Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Florida Townships & Ranges

In Florida the legal property description is based on a rectangular grid  (6-miles by 6-miles) of townships and ranges with a meridian (center-point) passing through Tallahassee.  Each township and range is subdivided into 36 square mile subdivisions (1-mile by 1-mile) termed sections.  The sections get further divided into aliquots.

There is a better explanation on a website called Section, Township & Range, at genealogy.about.com/cs/land/a/public_lands.htm.  There is another good explanation on Wikipedia as Public Land Survey System at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Land_Survey_System

I have two "simple" online ways to local these coordinates.  One is to use the Official DOT County Maps of Florida, at www.dot.state.fl.us/surveyingandmapping/countymap.shtm.  You can view and download the maps as pdf-files (the border have T[township] and R[range] with the sections in boxes on the map.)  The other (less simple) involves using Google Earth downloading a kml-file and executing it to apply the township-range-sections to the Google Earth map.  The kml-file is available from Earthpoint at www.earthpoint.us/Townships.aspx.  When you open this webpage, simply click the box labeled: View on Google Earth in the BML Township, Range and Section section.  The kml-file will be downloaded, you don't have to register.  Open your free copy of Google Earth, then find EarthPointTownships.kml in your downloads and double click on the file to temporarily install it on your Google Earth.  It is an intensive program and will slow down Google Earth so turn it off for other projects.

The Thomas Register for Florida, a large book in the Reference Section of your larger public Florida library will contain a township and range map as well.

Okay it isn't real simple, but it ain't rocket science either.  With a handle on the legal description of a piece of land, you will be able to find it on a map and likely on the road in front of it.

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