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How to Map Land Using S-B-L

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The section-block-lot (S-B-L) number helps counties standardize U.S. addresses as well as identify the physical location of properties. It is also called the Recorded Plat Survey System. The S-B-L of property is useful to utility companies. Additionally, the Internal Revenue Service uses the S-B-L number from their tax maps on your tax form for property taxes. Property is usually identified by the section-block-lot number in legal documents and on the property deeds. An assessor and a surveyor are normally the people responsible for obtaining the S-B-L of a property.

Contact the Executive Director of the Local County Records Office and submit a plan for the preparation of the map. The preliminary approvals process involves creating a map indicating the flight lines for all scales of photography with the general description of the method, plan and density of control, creating a map with a modular layout showing all of the areas under consideration for mapping, writing a report outlining the photogrammetric procedures and creating a complete index map as well as a section map.

Hire a surveyor to perform surveillance on the land once permission is granted to map the land. The surveyor will perform a preliminary survey of the location first. The preliminary survey will help the surveyor determine things such as whether or not the area can support the construction of a building, the type of soil in the area and if there are any kinds of protected or rare vegetation they will need to take into consideration for zoning. Once the preliminary survey is complete, the surveyor will conduct a subdivision survey, in which planning for things such as streets and other buildings will commence.

Request that the surveyor create a plat map, also called a “plat” or “plan of subdivision.” A plat map provides the orientation of a property (north/east/south/west) as well as the tract number, house number, approximate lot dimensions, lot number and parcel number. Submit the plat map to your local city engineer or a local recorder of deeds. You can find the recorder of deeds in your local public records office. The map will be officially recorded and become a legal document with the section-block-lot numbers assigned.

Record the SBL number in your personal records. To create your map on the Geographic Information System (GIS) map, start up the computer-aided design (CAD) software you use for mapping purposes. A CAD program is the most common method for mapping property with the S-B-L number. One such type of software specifically for mapping purposes is the AutoCAD mapping software, which helps to create 3D maps. Enter the S-B-L number and a map will automatically be created.


You can obtain the S-B-L of any property from the recorder of deeds. If this is a number for property you own, find that number at the top of your IRS tax forms for property taxes.

About the Author

Dawn Colclasure has written for the newspaper, "SIGNews," since 2003 and has been published in several different newspapers and magazines. Dawn also writes books on writing and the paranormal. She lives and writes in Eugene, Oregon.

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