Cadastral Survey


The New Mexico State Office is responsible for the surveying and mapping of federal lands within New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas. 

Cadastral surveys deal with one of the oldest and most fundamental facets of human society - ownership of land.

They are the surveys that create, mark, define, retrace, or reestablish the boundaries and subdivisions of the public lands of the United States.

They are not like scientific surveys of an informative character, which may be amended due to the availability of additional information or because of changes in conditions or standards of accuracy. Although cadastral surveys employ scientific methods and precise measurements, they are based upon law and not upon science.

Cadastral surveys are the foundation upon which rest title to all land that is now, or was once, part of the Public Domain of the United States.

"Cadastral" is derived from the word cadastre, meaning a public record, survey, or map of the value, extent, and ownership of land as a basis of taxation. The Public Land Survey System has formed the framework for all land title (public and private) in all states except those formed from the territory of the original 13 colonies, Texas, and Hawaii.

Cadastral land surveyors today identify and establish monuments that document the legal boundaries between public and private lands for both the surface and mineral estate. Equipment and techniques have changed in the last 200 years, but the agency's responsibilities and legal requirements have not.


History

Cadastral survey is a survey relating to land boundaries and subdivisions, made to create units suitable for transfer or to define the limitations of title. It is derived from the word cadastre, meaning a public record, survey, or map of the value, extent, and ownership of land as a basis of taxation. The Public Land Survey System has formed the framework for all land title (public and private) in all states except those formed from the territory of the original 13 colonies, Texas, and Hawaii


Your observations are to be taken with great pains and accuracy, to be entered distinctly and intelligibly for others as well as yourself to comprehend all the elements necessary, with the aid of the usual tables, to fix the latitude and longitude of the places at which they were taken - Thomas Jefferson 


Photo of Early Surveyor 

Photo of Early Survey Crew


Monument 40, International Boundary between U.S. and Mexico near Hachita, N.M.
Monument 40, International Boundary between U.S. and Mexico near Hachita, N.M.

Cadastral Tools

Manual of  Surveying Instructions (2009)

GeoCommunicator

GLO Records

National Site

Certified Federal Surveyor (CFedS)