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GLO and Coast Survey Resources for the Pacific Northwest

GLO (Public Land Survey System, or PLSS)


Overview, national -- National Atlas

Overview, Oregon -- see Loy et al. (2001), Atlas of Oregon : 18-19. [Not available digitally].


Oregon and Washington -- BLM

Other states -- BLM

Oregon Plat and DLC maps -- University of Oregon Library

USGS quad maps with GLO annotations for Klamath region -- Oregon Institute of Technology


U.S. Coast Survey


Topographic maps ("T-sheets") of the U.S. Coast Survey (later called U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, and more recently the National Geodetic Survey) have been integrated whenever possible with GLO data because of the data-rich detail they impart to map products. They were based on meticulous field mapping conducted between 1852 and 1889. Cartography of the Coast Survey maps was superior to that of the GLO township plat maps, and when georeferenced, is substituted for linework shown in the plat maps. 

The Coast Suvey maps provide highly accurate delineations of small-patch vegetation and stream alignments at a level of detail not possible from GLO data, while the GLO data provide information on vegetation, streams, and cultural features that are not available from Coast Survey data. When combined, the two sources of information provide high-quality cartography on the composition and extent of various vegetation types at the time of survey.


Land cover symbology used in the Coast Survey maps was interpreted by Shalowitz (1964) and Graves et al. (1995), and provides important detail in vegetation structure and hydrology.


Lower Columbia River (University of Washington)


Lower Columbia River (University of Washington). Georeferenced T-sheets and landcover maps digitized from T-sheets.
San Juan Islands (Tom Schroeder)


Regional GLO and Other Historical Vegetation Websites



Blue Mountains (David Powell, U.S. Forest Service, Umatilla National Forest)


Blue Mountains (David Powell, U.S. Forest Service, Umatilla National Forest)
San Juan Islands (Tom Schroeder) 


History of Surveying

Virtual Museum of Surveying

Washington -- Olson Engineering

BLM National Office -- Cadastral History

Principal Meridian Project

University of Oregon Map Library -- GLO Resources

Surveyors Historical Society


Professional Surveyors Associations in Pacific Northwest

Idaho -- Idaho Society of Professional Land Surveyors

Oregon -- Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon

Washington -- Land Surveyors' Association of Washington
British Columbia -- Association of British Columbia Land Surveyors 


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