Washington Cadastral Framework

2 Year Goal and Objectives

June 1999


The Cadastral Framework Project is a collaborative effort to develop a common Geographic Information System (GIS) cadastral database for the state and implement a method of communicating cadastral information between organizations and the common database. The common database, or Cadastral Framework, will be maintained collaboratively with many federal, state, local, tribal and private organizations. This collaborative effort will reduce duplication of effort and increase efficiency in the collection and maintenance of cadastral data across the state. Costs will be spread across many organizations. The Cadastral Framework will provide opportunities for cross-jurisdictional and cross-organizational information analysis and decision making.

Cadastral data are defined as the geographic extent of the past, current, and future rights and interests in real property. This includes information such as the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) which identifies geographic extent by township, range, and section. Rights and interests are the benefits in real property that can be conveyed or transferred to another for some consideration such as ownership rights. Federal, state, local, tribal, and private organizations each keep specific and detailed proprietary databases of their land rights and interests. All of these organizations conduct business among each other, and many are interested in communicating their land holdings and transactions to facilitate their business operations.

Though the Cadastral Framework is designed to incorporate much more than land survey and public ownership information, that will be the priority data population over the next two years. Building this information base, through partnerships, will provide a standard and consistent source of public land and survey information for all to use and share. This project will afford opportunities to service local government operations by providing the data and tools necessary to engage in a strategic GIS direction and improve efficiency in business operations. Participating counties will have access to continually improving public ownership data and land survey data to help improve or begin their business cadastral databases.

TWO YEAR GOAL: The Washington Cadastral Framework will include ninety (90%) of the public lands within the State of Washington, based on the best available GIS information, and will be provided on a shared GIS platform. This information will be maintained collaboratively over time with continually increasing accuracy as better data becomes available. All thirty-nine counties in the State of Washington will be aware of the Cadastral Framework and all GIS based county offices will be encouraged to participate in the inter-organizational approach to creating, maintaining, and distributing the Cadastral Framework data for the state of Washington.


1. Through existing or amended mandates, direct large landholding state agencies (own or manage more than 100,000 acres) to provide and maintain GIS based ownership, land survey information and other appropriate data to the Cadastral Framework.

2. Establish funding mechanisms to facilitate a process for incorporating ownership and land survey information and other appropriate data from small landholding state agencies (own or manage less than 100,000 acres) to the Cadastral Framework.

3. Encourage federal land holding agencies, within the State of Washington, to provide GIS based ownership and land survey information and other appropriate data to the Cadastral Framework through partnerships.

4. Institute a partnership maintenance process between public parcel owners and county assessors for all publicly owned parcels.

5. Establish funding for the integration of local government Cadastral Framework data from one GIS-based east side county and one GIS-based west side county. Priority data integration will include Public Land Survey System (PLSS) data and public land ownership parcels. As an outcome, produce a cost/benefit report that includes cost/benefits for Cadastral Framework data integration of all remaining GIS-based counties.

6. Develop a Cadastral Framework grant package for non-GIS based counties to begin GIS development and Cadastral Framework participation. The grant package will include initial hardware and software, Cadastral Framework data, and training.

7. Encourage tribal organizations to join the WA Cadastral Framework Partnership and provide GIS based ownership, land survey information and administrative areas to the Cadastral Framework.

8. Establish no less than yearly maintenance cycles and procedures for all Cadastral Framework data providers.

9. Establish a funding mechanism that will support long term Cadastral Framework data distribution over the Internet to all levels of government, private industry, and the general public (i.e. support of application maintenance, system and network administration, and hardware and software requirements).

10. Establish a funding mechanism for support of the Cadastral Framework Data Integrator role which includes assistance in data conversion procedures, data verification, and error/conflict notification to data providers.