Northern MN Land Surveying Resources

This page will provide you with links to land surveyor information and resources to help guide you through the process of having a survey done for you. Some of the information available is external to our website. Bear Island Surveying has included these sites because we believe they provide information and/or services that the person looking for a surveyor or currently working with a surveyor will find useful. However, since these sites are not under our control, we cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by them. Linking to these websites does not constitute an endorsement by Bear Island Surveying, Inc. or any of its employees of the sponsors of these sites or any products or services presented on them.

Glossary of Cartographic Terms - Perry-Castañeda Map Collection - UT Library Online
Glossary of Cartographic Terms.

A Guide to the Records of Minnesota's Public Lands
This publication contains valuable information on historical records concerning the transfer of federal lands in the state, including a concise history of the General Land Office survey.

Minnesota's Bearing Tree Database
The Public Land Survey (PLS) began in 1847 in Minnesota and established the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) network of townships, ranges, and sections. As part of the PLS, surveyors were instructed to record specific information for all bearing trees located during the course of the survey. These bearing trees were notched, blazed, and scribed in a standard way to facilitate the relocation of the survey corner should the wooden corner post or corner stone be lost or moved. The surveyor was required to note for each bearing tree the following information: 1) its type (~ species), 2) its diameter, 3) its distance to the corner, and 4) its azimuth or "bearing" from the corner. Bearing trees were required at both the standard corners of the rectangular survey grid and at points on the survey lines where the surveyors were forced to meander around impassable areas such as lakes. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - Natural Heritage Information System (NHIS) Bearing Tree Database contains computerized records of the bearing trees at standard section and quarter-section survey corners.

Minnesota Rules and Regulations for Land Surveyors
Compilation of the Minnesota Statutes Relative to Land Surveying by the Minnesota Society of Professional Surveyors.

Land Survey Articles

Following are land survey articles that will interest and perhaps suprise you.

Famous Surveyors
Some famous people you probably never realized were surveyors.

Geometry and Surveying
An article tracing the links between the development of geometry and the development of land surveying.

History of Surveying and Measurement
International Institution for the History of Surveying and Measurement.

The Mason-Dixon Line
Most Americans know the Mason-Dixon Line as the divider between North and South; freedom and slavery. But the line's origins have nothing to do with slavery.

Land Survey Information Resources

Following are resources that will help you understand more about how professional surveyors operate and the requirements for becoming a professional land surveyor.

American Congress on Surveying and Mapping
Professional organization of surveyors, cartographers, geodesists, and other spatial data disciplines.

Colleges and Universities Offering Surveying Education with ABET Accreditation
ABET, Inc., is the recognized accreditor for college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology.

Your Land and the Land Surveyor
An informational page outlining why you should consult a professional land surveyor before you buy, sell, divide or build. Provided by The Minnesota Society of Professional Surveyors.

Geomatics net
The internet portal for Land Surveyors and Surveying.

The Journal of Surveying Engineering
Covers the broad spectrum of surveying and mapping activities encountered in modern practice. It includes traditional areas such as construction surveys, control surveys, photogrammetric mapping, engineering layout, deformation measurements, precise alignment, and boundary surveying. It also includes newer development such as satellite positioning; spatial database design, quality assurance, and information management of geographic information systems; computer applications involving modeling, data structures, algorithms, and information processing; digital mapping, coordinate systems, cartographic representations, and the role of surveying engineering professionals in an information society.

Land Status Records Abbreviations

Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience and Interior Design (AELSLAGID)
The board examines, licenses, and regulates the practice of architecture, professional engineering, land surveying, landscape architecture, geoscience, and use of title for certified interior design.

Minnesota Land Management Information Center
LMIC serves Minnesota by helping other government and non-government organizations achieve better, faster, and more cost-effective results for the state through the creative use of GIS and other geospatial information technologies.

Minnesota Society of Professional Land Surveyors
The objective of this association is to unite all licensed Land Surveyors in the State of Minnesota; to elevate the standards of the surveying profession in the State of Minnesota; to establish basic minimum guidelines for surveys; to assist in promoting legislation, educational programs and public relations to improve the profession of the land surveyor; to work in cooperation with local, county and state governments in our field of endeavor; to uphold a rigid code of ethics and strive to improve our relations with our clients and the protection of the public by doing our work with precision and integrity.

The National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis
an independent research consortium dedicated to basic research and education in geographic information science and its related technologies, including geographic information systems (GIS). The three member institutions are the University of California, Santa Barbara; the University at Buffalo; and the University of Maine. The consortium was formed in 1988 to respond to a competition for funding from the National Science Foundation, and continues to receive much of its funding from that source.

The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES)
A national non-profit organization composed of engineering and land surveying licensing boards representing all U.S. states and territories.

National Society of Professional Surveyors
Provides the platform by which members can share their thoughts and opinions about our common interests through business meetings /committees, regional groups, and student chapters. It also provides a forum for input from other groups such as the National Association of County Surveyors, members of state boards of registration, and the Forum for State Surveying Society Executives.

Occupational Outlook for Surveying
Provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bulletin 2540.

Original Public Land Survey Plat Maps of Minnesota
This digital collection is a compilation of the state's original plat maps drawn by the U.S. Surveyor General's Office over the years 1848-1907. The collection includes later plat maps, up to the year 2001, drawn from surveys conducted by the General Land Office and the Bureau of Land Management.

The U.S. Public Land Survey System (USPLSS)
The USPLSS applies to most of the U.S. except for the thirteen original colonies, Texas, and Hawaii. This cadastral survey is the systematic basis for land subdivision in most of the country. One should be familiar with the system for land ownership reasons and because of the tremendous imprint it has left on the natural landscape.

Virtual Museum of Surveying


Ely, MN and BWCA Resources

Following are links to resources available in the Ely, MN area and the BWCAW (Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness). Some we have broken down by season - summer, fall, and winter, to show you what makes Ely so great during the year and how to take advantage of what Ely has to offer. Others are useful links to services and attractions available year-round.

Boundary Waters Journal
A new standard of excellence in outdoor periodicals. Uniquely designed to inspire greater understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of America's most popular wilderness area.
Monthly on-line magazine on the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Quetico Park.

CADline Design, Inc.
Provides computer generated drafting and detail solutions to industrial and commercial companies as well as private individuals.

DNR Lake Finder
Contains data for more than 4,500 lakes and rivers throughout Minnesota, including: lake surveys, lake depth maps, lake water quality data and lake water clarity data (from the Pollution Control Agency), satellite-based water clarity information (from the University of Minnesota), lake notes, and fish consumption advice (from the Department of Health).

Ely Chamber of Commerce

Ely MN Area Fall Activities and Attractions
Activities and attractions in the Ely and surrounding area that can be enjoyed in the fall.

Ely MN Area Local Activities and Attractions
Activities and attractions in the Ely and surrounding area.

Ely MN Area Local Activities and Attractions
Activities and attractions in the Ely and surrounding area.

Ely MN Area Summer Activities and Attractions
Activities and attractions in the Ely and surrounding area that can be enjoyed in the summer.

Ely MN School System
The Ely Memorial High School web site.

Hearthside Corner
Committed to providing the best quality hearth products available on today’s market.

Independent Music from Independent Bands and Independent Musicians at Music Outfitters
They specialize in independent music from independent bands and independent musicians - not only those from Ely and the Iron Range of Minnesota, but those from across the country and the world.

Moose Track Adventures
A family-oriented resort and wilderness outiftter into the BWCA & Quetico. They offer a variety of guided BWCA Wilderness canoe trips, fishing trips, and eco-tourism trips along with complete and partial outfitting.

Kondos Outdoors
Kondos Outdoors manufactures quality canoe packs and canoeing and camping gear along with dog gear, including dog booties, dog harnesses and skijoring equipment in Ely, MN.

O'Connor Consulting
A full-service computer consulting firm located in in Ely, MN, offering networking, web, integration and support services in northern Minnesota. With over 19 years of experience providing information technology services, products and support, O'Connor Consulting offers stability, integrity and knowledge. Check out the computer help and resources section of their web site.

St. Louis County
Web site of St. Louis County, MN, the home of 200,500 people scattered throughout in small mining towns, farm communities, and in busy cities which serve as regional hubs. Ely is located in St. Louis County.