A cadastral survey shows the demarcation of public land based upon legal statute, explains the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management. These surveys decide the boundaries of public land and change with the addition of new laws.
Cadastral surveys are not a part of scientific survey work. The results of cadastral surveys have a range of uses, including registration of land and the formation of city maps. Most private land begins as public land under public domain, and surveys of the demarcation of a specific area of land are necessary before the government sells the land, according to National Atlas. Cadastral surveys by the U.S. government operate under the Public Land Survey System.