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Definition: parcel maps

(Data West Research Agency definition: see GIS glossary.) The basic drawings (maps) of the land cadastre (ownership boundaries) for all public and private lands. Parcel maps are typically maintained at a variety of scales, and can be either very precise or very general "cartoon maps" which show only schematic layouts of the basic land cadastre. They are commonly related in some manner to legal description documents, which typically constitute the record for describing boundary ownership for a given parcel (e.g., metes and bounds descriptions). Parcel maps of an area provide more than a representation of ownership. The maps serve a wide range of purposes if they are constructed with a known level of positional accuracy and integrated with other cultural and physical information. Such databases are frequently used as a multipurpose cadastre.