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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 Pennsylvania

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County or City SPCS27 Code SPCS83 Code
Adams 13702 3702
Allegheny 13702 3702
Armstrong 13702 3702
Beaver 13702 3702
Bedford 13702 3702
Berks 13702 3702
Blair 13702 3702
Bradford 13701 3701
Bucks 13702 3702
Butler 13702 3702
Cambria 13702 3702
Cameron 13701 3701
Carbon 13701 3701
Centre 13701 3701
Chester 13702 3702
Clarion 13701 3701
Clearfield 13701 3701
Clinton 13701 3701
Columbia 13701 3701
Crawford 13701 3701
Cumberland 13702 3702
Dauphin 13702 3702
Delaware 13702 3702
Elk 13701 3701
Erie 13701 3701
Fayette 13702 3702
Forest 13701 3701
Franklin 13702 3702
Fulton 13702 3702
Greene 13702 3702
Huntingdon 13702 3702
Indiana 13702 3702
Jefferson 13701 3701
Juniata 13702 3702
Lackawanna 13701 3701
Lancaster 13702 3702
Lawrence 13702 3702
Lebanon 13702 3702
Lehigh 13702 3702
Luzerne 13701 3701
Lycoming 13701 3701
McKean 13701 3701
Mercer 13701 3701
Mifflin 13702 3702
Monroe 13701 3701
Montgomery 13702 3702
Montour 13701 3701
Northampton 13702 3702
Northumberland 13701 3701
Perry 13702 3702
Philadelphia 13702 3702
Pike 13701 3701
Potter 13701 3701
Schuylkill 13702 3702
Snyder 13702 3702
Somerset 13702 3702
Sullivan 13701 3701
Susquehanna 13701 3701
Tioga 13701 3701
Union 13701 3701
Venango 13701 3701
Warren 13701 3701
Washington 13702 3702
Wayne 13701 3701
Westmoreland 13702 3702
Wyoming 13701 3701
York 13702 3702

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