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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 Wisconsin

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County or City SPCS27 Code SPCS83 Code
Adams 14803 4803
Ashland 14801 4801
Barron 14802 4802
Bayfield 14801 4801
Brown 14802 4802
Buffalo 14802 4802
Burnett 14801 4801
Calumet 14803 4803
Chippewa 14802 4802
Clark 14802 4802
Columbia 14803 4803
Crawford 14803 4803
Dane 14803 4803
Dodge 14803 4803
Door 14802 4802
Douglas 14801 4801
Dunn 14802 4802
Eau Claire 14802 4802
Florence 14801 4801
Fond Du Lac 14803 4803
Forest 14801 4801
Grant 14803 4803
Green 14803 4803
Green Lake 14803 4803
Iowa 14803 4803
Iron 14801 4801
Jackson 14802 4802
Jefferson 14803 4803
Juneau 14803 4803
Kenosha 14803 4803
Kewaunee 14802 4802
La Crosse 14803 4803
Lafayette 14803 4803
Langlade 14802 4802
Lincoln 14802 4802
Manitowoc 14803 4803
Marathon 14802 4802
Marinette 14802 4802
Marquette 14803 4803
Menominee 14802 4802
Milwaukee 14803 4803
Monroe 14803 4803
Oconto 14802 4802
Oneida 14801 4801
Outagamie 14802 4802
Ozaukee 14803 4803
Pepin 14802 4802
Pierce 14802 4802
Polk 14802 4802
Portage 14802 4802
Price 14801 4801
Racine 14803 4803
Richland 14803 4803
Rock 14803 4803
Rusk 14802 4802
St. Croix 14802 4802
Sauk 14803 4803
Sawyer 14801 4801
Shawano 14802 4802
Sheboygan 14803 4803
Taylor 14802 4802
Trempealeau 14802 4802
Vernon 14803 4803
Vilas 14801 4801
Walworth 14803 4803
Washburn 14801 4801
Washington 14803 4803
Waukesha 14803 4803
Waupaca 14802 4802
Waushara 14803 4803
Winnebago 14803 4803
Wood 14802 4802

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