Mining claim activity on Federal Land in the United States

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Frequently anticipated questions:

What does this data set describe?

Title: Mining claim activity on Federal Land in the United States
The Public Land spatial data sets (shapefile) contains Public Land Survey section polygons that had mining claims recorded in the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's LR2000 database as of December 31, 2010 (from a March 1, 2011 data extraction) for the period from 1976 to 2010 in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Alaska was not updated in version 4.
Shapefile names for the individual states are: ak_pls_07, az_pls_10 (Arizona), ar_pls_10 (Arkansas), ca_pls_10 (California), co_pls_10 (Colorado), fl_pls_10 (Florida), id_pls_10 (Idaho), mt_pls_10 (Montana), ne_pls_10 (Nebraska), nm_pls_10 (New Mexico), nv_pls_10 (Nevada), or_pls_10 (Oregon), sd_pls_10 (South Dakota), ut_pls_10 (Utah), wa_pls_10 (Washington), and wy_pls_10 (Wyoming).
  1. How might this data set be cited?
    Causey, J.D., 2007, revised 2008, 2009, 2011, Mining claim activity on Federal Land in the United States: Data Series 290, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California.

    Online Links:

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?
    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -125
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -80
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 49
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 31
  3. What does it look like?
  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?
    Calendar_Date: 01-Mar-2011
    publication date
  5. What is the general form of this data set?
    Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: vector digital data
  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?
    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?
      This is a Vector data set. It contains the following vector data types (SDTS terminology):
      • G-polygon (19384)
    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?
      Horizontal positions are specified in geographic coordinates, that is, latitude and longitude. Latitudes are given to the nearest 0.001. Longitudes are given to the nearest 0.001. Latitude and longitude values are specified in Decimal degrees. The horizontal datum used is North American Datum of 1983.
      The ellipsoid used is Geodetic Reference System 80.
      The semi-major axis of the ellipsoid used is 6378137.000000.
      The flattening of the ellipsoid used is 1/298.257222.
  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?
    ak_pls_07, az_pls_10, ar_pls_10, ca_pls_10, co_pls_10, fl_pls_10, id_pls_10, mt_pls_10, ne_pls_10, nm_pls_10, nv_pls_10, or_pls_10, sd_pls_10, ut_pls_10, wa_pls_10, wy_pls_10
    Shapefile names for spatial databases containing Public Land Survey sections with mining claims recorded in the U.S. Bureau of Land Management LR2000 database April 1, 2009 for contiguous 48 states. (Source: MC_activity)
    A unique Public Land Survey System identifier (Meridian-Township-Range-Section concatenated value) (Source: MC_activity) An 18-character string of numbers and letters

Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)
    • Causey, J.D.
  2. Who also contributed to the data set?
    See metadata for individual shapefiles
  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?
    Schweitzer, Peter, N
    Eastern Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center
    12201 Sunrise Valley Drive Mail Stop 954
    Reston, VA

    703-648-6533 (voice)

Why was the data set created?

This set of spatial databases was designed to be used with the U.S Bureau of Land Management LR2000 database. Each shapefile contains a field, MTRS, which allows linking information in the LR2000 case_tbl and case_land tables. However, it is only valid for data extracted from the LR2000 database on March 1, 2011, since the database is dynamic and new information may have been added after that date, or older information corrected.

How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?
    MC_activity (source 1 of 1)
    Various, various, Given in metadata for individual shapefiles (ak_pls_07, az_pls_10, ar_pls_10, ca_pls_10, co_pls_10, fl_pls_10, id_pls_10 mt_pls_10, ne_pls_10, nm_pls_10, nv_pls_10, or_pls_10, sd_pls_10 ut_pls_10, wa_pls_10, wy_pls_10)..

    Type_of_Source_Media: digital files
    Source_Scale_Denominator: 100000
    Base spatial databases for report "Mining Claim Activity on Federal Land in the United States", By J. D. Causey
  2. How were the data generated, processed, and modified?
    Date: 2011 (process 1 of 1)
    A field, MTRS, was added to the PLS databases by concatenating meridian, township, range, and section information into one 18-character string. The string is in the format MM TTTTT RRRRR SSS where MM is a 2-digit number, TTTTT is township, RRRRR is range, and SSS is section for any valid Public Land Survey values. Township and range are 5 characters of the form XXXYZ where X is a numeric, Y is 0 or 2, and Z is N or S for township and E or W for range. A Y value of 2 means that the township or range are fractional township or ranges, otherwise the value is 0. Section is a 3-digit numeric. Then all fields except MTRS were deleted.

    All datasets were then projected to Geographic coordinate system, NAD83 datum.

    The spatial databases were attached to a list of unique MTRS values from the LR2000 database and all polygons that had a record in the LR2000 database were selected. This selection was saved as the present shapefile. Person who carried out this activity:
    J. D. Causey
    U.S. Geological Survey
    904 W. Riverside Ave., Rm 202
    Spokane, WA

    509.368.3116 (voice)
    509.368.3199 (FAX)
  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?

How reliable are the data; what problems remain in the data set?

  1. How well have the observations been checked?
    Varies. See metadata embedded in the individual shapefiles.
  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?
    Varies by state due to differences in preparation procedures by the state governments. Details found in metadata for the pls data for each state.
  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?
  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?
    Varies. See metadata embedded in the individual shapefiles.
  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?
    Varies. See metadata embedded in the individual shapefiles.

How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?
Access_Constraints: None
These spatial databases are not meant to be used or displayed at any scale larger than 1:100,000 (for example, 1:24,000). Any hardcopies utilizing these datasets shall clearly indicate their source. If the user has modified the data in any way, they are obligated to describe the types of modifications they have performed on the hardcopy map. User specifically agrees not to misrepresent these data sets, nor imply that changes they made were approved by the U.S. Geological Survey.
  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 1)
    U.S. Geological Survey Information Services
    P.O. Box 25286
    Denver, CO

  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set? USGS Data Series 290
  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?
    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides these geographic data "as is." The USGS makes no guarantee or warranty concerning the accuracy of information contained in the geographic data. The USGS further makes no warranties, either expressed or implied as to any other matter whatsoever, including, without limitation, the condition of the product, or its fitness for any particular purpose. The burden for determining fitness for use lies entirely with the user. Although these data have been processed successfully on computers of the USGS, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by the USGS regarding the use of these data on any other system, nor does the fact of distribution constitute or imply such warranty. In no event shall the USGS have liability whatsoever for payment of any consequential, incidental, indirect, special, or tort damages of any kind, including, but not limited to, any loss of profits arising out of use of or reliance on the geographic data or arising out of the delivery, installation, operation, or support by the USGS. This spatial database is not meant to be used or displayed at any scale larger than 1:100,000 (for example, 1:24,000).
  4. How can I download or order the data?

Who wrote the metadata?

Last modified: 09-Feb-2016
Metadata author:
Peter N. Schweitzer
U.S. Geological Survey
Mail Stop 954 USGS National Center
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA

703-648-6533 (voice)
Metadata standard:
Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC-STD-001-1998)

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