then the township is NOT finish.

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Now, let"s look at the Glendale Quadrangle via the township overlays displayed. The ovariety borders are the outlines of the townships and the purple borders are the outlines for the individual sections. Are tbelow any kind of complete townships on the Glendale Quadrangle? Look at it before you read the answer...No, tbelow aren"t any kind of finish townships. How many incomplete townships are there? Count them prior to you check out the answer...There are four infinish townships on the Glendale map. When you have to execute this on the Folsom, NM quadrangle, you will should survey (very closely look over) the map and recognize if there is a complete township on the map. Given the size of a township loved one to a 1:24,000 map (range of Folsom, NM quad is the exact same as that for Glendale below), it is unmost likely that tbelow would be more than one complete congressional township on the map area. Once you"ve done that, you must count how many type of infinish townships tbelow are. Be mindful that you do not count the sections. Township T. 3 N., R. 1 E. is highlighed via a thicker oselection outline (top left township). Any object of interemainder (college, house, service, etc) inside this box would certainly have actually a USPLS desigcountry of T. 3 N., R. 1 E. The City of Glendale would certainly be in T. 2 N., R. 2 E. To watch the divisions between the townships, we need to zoom in to the edges of the map location and also look for the red text. The photo listed below this huge map reflects an enlargement of such a department along the height edge of the map (wright here the orange township boundary intersects the map edge). See listed below wright here the oselection line separates R. 1 E. from R. 2 E.