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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 South Carolina

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County or City SPCS27 Code SPCS83 Code
Abbeville 13901 3900
Aiken 13902 3900
Allendale 13902 3900
Anderson 13901 3900
Bamberg 13902 3900
Barnwell 13902 3900
Beaufort 13902 3900
Berkeley 13902 3900
Calhoun 13901 3900
Charleston 13902 3900
Cherokee 13901 3900
Chester 13901 3900
Chesterfield 13901 3900
Clarendon 13902 3900
Colleton 13902 3900
Darlington 13901 3900
Dillon 13901 3900
Dorchester 13902 3900
Edgefield 13901 3900
Fairfield 13901 3900
Florence 13901 3900
Georgetown 13902 3900
Greenville 13901 3900
Greenwood 13901 3900
Hampton 13902 3900
Horry 13901 3900
Jasper 13902 3900
Kershaw 13901 3900
Lancaster 13901 3900
Laurens 13901 3900
Lee 13901 3900
Lexington 13901 3900
McCormick 13901 3900
Marion 13901 3900
Marlboro 13901 3900
Newberry 13901 3900
Oconee 13901 3900
Orangeburg 13902 3900
Pickens 13901 3900
Richland 13901 3900
Saluda 13901 3900
Spartanburg 13901 3900
Sumter 13901 3900
Union 13901 3900
Williamsburg 13902 3900
York 13901 3900

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