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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 Utah

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County or City SPCS27 Code SPCS83 Code
Beaver 14303 4303
Box Elder 14301 4301
Cache 14301 4301
Carbon 14302 4302
Daggett 14301 4301
Davis 14301 4301
Duchesne 14302 4302
Emery 14302 4302
Garfield 14303 4303
Grand 14302 4302
Iron 14303 4303
Juab 14302 4302
Kane 14303 4303
Millard 14302 4302
Morgan 14301 4301
Piute 14303 4303
Rich 14301 4301
Salt Lake 14302 4302
San Juan 14303 4303
Sanpete 14302 4302
Sevier 14302 4302
Summit 14301 4301
Tooele 14302 4302
Uintah 14302 4302
Utah 14302 4302
Wasatch 14302 4302
Washington 14303 4303
Wayne 14303 4303
Weber 14301 4301

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