Plat book users have always used plat maps to help find landownership information and determine the geographical location of specific parcels and parcel boundaries. Historically, there have been three ways to locate an individual parcel in a plat book:
1) Township and Range
Most legal descriptions will list the specific township and range numbers that a parcel lies within (i.e. SEC: 26 TWP: 043 RANGE: 002). Using these numbers, you can find the corresponding page in the plat book and narrow down the location of the parcel in question. This information is usually maintained by your local county tax assessor.
2) Index to Owners
If you already know the name of the landowner, then you can look in the Index to Owners, which gives you the corresponding page number and section of where the parcel is located in the plat book.
3) Surrounding geographical landmarks
Sometimes knowing a nearby road and what township the parcel lies in can be enough to locate the property in the plat book. The township will get you to the correct page and knowing where a parcel lies in relation to a city or road can help you narrow down the parcel’s location.
All of these search methods require knowing some basic information about the parcel; however, there are many scenarios where you might not have that information and it would be helpful to know who owns the land based on your current location:
- Timber buyer scoping out forestland
- Seed dealer driving on a country road
- Hunter scouting out public and private land
- Real estate broker looking at a specific property
- The list can go on and on!
So what do you do if you don’t have the basic property information needed to locate a parcel? The answer is MobilePlat.
MobilePlat is a seamless, geo-referenced county plat map (.pdf) that can be used on your mobile device within the Avenza Maps app. By using the geo-locating ability of your smartphone or tablet, you are able to see your exact location on the plat map. No more driving down the road trying to find your location in the plat book–MobilePlat will tell you exactly where you are! Pull out your iPhone, Android, or Windows mobile device and MobilePlat will tell you exactly who owns the property that you are currently looking at.
This video explains how to view your location on the map:
You will still be able to view your location on the map even if you do not have cellular coverage. If you are looking to find landownership information based on your current location, MobilePlat might be the product for you!