The Branch of Geographic Sciences contains the disciplines of Cadastral Survey, Mapping Science, and Geographic Coordinate Database, and provides leadership, management, and technical direction for the development and implementation of the BLM Oregon and Washington’s surveying, mapping, aerial photography, geodesy, resource grade global positioning system (GPS) activities. In addition, the Branch:
- Authorizes, executes, and approves cadastral surveying activities on all Federal interest, Trust and Indian lands within the States of Oregon and Washington, for the Director of the Bureau of Land Management.
- Facilitates or delivers mapping, remote sensing, aerial photography, and GIS services and products to all BLM Oregon and Washington offices.
- Creates and maintains the spatial depiction of the Public Land Survey System to be used as the foundation for the all federal agencies parcel-based records system and mapping activities.
- Serves as the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Cadastral representative for Oregon and Washington.
- Identifies, programs, and executes activities required to locate and manage Federal and Indian resources, protect private rights, and ensure the availability of accurate, reliable geographic data in the States of Oregon and Washington.
- Facilitates understanding of the Public Land Survey System (PLSS), GIS, GCDB and the mapping sciences; their importance, use and application to accomplish the BLM’s mission.
- Identifies training needs and recommends specific training objectives to be met and the methods to achieve them. Assists in the development of training courses and materials, and conducts in-house and other training programs as appropriate.
- Identifies long-range surveying, mapping, remote sensing, aerial photography, GIS, GPS training, and GCDB needs, objectives, and policies for Oregon and Washington. Provides other Divisions and District Offices with program guidance in these areas as an integral part of the BLM’s planning and budget process.
- Provides data stewardship for parcel based land management and the Public Land Survey System (PLSS), Legal Land Description Database (LLD), Land Line Theme (LLI) and other resource base data themes.
Branch of Geographic Sciences (OR-957)
Index of Functional Statements by Section
- Cadastral Survey Section (OR-957.1)
- Cadastral Surveys
- Reimbursable Cadastral Surveys
- Contract Surveys including Surveys assigned to other Federal Agency Surveyors
- Remonumentation / Rehabilitation
- Examination and Approval of Mineral Surveys
- Supplemental Plats
- Examination, Approval and Filing
- Control Surveys
- Manual of Survey Instruction Interpretation
- Interagency and Intergovernmental Coordination
- Expert Witness
- Special Instructions
- Protest and Appeals
- Resource Grade Global Positioning System (GPS)
- Resource Grade GPS Consultation
Mapping Science Section (OR-957.2)
- Hard copy Products (Printed Maps)
- Acquisition of Corporate Base Data Sets
- Addition to Corporate Base Data Sets
- Maintenance of Corporate Base Data Sets
- Spatial Resource Data Collection
- Aerial Photography Contract Coordination and Oversight
- Photographic Reproduction
- National Publication Standards Support
- Web Design and Update
- Remote Sensing and Satellite Image Processing
Geographic Coordinate Database (OR-957.3)
- Building Partnerships
- LLI Data Stewardship
- LLD Data Stewardship
- Boundary Theme Data Stewardship
- Amended Protraction Diagrams
- Support OR-958 in the production of Automated Master Title Plats and Use Plats
General Functions - Cadastral Survey Section (OR-957.1)
The Cadastral Survey Section provides leadership, operational and technical support to Federal land managers in identifying and locating boundaries of Federal and Tribal lands in the States of Oregon and Washington. The Section conducts surveys for the BLM, other Federal agencies and tribes, and verifies, examines, and approves all cadastral and mineral surveys. In addition, the Section is responsible for providing technical assistance and guidance to Federal, State and local government agencies, Tribal governments, the private sector, and the public with regard to survey issues and provides policy and implementation guidance on the standards for the use of GPS in the conduct of cadastral surveys.
- Cadastral Surveys: Responsible for conducting cadastral surveys to identify Public Lands in the States of Oregon and Washington; including the establishment or re-establishment of public land boundaries; the monumentation and remonumentation of corners; the subdivision of land into smaller parcels; the determination of acreage; and the preparation of the official plat and written record. Provide BLM District Offices with technical direction and support to resolve routine land boundary problems.
- Reimbursable Cadastral Surveys: Responsible for conducting cadastral surveys to identify Federal and Tribal lands on behalf of other Federal agencies and Tribal governments in the States of Oregon and Washington. Responsible for the establishment or re-establishment of public land boundaries, including the monumentation and re-monumentation of corners; the subdivision of land into smaller parcels; the determination of acreage; and the preparation of the official plat and written record. Provides other Federal agencies and Tribal governments with preliminary surveys, survey investigations, and survey reports to determine the need for a cadastral survey or to resolve routine land boundary problems. The costs of these activities are borne by the requesting agency or Tribe.
- Contract Surveys including Surveys assigned to other Federal Agency Surveyors: The Cadastral Survey Section is responsible for providing Special Instructions, contract administration, and survey approval on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior. The contractor conducts the on-the-ground measurement and monumentation, and prepares the field notes and plats for review and approval by the BLM.
- Remonumentation / Rehabilitation: Responsible for the on-the-ground corner maintenance of the PLSS. Remonument and rehabilitate deteriorating corners of the PLSS to perpetuate the PLSS and promote survey efficiencies for both the public and private sectors, and to assist the public and federal land managers in the on-the-ground identification of federal lands.
- Examination and Approval of Mineral Surveys: Responsible for the examination and approval of all mineral surveys conducted by U.S. Mineral Surveyors in the States of Oregon and Washington. The cost of examining and approving mineral surveys is borne by the applicant.
- Supplemental Plats: Responsible for preparing and approving supplemental plats from Cadastral Survey record data, when practical, to facilitate the government’s conveyance of lands and/or mineral interest.
- Examination, Approval and Filing: Prepares final survey documents for approval on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior, publishes notice of official filing of accepted plats of survey, and maintains the original survey records.
- Control Surveys: Responsible for conducting geodetic control surveys in cooperation with other Federal, State, local and Tribal government agencies and the private sector. These surveys are conducted to support ongoing cadastral survey work, GCDB densification and quality assurance, geodetic network densification, and in support of aerial photography projects.
- Consultation: Responsible for interpreting the rules governing official cadastral surveys and providing guidance on the methods used to identify and locate Federal and Tribal lands in the States of Oregon and Washington. Consultation is provide to both internal and external customers including other Federal agencies, State, local and Tribal governments, the private sector, academia, professional societies, special interest groups, and the public. In addition, the Cadastral Survey Section is responsible for preparing, reviewing and/or verifying complex legal land descriptions.
- Manual of Survey Instruction Interpretation: Responsible for providing final interpretation of the Manual of Survey Instruction for cadastral surveys conducted in the States of Oregon and Washington to Federal, State and local government agencies, Tribal governments, the private sector, and the public.
- Interagency and Intergovernmental Coordination: Responsible for representing the BLM Oregon and Washington at events sponsored by the BLM, other Federal, State and local government agencies, Tribal governments, the private sector, academia, professional societies, special interest groups and associations, and the public. BLM’s National representative on FGDC’s Federal Geodetic Control Subcommittee, GPS Interagency Advisory Council (GIAC), Civil GPS Service Interface Committee (CGSIC) and participates in the National Interagency Coordination Council (ICCC), Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon, Washington Society of Land Surveyors, Oregon GPS Users Group, and Washington GPS Users Group.
- Expert Witness: Upon request, serve as an expert witness regarding Cadastral Survey procedures.
- Special Instructions: Responsible for researching and compiling survey and related records in order to prepare Special and Supplemental Special Instructions.
- Protest and Appeals: Researches and prepared documentation in support of cadastral surveys in protest and appeals cases.
- Resource Grade Global Positioning System (GPS) Support: Provides resource grade satellite positioning (geographic positioning) support to the BLM Oregon and Washington organization. Maintains GPS base stations in Oregon, including the BLM Burns District base station, in cooperation with other agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service. Provides technical advice and training to a wide variety of resource specialists within the BLM and other agencies. Provide geodetic technical support to OR BLM FUG, including standards for GPS data collection for GIS.
- Training: Provide technical training to other agencies, tribes, and the private sector in cadastral survey, spatial data, land tenure, and the Global Positioning System, on an as needed bases.
General Functions - Mapping Science Section (OR-957.2)
The Mapping Science Section provides leadership as well as operational and technical support to the Oregon State Office and all District Offices of the BLM Oregon and Washington organization. The mapping sciences program is responsible for the preparation and construction of special purpose maps, and 100k maps using traditional and digital mapping technologies for publication. Participates on the OSO Publication Committee to ensure map products meet Mapping and Printing Standards and are cost effective. In addition, the Section is responsible for providing technical assistance and guidance to Field Offices with regard to mapping products, photographic reproduction, remote sensing application, aerial photography and base data collection and maintenance in support of Geographic Information Sciences technologies.
- Hard copy Products (Printed Maps): Responsible for the production of
hard copy products from digital data sources in conformance with national/state
standards. In general, the process includes assembly of data, compilation,
reproduction and distribution of data. Products include, but are not
limited to 1:100,000 Surface/Minerals Status map series, 1:500,000 and
1:1,000,000 surface administration series, ½" = 1 mile Recreation Maps,
and maps for Resource Management Plans, Realty, and other special use
projects. Provide technical assistance to Communications, Public Affairs,
District Offices and others in the production of maps for BLM Oregon
and Washington publications. Reviews district generated products for
conformance to BLM Mapping Standards and format compatibility for generating
- 1:100,000 BLM Map Series: Coordinates with District Office(s) and National Science & Technical Center (NSTC) for the reprint or automated full revision of the BLM 100k scale series maps. Coordinates with NSTC to ensure that the most current digital USGS and BLM data available (USGS DLG’s/BLM GCDB) is used. Performs quality assurance checks on the NSTC product to for cartographic and land status information.
- ½" = 1 mile Recreation Maps Series: Coordinates with subject matter experts to acquire the best available base theme information and with other agencies to obtain recreational features, road numbers and to eliminate overlapping coverages where feasible.
- Resource Management Planning: Provides assistance in the construction or review of mapping products for display and/or printing. Coordinates with the Project Lead and District GIS Specialist in the design/layout, and clear depiction of resource data.
- Acquisition of Corporate Base Data Sets: Coordinates with USGS and other agencies for the acquisition and production of spatial data products that form the base data sets for many of the geo-spatial applications within BLM. This includes yearly coordination with USGS, National Mapping Division, and coordination thru the DOI High-Priority Base Data A-16 program, with State, Local, County, USFS and NRCS. This coordination facilitates DOI prioritization of data acquisition and ensures a cost sharing among agencies.
- Addition to Corporate Base Data Sets: Provides assistance to the District Offices and Program Leads by operating a document transition program. This scanning effort enables subject matter experts to move their paper records to a geo-referenced digital data set, which can then be used in a GIS environment with other corporate data sets.
- Maintenance of Corporate Base Data Sets: The maintenance of the Corporate Base Data Sets is accomplished thru the DOI High-Priority Base Data A-16 program and coordination with the data users. When new or updated products are needed or when USGS updates a data set, these products are added to or replace what is currently already in the corporate library.
- Spatial Resource Data Collection: Provides support in the collection of spatial resource data, on an as needed basis, to our District Offices and the USFS, Region 6 Office. This includes digitizing, scanning or editing of existing digital data, within current national/state standards and the distribution, sharing and exchange of that data with other internal and external customers.
- Aerial Photography Contract Coordination and Oversight: Provide contract
coordination and oversight for the cyclic Western Oregon Aerial Photography
project and all other aerial photography projects for BLM Oregon and
Washington. This includes COR responsibility, quality assurance of the contracted
and scanning of the contracted product for use in GIS applications. Mapping
Sciences will also crate mosaics and orthorectify the scanned photos
at the Districts request.
- Cyclic Western Oregon Aerial Photography: 1:12,000 resource grade, color aerial photography is collected on a yearly basis for BLM Oregon’s five westside District Offices. One District is flown per year in a five year cycle. Mapping Sciences is responsible for the contract coordination including flight planning (verification of flight lines, ground control selection and preparation), quality assurance of the contracted product, duplication (copying), archiving, copying, scanning, distribution.
- Requirements Aerial Photography: Mapping Sciences is responsible for the oversight of the requirements contract for the collection of aerial photography in Oregon. The requirements contract allows us to collect color infrared and large scale photogrammetic (Mapping Grade) quality photography, on an as needed basis, for riparian, timber, or other resource activities.
- Photographic Reproduction: Provides contract oversight for the Photographic Reproduction Services Contract. Coordinates the reproduction of existing hard copy materials onto film, mylar, or paper at same scale or enlargement/reduction. Supports the reproduction of the original official Cadastral Survey plats and reproducible mylar copies, overlays for aerial photography pre-work indexes, and recreation mapping.
- National Publication Standards Support: Active members on the BLM National Map Publication Standards Team. Current project is the development of a Cartographic Design Class to address maps created digitally for off-set printing, web, or on-demand maps for the public room. Other topics discussed, but on hold, have been International recreation symbology, web/power point, and signage. All completed issues to be published on the NSTC Map Standards website.
- Web Design and Update: Provides assistance to Geographic Sciences and OSO customers with graphics/maps for insertion on the web. Products include Map Products Indexes for the BLM Recreation Series, 100k Map Series, and Wildlife Units overlaying BLM maps.
- Remote Sensing and Satellite Image Processing: Provides for image processing, image analysis, data conversion, data acquisition, and remote sensing project planning upon request.
- Training: Provide technical training to other agencies, tribes, and the private sector in cartography, public map production and on an as needed bases.
General Functions - Geographic Coordinate Database (OR-957.3)
The Geographic Coordinate Database (GCDB) Section is responsible for creating and maintaining the graphical depiction of the Public Land Survey System (PLSS). The GCDB provides the best available coordinate values for the PLSS and is the foundation for the BLM’s parcel-based records system. The sections works with Federal, Tribal, State and local government offices to populate the GCDB with the best available coordinate values in support of land and resource management decisions on public lands.
- Building Partnerships: Coordinates geographic, parcel based, data sharing between Counties, State, and other Federal Agencies. Serve as the point of contact in Oregon and Washington for national initiatives associated with the PLSS such as OMB I-Teams and National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), and with State and local initiatives like Oregon Map (ORMAP) and the Washington Geospatial Framework.
- LLI Data Stewardship: Serves as the state Data Steward and Editor for the Land Line and GCD ArcInfo themes. This includes: creation, integration, and maintenance of the digital (GCD) portrayal of the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) for use in GIS, LIS, and mapping. LLI also includes the polygon attributes for jurisdiction, ownership, rights and restrictions information, and subsurface minerals information, all of which is used in developing Resource Management Plans, updating BLM mapping products, prescribed burn planning, Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation (BAER), and certain Law Enforcement investigations.
- LLD Data Stewardship: Serves as the state Data Steward for the Legal Land Description (LLD) database in LR2000. GCDB is responsible for the maintenance of the records contained in LLD on an as needed basis. Maintenance includes data entry of new legal land descriptions from new cadastral surveys and supplemental plats.
- Boundary Theme Data Stewardship: Serves as the state data steward for certain boundary themes, including the State, County, BLM District, and BLM Resource Area (Field Office). This includes researching record information to determine the description of each of these boundary themes and the correlation of the legal descriptions of these boundaries to the GCDB line. When the District and Resource Area boundary themes have been collected and conflicts resolved, the Data Steward will be responsible for the documentation of the legal description for the BLM boundaries.
- Amended Protraction Diagrams: Responsible for preparing Amended Protraction Diagrams to facilitate the management of the Public Lands in Oregon and other BLM State Offices, on request.
- Support OR-958 in the production of Automated Master Title Plats and Use Plats: Provides GCDB data as the spatial component to the production of Automated Master Title Plats. The GCDB process of attributing polygons with LLD and LLI provide an independent QA/QC check of the spatial relationships shown on the MTP as well as validating the accuracy of the tabular Lands and Realty data in LR2000.
- Training: Provide technical training to other agencies, counties, tribes, private sector, and other BLM offices, in GCDB software and Cadastral Survey records, on an as needed basis.