A county plat map diagrams the divisions of property in a given county. Collections of maps drawn up by the Public Land Survey System are collected in plat books, which organize the information by county. The information on a plat map may include the names of the property owners, building restriction lines, property boundaries and topographical details.
Plat maps are useful for land developers, builders, government agencies and property owners who need to make decisions based on property boundaries. Data gathered by land surveyors forms the basis of these maps. Some plat books are published by private companies, such as Farm & Home Publishers. The maps give information on the last deed filed on a property at the time the map was published. They must be updated frequently so that they accurately reflect current deed holders.
Some counties publish their own plat books. In some cases, county plat maps feature a grid of property lines laid over an area map. Important information like easements, monuments, corners, property-related rights or significant markers can be recognized by law if the plat map is legally verified. Counties may file a correction map if an existing plat map contains errors.
To read a plat map, locate the dotted lines that form the boundaries of the different parcels. Identify different lots using the assigned lot numbers, and note lot sizes from the measurements given on the map. Note any marked roads, which may or may not be named on the map. Some plat maps also include notations about historical property line changes.