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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 North Dakota

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County or City SPCS27 Code SPCS83 Code
Adams 13302 3302
Barnes 13302 3302
Benson 13301 3301
Billings 13302 3302
Bottineau 13301 3301
Bowman 13302 3302
Burke 13301 3301
Burleigh 13302 3302
Cass 13302 3302
Cavalier 13301 3301
Dickey 13302 3302
Divide 13301 3301
Dunn 13302 3302
Eddy 13301 3301
Emmons 13302 3302
Foster 13301 3301
Golden Valley 13302 3302
Grand Forks 13301 3301
Grant 13302 3302
Griggs 13301 3301
Hettinger 13302 3302
Kidder 13302 3302
LaMoure 13302 3302
Logan 13302 3302
McHenry 13301 3301
McIntosh 13302 3302
McKenzie 13301 3301
McLean 13301 3301
Mercer 13302 3302
Morton 13302 3302
Mountrail 13301 3301
Nelson 13301 3301
Oliver 13302 3302
Pembina 13301 3301
Pierce 13301 3301
Ramsey 13301 3301
Ransom 13302 3302
Renville 13301 3301
Richland 13302 3302
Rolette 13301 3301
Sargent 13302 3302
Sheridan 13301 3301
Sioux 13302 3302
Slope 13302 3302
Stark 13302 3302
Steele 13301 3301
Stutsman 13302 3302
Towner 13301 3301
Traill 13301 3301
Walsh 13301 3301
Ward 13301 3301
Wells 13301 3301
Williams 13301 3301

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