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The State Plane Coordinate System

The State Plane Coordinate System (SPS or SPCS) is a set of 124 geographic zones or coordinate systems designed for specific regions of the United States. Each state contains one or more state plane zones, the boundaries of which usually follow county lines. There are 110 zones in the continental US, with 10 more in Alaska, 5 in Hawaii, and one for Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands. The system is widely used for geographic data by state and local governments. Its popularity is due to at least two factors. First, it uses a simple Cartesian coordinate system to specify locations rather than a more complex spherical coordinate system (the geographic coordinate system of latitude and longitude). By thus ignoring the curvature of the Earth, "plane surveying" methods can be used, speeding up and simplifying calculations. Second, the system is highly accurate within each zone (error less than 1:10,000). Outside a specific state plane zone accuracy rapidly declines, thus the system is not useful for regional or national mapping.

Most state plane zones are based on either a Transverse Mercator projection or a Lambert conformal conic projection. The choice between the two map projections is based on the shape of the state and its zones. States that are long in the east-west direction are typically divided into zones that are also long east-west. These zones use the Lambert conformal conic projection, because it is good at maintaining accuracy along an east-west axis. Zones that are long in the north-south direction use the Transverse Mercator projection because it is better at maintaining accuracy along a north-south axis. The panhandle of Alaska, whose maximum dimension is on a diagonal, uses an Oblique Mercator projection, which minimizes the combined error in the X and Y directions.


All State Plane zones in New York

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County or City SPCS27 Code SPCS83 Code
Albany 13101 3101
Allegany 13103 3103
Bronx 13104 3104
Broome 13102 3102
Cattaraugus 13103 3103
Cayuga 13102 3102
Chautauqua 13103 3103
Chemung 13102 3102
Chenango 13102 3102
Clinton 13101 3101
Columbia 13101 3101
Cortland 13102 3102
Delaware 13101 3101
Dutchess 13101 3101
Erie 13103 3103
Essex 13101 3101
Franklin 13101 3101
Fulton 13101 3101
Genesee 13103 3103
Greene 13101 3101
Hamilton 13101 3101
Herkimer 13101 3101
Jefferson 13102 3102
Kings 13104 3104
Lewis 13102 3102
Livingston 13103 3103
Madison 13102 3102
Monroe 13103 3103
Montgomery 13101 3101
Nassau 13104 3104
New York 13104 3104
Niagara 13103 3103
Oneida 13102 3102
Onondaga 13102 3102
Ontario 13102 3102
Orange 13101 3101
Orleans 13103 3103
Oswego 13102 3102
Otsego 13101 3101
Putnam 13101 3101
Queens 13104 3104
Rensselaer 13101 3101
Richmond 13104 3104
Rockland 13101 3101
St. Lawrence 13101 3101
Saratoga 13101 3101
Schenectady 13101 3101
Schoharie 13101 3101
Schuyler 13102 3102
Seneca 13102 3102
Steuben 13102 3102
Suffolk 13104 3104
Sullivan 13101 3101
Tioga 13102 3102
Tompkins 13102 3102
Ulster 13101 3101
Warren 13101 3101
Washington 13101 3101
Wayne 13102 3102
Westchester 13101 3101
Wyoming 13103 3103
Yates 13102 3102

Click here to go back to the list off all State Plane grids