Overlaying MyLandMatters on Google Earth

Rail Dawg

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It’s been mentioned that there’s a way to overlay MyLandMatters maps over Google Earth.

Can someone here help step me through the process?

MyLandMatters is the best tool I have ever found for researching claims.

Thanks.
 
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okbasspro

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Closest you can get is to download the PLSS app for google earth and compare the 2 maps (google earth and Landmatters) to find what you want.Its not perfect but is as close as we can get.:thumbsup:
 

Goldwasher

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Nope you can download PLSS and the same mine layers etc. but you don't have the same info tool and utility.


Notice now that the roads are clearly labeled when you zoom in.

I know the guy who thought that would be helpful :icon_thumleft:


Be aware that NO online map source is 100% accurate. In my area the PLSS is off by a bit compared to the on the ground survey points.


In my experience most of the mines on the ground are "local" to the labels you see on the map.

Once you start researching the location as it is claimed at the county you will start to see where things get muddied up when they go from paper to digital.

Use multiple sources!!

But, still MyLandMatters is still the best of all of them:occasion14:
 

Clay Diggins

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Unfortunately the PLSS download for Google Earth is the old abandoned (in 2008) inaccurate PLSS. The 2008 version on Google Earth is as much as 1/4 mile off in several areas.

The new CadNSDI PLSS is a lot more accurate and corrects a lot of the errors that were in the old 2008 version. The new CadNSDI is being actively improved every month.

Land Matters uses the new more accurate CadNSDI PLSS and updates it regularly. For quite a while Land Matters has been the only website offering the new CadNSDI in our mapping. I see that a few web maps are partially implementing the new PLSS now but I don't see anyone else displaying the full version.

The only area that has a kml that can be used in Google Earth to display the new CadNSDI are a few small areas in New Mexico. I'm sure that will change in time but for now if you want to view the more accurate new PLSS Land Matters is the place.

You can download the new CadNSDI PLSS from the BLM Navigator. As usual their system is so unwieldy that you would probably never find it with a search so here is the LINK. The file is about 1 Gigabyte compressed and it's in a .gdb file format that expands to nearly 10 Gigabytes. If you have a high end mapping program you can probably open that file if you have enough processing power and memory. If you get that far you will immediately notice there are some severe errors that make the file mostly unusable. :BangHead:

We spent more than 4 months fixing those errors so the data could be displayed and used on a map. We felt that the actual reference grid for land descriptions had to be as accurate as possible for our users. All legal land descriptions in 34 States rely on this grid. The fact that we dug in and did the work is why we had the only full working copy available to the public. :thumbsup:

Back to overlaying on Google Earth. I understand the idea would be to make a copy of a Land Matters map and stretch it to fit over Google Earth. The problem is what are you going to use as a reference points to make the map picture fit over Google Earth? Being that the PLSS isn't going to line up between the two maps that might put you a quarter mile off. That's just the beginnings of the problems you are going to encounter. Here are just a few more:

Google uses an imaginary map projection. Study all those wacky map projections of the earths shape, at that link, and realize that the Google map projection is less accurate than all of them.

With several thousand well documented models for making accurate maps Google couldn't get any of those to work fast enough. So they made their own. Nothing wrong with that, people have been making their own projections for centuries. But Google didn't follow the rules for map projections so they would end up with an accurate map. Their projection is always inaccurate in all dimensions. The map projection Google came up with is named 900913. Isn't that cute? Google spelled their name in numbers! The projection they created is so bad that nobody can get an accurate conversion to a real map projection.

Land Matters maps are presented in several very accurate projections that don't in any way line up with the Google Earth silly made up map projection. That means no matter how much you push the image around to match Google you will only get less accuracy for your efforts.

You might think I'm just sour on Google Earth but Google agrees with me. Here's their statement on the accuracy of their maps.
Google makes no claims as to the accuracy of the coordinates in Google Earth. These are provided for entertainment only and should not be used for any navigational or other purpose requiring any accuracy whatsoever.

Our imagery varies from sub-meter resolution in major cities to 15 meter (90 foot) resolution for most of the earth's surface, with a global base resolution of 1KM. Since our database is constantly being updated, we cannot state a specific resolution for any geographic region.

Once you turn on the "3D" terrain feature those very inaccurate Google Earth maps become much less accurate. Essentially you are working strictly in fantasy land as far as locational accuracy is concerned with 3D turned on.

I work very hard to try to provide accurate reliable mapping. On most map layers presented by Land Matters the accuracy goal is 30 foot, about the same as GPS. Not all map layers on Land Matters are that accurate but a good deal of time is devoted to updating and modifying map data that doesn't meet that standard. Ultimately the goal of 30 foot accuracy will not be possible but at least we are attempting to make the most accurate maps possible - not something around maybe 3,300 foot accuracy like Google Earth.

Google Earth is sometimes a good way to visualize an area you have an interest in. The lack of accuracy of the mapping system itself probably doesn't matter to people looking for entertainment or a general view of an area. It is a valid tool in your research tool box. It's kind of like having a tape measure made out of elastic. It can give you a general idea of how big something is but it really doesn't have any accuracy at all if you need to know how big or long something is or how far and in what direction it is from another object.

Mining Claims and land boundaries don't do well with an elastic tape measure. When your goal is to locate a mining claim on the ground getting less accurate is a really bad idea. Mining somebody's claim or their private land because it looked good to go with a picture of a Land Matters map on Google Earth can result in unpleasant encounters and jail time. Trying to explain that Google said it was OK isn't really going to fly with the irate claim owner. Bad locational information from a land survey abandoned 10 years ago due to lack of accuracy isn't really something to rely on when you are locating mining claims. You need the best information possible, not just good enough for entertainment.

There is another reason I think overlaying copies of Land Matters maps on Google Earth is bad juju. Land Matters is the only non-profit providing free mapping of land status areas like mining claims. Obviously and publicly their intent is to provide accurate mapping of the public and private lands that really has never been made available in one place. A lot of what Land Matters presents on their maps for free is information you can not get anywhere else. When you take the copyright product of those custom maps and put them into the public for profit mapping of Google Earth you not only end up with an inferior map but you also are supporting a large company with the efforts of a small not for profit created for your benefit. Eventually you will kill the goose that lays the golden eggs in favor of an entertainment session.

Goldwasher made several very valid points.

"Be aware that NO online map source is 100% accurate."
No matter how good the maps get there will always be a disconnect between what is displayed on the map and the actual situation on the ground. We can only try to be accurate when making a map. That accuracy can't possibly translate into the reality of what you will find when you put boots on the ground. That's why I feel you are a lot better off with the best accuracy and the most up to date information possible. A lot of good mapping is about reducing the disconnect between what's displayed on the map and what the reality is.

"Once you start researching the location as it is claimed at the county you will start to see where things get muddied up when they go from paper to digital."
Neither Land Matters nor any other mapping system can provide up to date mapping and information on mining claims. Land Matters does update their mining claims maps more frequently than any other system and they are the only maps with direct links to the most current LR2000 claims data. That will never be enough information on a mining claims map to know what you will find at the County Recorder's office or when you put boots on the ground. Land Matters is the best and most current but they do not provide the final answer, just the tools to get you there.

Heavy Pans
 
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bigcaddy

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Try https://www.historicaerials.com if you haven't already. you can select slide tool under layer comparison tools on the left and choose a map from two different dates and move it around.

I have had really good luck and it doesn't take any work of overlaying maps.
 

OneStudPuppy

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Just a quick thought,
Photoshop using layers and transparency
Could Line up some landmarks and overlay a screen shot of area of interest?
Could give a little more general info
 

Goldwasher

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you can overlay old plat maps saved from GLO onto google earth
 

johnnysau

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Yes its possible, Accuracy wont be correct, but basically can use very time consuming, use to do it with old topos.
johnnysau
 

winners58

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BLM PLSS for GE https://gis.blm.gov/arcgis/rest/services/Cadastral/BLM_Natl_PLSS_CadNSDI/MapServer

I use GPS and pushpins in GE you can draw lines, shaded polygons and even map overlays.
.
GE.jpg
 
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Rail Dawg

Rail Dawg

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When I overlay Earthpoint Townships onto Google Earth and get the lat/long for a section corner my GPS in the field always takes me to within feet of a PLSS survey marker.

Now this is only for Rye Patch the accuracy may be further off in different areas.
 

Clay Diggins

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Thanks! That's cool winners. :thumbsup:

Sadly I couldn't get it to work in Google Earth or ArcMap. Seems the web address endpoint in the downloaded kmz is a dead end. Pretty typical of any of the Arcgis contracted services.

Maybe next year there will be a new system that works.

If you have a working kmz winners I would love to look it over and see what changes they made to break the current version. Just send me a PM if you care to share.

When I overlay Earthpoint Townships onto Google Earth and get the lat/long for a section corner my GPS in the field always takes me to within feet of a PLSS survey marker.

Now this is only for Rye Patch the accuracy may be further off in different areas.

I tried Earth Point just now on my reference pin. It's in my back yard and I've been testing different systems against this pin for about 4 1/2 years. Earth Point is off about 60 foot to the south and about 30 foot to the west. About what I would expect for the limits of commercial GPS error. Not bad but not within "a few feet".

The Land Matters PLSS display is within 6 foot of that point.

Being that Earthpoint is displaying on Google Earth "within a kilometer accuracy" I'd say their results are pretty good.

How much do you pay for their PLSS display?

Heavy Pans
 

Clay Diggins

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When I overlay Earthpoint Townships onto Google Earth and get the lat/long for a section corner my GPS in the field always takes me to within feet of a PLSS survey marker.

Now this is only for Rye Patch the accuracy may be further off in different areas.

I looked a little deeper into the Earthpoint PLSS. It looks like they are using the 2015 CadNSDI V1. Land Matters uses the current 2017 CadNSDI V2. That explains the discrepancy in location information.

The current version CadNSDI V2 is being updated constantly as each State adds resurveys and amendments. It's a lot of work to keep these current but each change is an upgrade in accuracy. The CadNSDI V1 had the same accuracy goals but it was closed to new entries in 2015 and doesn't have the updates for the last two years.

I don't want anyone to be mislead about the general accuracy of any of these progressive PLSS systems. Only the newest changes are "accurate" in the sense of locating Survey features on the ground. The old 2008 PLSS was very inaccurate. The CadNSDI V1 was a lot more accurate in some areas but still used a lot of the very inaccurate 2008 PLSS. The CadNSDI V2 is the most accurate to date but it still has a lot of old inaccurate information from the original 2008 PLSS and the more accurate CadNSDI V1. Only the The CadNSDI V2 is still being improved in accuracy.

So how accurate is the new CadNSDI V2? Here's the assessment from the official Federal mapping standards group.
Horizontal Positional Accuracy Report: Varies. Individual point accuracies may be reported feature-by-feature or may be reported for an entire data set. The overall data set accuracies range from a fraction of an inch to 4,000 feet depending upon the source, vintage and/or confidence in the data.
And that's a lot more accurate than the original PLSS! :BangHead:

Anyone trying to locate a claim or determine property lines really needs to do the ground work. Relying on the PLSS displayed on a map for accuracy is a crap shoot for the average user. Land Matters constantly updates the PLSS they display to ensure it is as accurate as possible. That's a lot of work but when dealing with land descriptions accuracy is very important.

In my own business I keep track of all the survey updates so I know what the locational accuracy of any given area is. That's a whole bunch more work than just keeping the PLSS display updated. You don't have that advantage when using the Land Matters PLSS but you can be confident that the Land Matters is the most accurate PLSS display available today.

Land Matters is working on a system to allow the download of the original surveys and field notes from the map. Those are the authoritative sources and will allow you to check the accuracy of the PLSS map display. Those are the documents you will need to determine exactly where the survey points and land patents are located on the ground. Until that project is done you can be assured that Land Matters PLSS mapping is as accurate as it can be - within fractions of an inch or 4,000 feet. :headbang:

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Rail Dawg

Rail Dawg

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With you completely Clay and again I follow up the work with Earthpoint/Google Earth overlays with a field trip to the claim sites.

Mylandmatters is an excellent tool and the accuracy is there.

My insights are only for a very small area of the western US and for now the accuracy is spot-on.
 

EliteDarkVlad

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I know most of you do know what your talking about but it can be done ish. . . Ok if you have an iOS or you can take screenshots then your half way there you must also have Microsoft office then it’s simply getting the map sizes right then overlaying the photos you make sure my maps is mostly transparent and your Golden I really hope this information helps.
 

Clay Diggins

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I know most of you do know what your talking about but it can be done ish. . . Ok if you have an iOS or you can take screenshots then your half way there you must also have Microsoft office then it’s simply getting the map sizes right then overlaying the photos you make sure my maps is mostly transparent and your Golden I really hope this information helps.

Could you share a sample map you've made?

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