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Bureau of Land Management
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Leslie Cone
(303) 236-0815

BLM Introduces CTALS and Township Geocoder to GeoCommunicator Website

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced the deployment of two new tools within the GeoCommunicator website: the Township Geocoder and Cases That Affect Land Status (CTALS). GeoCommunicator (, a website for interactive mapping and the distribution of GIS data from the BLM’s National Integrated Land System (NILS), is part of the President’s E-Government initiative. NILS uses the geographic information software packages ArcGIS 9 and Model Builder to develop and standardize the BLM’s land management business processes.

GeoCommunicator’s Land and Mineral Use Records interactive map viewer allows users to map CTALS. CTALS is a set of records affecting land ownership and status that have been converted from the BLM’s Legacy Rehost 2000 (LR2000) - Status system. Users can view historical records including land grants issued to railroads and schools, land exchanges, withdrawals, homestead entry patents. Eventually, CTALS will include additional information from the LR2000 - Case Recordation system.

“Being able to view historical documents that have helped shape our nation is one very important reason for including CTALS in the GeoCommunicator website,” said Leslie Cone, BLM Project Manager. “The Land and Mineral Use Records website also provides interactive mapping of mining claims and oil and gas leasing and agreements,” Cone said.

The Township Geocoder tool is a new addition to the Land Survey Information webpage. The Township Geocoder is a joint effort between the Bureau of Land Management and the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) to provide township geocoding capabilities to aid Western states in firefighting efforts and the analysis of historical fire data.

Historically, fire start-locations were recorded in terms of Township, Range and Section in the database maintained by the NIFC. With modern maps and GPS, latitude and longitude values are now used to report fire locations. The Township Geocoder allows conversion of Latitude and Longitude (Lat/Long) coordinates into Township, Range and Section terms. Likewise, Township, Range and Section values can be converted into Lat/Long format. Township data from the Public Land Survey System may also be downloaded for use in GIS-based land information systems.

"Through our focus groups and user surveys, we determined what land data and tools the public is most eager to spatially access,” said Cone. “We are very excited that these additions will make the GeoCommunicator website more useful to our customers.”

For more information on GeoCommunicator or NILS contact:

Leslie Cone, BLM L&RPO Project Manager WO-330D
P.O. Box 25047 - Denver, CO 80225
(303) 236-0815

The BLM manages more land – 261 million surface acres – than any other Federal agency. Most of this public land is located in 12 Western States, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1.8 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, and cultural resources on the public lands.