Land Survey Program

Who We Are and What We Do

The mission of the Land Survey Program is to develop and provide information required for the accurate and economical location of property boundaries in Missouri. The program is responsible for Cadastral and Geodetic Surveys, as well as making survey documents available to surveyors and the public. The corners of the United States Public Land Survey System (USPLSS) are the basis for the location of all property in Missouri. Properly monumented, they are a dependable, consistent, accurate source of information for settling property boundary disputes and other boundary related questions.

Cadastral Section

The Cadastral Section is responsible for restoring existing and obliterated corners of the United States Public Land Survey System. Hundreds of corners are restored, thousands perpetuated and documented through in-house projects, contracting and participation in the filing of Certified Land Corner Documents.

County Surveyor Co-op

The Land Survey Program enters into contracts with county governments to remonument corners of the Original Government Survey. These contracts are cost-shared agreements between the Department and county governments.

Private Surveyor Co-op

The Land Survey Program enters into contracts with private surveyors to remonument government corners that have original evidence or a chain of evidence to the original. The state pays the agreed upon cost of remonumentation.

Corner Registration

Any surveyor who restores or reestablishes a corner of the U.S. Public Land Survey must file an approved land corner restoration/reestablishment document with the Land Survey Program. There is also an option to save and reuse the form in a CAD fill-in format. There is no charge for filing. When submitting corner documents for registration, please use legal-size (8 1/2" x 14") paper and select the "fit to page" option from your Printer Setup. If you have any questions or need assistance, please call (573) 368-2300.

Geodetic Section

A geodetic survey determines the precise position of permanent points on the earth's surface, taking into account the shape, size and curvature of the earth. Geodetic surveying techniques are applied when areas or distances involved are so great that desired accuracy and precision results cannot be obtained by ordinary or plane surveying. Geodetic measurements are now being done with the use of orbiting satellites that are positioned 12,500 miles above the surface of the earth.

The Geodectic Section defines and manages a consistent coordinate system based on latitude, longitude and heights throughout Missouri. This section is responsible for preservation and augmentation of the horizontal and vertical-control network in Missouri. Electronic distance measurement equipment baselines throughout the state are used to validate and verify these instruments. The Missouri Geographic Reference System (GRS) is an extension of the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS). Currently, there are more than 13,000 of these monuments in Missouri. The technical data for these markers are available through the Land Survey Program.

EDM Baseline Documentation

An Electronic Distance Measuring (EDM) calibration will allow the operator to verify the EDM system constant and scale factor. If the EDM, Prisms, Tribrach are in calibration and the correct atmospheric corrections are applied, the results will be reflected in the returned report. If the system constant and/or the scale factor are not within the prescribed limits, the report will notify the sender. To access the information for an Electronic Distance Measuring (EDM) Calibration Baseline, click the appropriate baseline location on the map below.

The EDM Calibration Baseline application performs a least squares adjustment and statistical analysis on distances observed by the user on a particular calibrated baseline. The user must complete the calibration form for the baseline to be used in the comparison prior to entering the observed distance information into the EDM Baseline Calibration application. The final test results from the EDM Baseline Calibration application will enable the operator to verify that the instrument is calibrated and is operating properly.

EDM Baseline Calibration

Harn Network

Description: A HARN (High Accuracy Reference Network) is a statewide or regional upgrade in accuracy of NAD 83 coordinates using Global Positioning System (GPS) observations. HARNs were observed to support the use of GPS by Federal, state, and local surveyors, geodesists, and many other applications. The cooperative network upgrading program began in Tennessee in 1986. The last field observations were completed in Indiana in September 1997 after horizontally upgrading some 16,000 survey stations to A-order or B-order status. Horizontal A-order stations have a relative accuracy of 5 mm +/- 1:10,000,000 relative to other A-order stations. Horizontal B-order stations have a relative accuracy of 8 mm +/- 1:1,000,000 relative to other A-order and B-order stations Of these 16,000 stations, NGS has committed to maintaining about 1,400 survey stations, named the Federal Base Network, and the various states will maintain the remainder.

Status: Adjustment of the Missouri HARN was completed in March 1998

Geographic Reference System

The Missouri Geographic Reference System is a network of accurately positioned Horizontal and Vertical control monuments (latitude, longitude, elevation and state plane coordinates) used by land surveyors, engineers, cartographers and others who have a need to locate positions on, below or above the surface of the earth. PDFs with additional details for control points are available through the map below and through the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

Go to Geographic Reference System (control map)

Mark Maintenance

Destruction of survey monuments is a violation of Missouri law. The Land Survey Program will replace monuments that have been damaged or destroyed.

How to Report: Report any monuments that may be in danger of destruction to the Program at 573-368-2300.

Records Repository Section

The development of a central repository for all land survey documents began in the early 1970s. The Repository Section now contains approximately two million documents in digital format. Land Survey documents play an extremely important part in the determination of land boundaries. Private land surveyors, title insurers, recorders, attorneys, real estate professionals, and landowners must rely on these documents.

The Repository is responsible for acquiring and archiving survey documents through contact with all county recorders and county surveyors in Missouri. Most of these documents are received digitally or by mail from the counties. The documents are then scanned, indexed, and filmed so they can be accessed through the Land Survey Index (LSI) and made available to the public for immediate download. A duplicate roll of filmed images is stored in the Secretary of State's vault for preservation purposes. These records have proven invaluable, as they have made possible the restoration of county land records where the original documents have been destroyed.