The following are some basic reference documents related to land records systems.

The Need for a Multipurpose Cadastre - (pdf) - This is the text of the 1980 National Academy of Sciences Report that is considered to be one of the earliest works defining the needs and uses for land records systems.

Property Descriptions - (pdf) This is a summary of the types of legal descriptions used for real property in the United States. This material was developed to support the FGDC cadastral Data Content Standard and then further revised for the ESRI GIS and Land Records book.

How to Read BLM Master Title Plats – (pdf) The BLM Master Title Plat displays the current federally managed rights and interests in land. This document is a summery of how to read the information on the MTP. This document was developed by the Bureau of Land Management Oregon State Office

GIS and Land Records - The Parcel Data Model - This is a book written by Nancy von Meyer for the Esri Press and is out of print. Please contact us if you are interested in the content or information related to this text.

Past Activities

HUD Report
In 2010, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) charted new territory in an effort to develop a national database of standardized parcel-level (property) data collected directly from the most authoritative sources: local counties. HUD contracted with Abt Associates Inc. and their subcontractors, Fairview Industries and Smart Data Strategies, to embark on an exploratory project for assembling local assessor data, including key attributes such as property address, assessed value, land use, sales price, and sales history, for 127 targeted counties. The primary tasks of the project included identifying the appropriate data sources in each community, assembling the data and metadata, and standardizing the data in a common format to be accessible for HUD research efforts and for possibly aggregating data to higher levels of geography for public dissemination. The final report is available for download here.