Explaining Townships and Sections

Standard Section Deed Plotter

Townships and Sections Example:

Thirty one states have Townships and Sections. Net Deed Plotter can often handle property descriptions referenced to a section assuming that the sections are perfect 640 acre squares that are one mile in length on each side. We identify these as “Standard Sections”. In the discussion below we will show you two methods of entering tracts that are referenced to a section..

We describe a rectangular survey in respect to sections as a portion of the section. For example, a tract may consist of the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of a certain section. Another example would be the north 300 feet of the west 200 feet of a certain section. We will provide examples using these formats, and of course, assuming a Standard Section.

To enter a rectangular description, type all rectangular data into the deed call editor in abbreviated form.  For example, a tract consisting of the north half of southeast quarter of section 9, township 8 north, range 15 west, would be entered into our Deed Call Editor as “n,se,9,8n,15w” (without the quotes). We show this entry into our Deed Call Editor in the image below.

Standard Township & Section rectangular survey description entry example.

After the rectangular data entry, we press the <Enter> key to expand it into an equivalent metes & bounds tract that has been tied to the section. The image below shows the deed call editor after the deed calls appear in it. We also drew the map and scaled it so you can see the map and section lines.

Deed Call Editor showing rectangular description entry and plat after being converted to equivalent metes and bounds deed calls.

You may notice that the section tie on line 1 of the editor references the tract to the northeast corner of the north half of the southeast quarter of the section. The manner Deed Plotter uses may technically vary. The scale of the map results in some relevant section lines not showing. Generally, one may want to choose the scale based on map size or based on section lines.

For our second example we will tie a metes & bounds description to a section corner.
For this example, let’s use a 5 sided tract that will be tied to the northwest corner of the same township and section as used above.

To do so, we will first enter the section tie with a forward slash preceding it, then we will add the 5 metes and bounds deed calls. This will be as follows:
n23.3330e 2507.19
n87.4220e 3338.60
s2.43e 3654.74
n64.21w 2610.80
n87.3855w 2159.52
These deed calls are shown in the image below, but may be a little difficult to see. The map has been drawn, deed calls on line shown, and the scale was set to a value that shows the map well. The scale chosen results in some relevant section lines being off the map.

A direct entry of Metes and bounds description into Deed Call Editor and tied to Section corner.

These examples are to only show the basic process.  For example, sometimes the meridian (north direction) of the tract(s) are not the same as the meridian for the sections.  In those cases rotation of the tract(s) may help.  (Rotation is explained in Help & the manual.)  In general, our Help topics and the  manual explains important information concerning this “standard section”  feature.