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Possible solution for more current/accurate land info


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Being a newbie, I've been doing a lot of research over the last several weeks and I came across what appears to be an issue with everyone trying to prospect new land. From what I can tell online services like the LR2000 provide somewhat of a decent starting point to discover potential land but isn't always available, not detailed enough and be very outdated when it comes to it's data.

From what I can tell (and please correct me if I'm wrong), but the BLM seems to be one of the main bottlenecks in this process. So being a software engineer I'm curious if it would be beneficial to have a supplemental service that solved some of these issues. The idea would essentially be to crowd source the data from the miners while having some moderators validate the information being uploaded. The service would work something like this:

1) When a miner goes out to stake his claim, they take pictures of the area, gets the exact GPS coordinates and boundaries of the claim.
2) After staking the claim the miner can upload their pictures, GPS coordinates, boundaries, and any additional information located on the Notice of Location form.
3) This claim is uploaded to the service's database and marked as pending (sorry if this the incorrect verbiage)
4) After all BLM paperwork is filed and the miner is granted surface rights to the land - the miner then uploads the verification paperwork from the BLM (assuming the BLM provides you with this type of paperwork). Once the claim has been verified, the database will change the claim from pending to occupied.

I believe a service like this would provide the following benefits:

1) Miners can upload their claims instantly without having to wait for any paperwork to be processed
2) Miners can give much more precise GPS coordinates and dimensions of their claims than the LR2000 can offer
3) For any disputes regarding overclaiming, each miner now has their claim timestamped along with pictures and paperwork of their claim
4) No longer have to worry about the downtime of the LR2000
5) Users can message each other directly through the service to quickly and easily find out information about specific claims.
6) Removing the BLM as a dependency you essentially erase the biggest bottleneck. Putting the data in the hands of the community and moderating that data seems to be a much better approach.

I understand that the local recorders office will hold the ultimate answer for each claim status, but I believe this approach could provide a much more accurate and better user experience, ultimately saving the miner time while prospecting.

So could anyone provide me feedback on the idea, good or bad? Would you find it beneficial? Do you think it solves a real problem in the industry?

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Claims need to be filed with the county and that's what makes it official. This service would need to be OK'd by each county. Think of this as buying a car. You buy a car from the dealer, so the county is the dealer. The BLM gets in the game because it needs to be sent there within 90 days of filing. The BLM is like registering the car with the state. Keep in mind that not all county filings are available digitally.

This system is governed by the mining law of 1872. This law has lasted a century and a half, so as convenient as it sounds, a seemingly simple solution like you're talking about won't work. The law doesn't say anything about pictures. The land is already surveyed in Township Ranges, and the BLM site will actually give you coordinates more accurate than you can put in your GPS. The problem us actually inputting the Township Range to get it translated to lat long. Also, claims are already timestamped when you submit these to the County Office. I don't worry about LR2000 downtime, the county matters. As far as info about specific claims, I wish to remain unknown and not be pestered by questions. If I need to find out about my neighbor, the info is already in LR2000 and the county site.

Several software programs are available out there to find claims. The one I use is Footprints. For a an non-profit that is be built now, try this site: http://www.mylandmatters.org.

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True. I admit my knowledge is really limited to the Yavapai County / Maricopa County, There are even some roads that are bull dozed along the section border. With how straight the roads are and how they don't take into account grade especially when getting towards a creek, I can only imagine they were put in to mark the edge of sections. THese become more apparent when zoomed out on google. Most of these do not show on any maps that I have.

The tool I mentioned I use to find the corners is GeoCoder http://www.geocommunicator.gov/GeoComm/lsis_home/townshipdecoder/index.htm. I've found this very accurate to get coords for the area I work on.

Another mystery I have with the BLM coords, is what datum they're in. If anyone can clear that up for me, I'd appreciate it. I assume WGS-84, but I can't find it written on either Geocommunicator or LR2000 whether its WGS-84, NAD-83 or NAD-27. Can make a big difference when working a creek that just happens to fall on the border of a claim where a few feet could make a big difference.

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The datum that they are can make up to 300' difference around here. Compare the coordinates to a USGS quad and see if they match. The quad will state what the datum is. I think there are programs/apps to convert to different datums?

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Why dosn't some one go after the BLM with the

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, is a federal freedom of information law that allows for the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States government.
Freedom of Information Act (United States) - Wikipedia, the ...


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Hi Dan. Welcome to Nuggetshooter! :D

These folks have a lot of knowledge to share here. There are already a few professional replies to your post. We can talk again soon, I've just been really busy lately herding my flock of cats and chickens. I'll see you at the corral.

Chrisski a lot of those "roads" you see on the aerial photos are actually where mining claims have "clearly marked their boundaries on the ground". Little San Domingo is one of the desert places where that is still really obvious on the aerial photos. People used to take their mining claim obligations seriously. In the desert clearing the rock and brush from the boundaries is a good way of putting others on notice about just where the lines are.

Homefire we work closely with the BLM. We have direct access to their land data servers. They aren't hiding anything they are just really bad at following instructions and completing their work on time. Sound familiar? It's the nature of large organizations that a few hold up the many. Government is the largest large organization.

An FOIA would only reveal just what I told you. Or you could read the many Government Accounting Office reports that have been pointing out that same fact for years.


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Another mystery I have with the BLM coords, is what datum they're in. If anyone can clear that up for me, I'd appreciate it. I assume WGS-84, but I can't find it written on either Geocommunicator or LR2000 whether its WGS-84, NAD-83 or NAD-27. Can make a big difference when working a creek that just happens to fall on the border of a claim where a few feet could make a big difference.

All the data we get from the BLM (including the PLSS) is in Datum NAD83 & in either EPSG:4269 or EPSG:4326 projection.

The projections are, for all intents and purposes, the same. As LipCa pointed out the datum is critical. It may look "close" in one place and be far off in another if the datums don't match.


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All maps I look at that have a conversion legend list NAD 83 and WGS 84 as no difference. The maps I look at are in AZ and NC and are produced either by USGS or NIMA.

It's interesting how NAD 27 differs from WGS 84/NAD83 in different parts of the country. In the AZ area, it's a 2m south difference and a 63 meter East Distance. However, where I'm currently at in NC it's 17 meters to the west, and 213 meters to the south. I used to do a little surveying with the total station when it was brand new. A laser range finder and digital elevation and compasses made it easier than the guys who taught me had to do with algebra in a notebook to actually calculate the distances. The new equipment makes it even easier then what I had to do.

When we're entering in coords in lat long and have the wrong datum in, the above differences are true. If you're using the MGRS coord system, you may even have the coord pop up in the wrong country. We had that happen recently at work when we checked someone's coords and they actually plotted in Mexico because he used an old map and took a MGRS reading and told us it was WGS 84.

Anyway, could probably post on the forum all day about that, but don't want drift from what DanRamosD started the thread for.

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