2019 №1 (62) Article 10

A.A. Tesalovsky, Yu. M. Avdeev


UDC 336.211.1(783)(09)

The article deals with the peculiarities of land surveying and the history of land demarcation in South Dakota. It also focuses on geodetic and cartographic woks performed at the territory of South Dakota and related to cadastral divisions. It focuses on the history of establishing three initial points that mark the beginning point for a cadastral survey: the Fifth principal meridian first surveyed in 1815, the Sixth principal meridian first surveyed in 1855, and the Black Hills meridian first surveyed in 1878. The article provides the longitude and the latitude of the initial points. The territory of South Dakota was unevenly surveyed due to the Black Hills Gold Rush which began in 1876 and brought about the necessity to survey lands that had not been demarcated by the Public Land Survey System. The initial point in the Black Hills region facilitated the surveys in the state. In South Dakota, land demarcation was performed against the background of demarcation technology development and, therefore, correction lines (standard parallels) were not always equally distanced. Even though quality control measures were intensified, land demarcation was sometimes oversimplified (especially when it concerned Indian territories, which necessitated a repeated survey. By the end of the 20th century, the Public Land Survey System embraced almost all South Dakota.


principal meridian; landowning; Indian reservation; land management; initial point; area


  1. Anohina V. S. Iowa. SShA i Kanada: ekonomika, politika, kultura [USA and Canada: Economy, Politics, Culture]. 2012, no. 2, pp. 121– (In Russian).
  2. Anohina V. S. Iowa. SShA i Kanada: ekonomika, politika, kultura [USA and Canada: Economy, Politics, Culture]. 2016, no. 9, pp. 118– (In Russian).
  3. Burt W. A. A Key to the Solar Compass and Surveyor’s Companion: Comprising All the Rules Necessary for Use in the Field. New York, D. Van Nostrand Company, 1879, 118 p. (In English).
  4. Fodness R. S. A Brief History of Land Surveys in South Dakota. Rapid City, South Dakota State Board of Technical Professions, 1994, 44 p. (In English)
  5. Luebke K. A. Black Hills Principal Meridian. Principal Meridian Project. (In English). Available at: http://www.pmproject.org/Black%20Hills.htm (accessed: 03.12.2018).
  6. Luebke K. A. The Sixth Principal Meridian: Mahaska, Kansas. Principal Meridian Project. (In English). Available at: http://www.pmproject.org/6pm.htm (accessed: 03.12.2018)
  7. Manual of Surveying Instructions — For the Survey of the Public Lands of the United States. Morrisville, United State Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, 2016, 510 p. (In English)
  8. Manz L. A. The Public Land Survey System (PLSS). Pt. 2. North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources. Geo News. 2014, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 8–10. (In English)
  9. Penry J. Initial Point of the Black Hills Meridian. Nebraska Surveying. (In English). Available at: http://www.penryfamily.com/surveying/blackhillsinitialpoint.html (accessed: 03.12.2018).
  10. Shankland J. N. The Fifth Principal Meridian. Principal Meridian Project. (In English). Available at: http://www.pmproject.org/5pm.htm (accessed: 03.12.2018).
  11. White A. C. A History of the Rectangular Survey System. Washington, Bureau of Land Management, 1983, 774 p. (In English)

Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.

Posted Wednesday November 20th, 2019 by admin in category "Без рубрики