Kurt B. Wurm

Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Spatial Information Science and Engineering


Raymond J. Hintz

Second Committee Member

Steven Frank

Third Committee Member

Charles Ghilani


A cadastre is a parcel-based, up-to-date land information system containing a record of interests in land. Creation and maintenance of a cadastre usually involves coordination between different public and private organizations that are responsible for the various data. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has built a Geographic Coordinate Data Base (GCDB) that currently provides cadastral base map data for more than 38,000 townships across the country, with many of the western states nearly complete. The GCDB strategy is that the coordinates can and do change as more recent and accurate information becomes available. The locational reliability of the GCDB as a digital representation of the Public Lands Survey System is widely recognized. This thesis examines issues in building upon this framework for the depiction of the local parcels as a core component of the national cadastre, maintainable at the local government level, such as a municipality or county. As new data in the federal base framework are provided, the local parcel fabric may need to be updated without creating gaps and overlaps. The measurement management methodology has been expanded to provide this maintenance capability. This ultimately leads to the desired political outcome of a consistent, reliable, spatial representation of legal land objects. The legal land descriptions encoded in the GCDB framework can be extracted and utilized to provide consistent parcel attribution of aliquot part parcels. As most states have external databases that maintain an index of real property parcels. Experimentation identifies that integration with these external databases is an extremely accurate, expedient, and cost-effective method of cadastral parcel attribution at the state or local government level, depicted on a uniform parcel-based map. The methodology presented yields great success in automatic identification and interpretation of encoded legal land descriptions of aliquot part parcels. Building upon the FGDC Cadastral Data Content Standard, expansion of this can lead to automatic parcel identification and attribution as high as 96% in some areas.