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How to Read Parcel Maps

A compass can tell you which way the home is facing on the parcel map.

You can use parcel maps to locate a specific section of land, link the property to owners and use as descriptors in deeds of conveyance. The property is identified by street names, direction and size. Each section, or parcel, of land on a parcel map is assigned an identification number. Tax assessors, lawyers, surveyors and government zoning commissions use parcel maps. Parcel maps are usually stored in a municipal building in the county tax assessor's office or in a county surveyor's office. Each state has its own method of describing parcels of land in a parcel map. The map contains a legend to instruct the user how to read the map.

Locate the tax assessor's office in your municipal building or county courthouse where parcel maps are stored. Find the area that you want to examine by searching the index by the street name, nearest street intersection or by parcel number if you know it. Study the legend, or key, to reading the map.

Locate the legend, or key, which is usually located in one corner of the map. The legend may include the scale of the map, such as one inch equals 500 feet. Locate the compass on the map so that you can view the map in the correct orientation.

Note that the small numbers followed by a ' symbol, such as 100', represent the dimensions of the parcel in feet. Identify the parcel you are searching for by locating streets and other landmarks noted on the map. Write down the book number and page number where you found the parcel map for future reference.

Things You Will Need

  • Parcel map
  • Map legend

Tip

Lot numbers are often used to help describe property in a deed of conveyance.

Warning

Parcel maps are generally not scientific or 100 percent accurate as to lot dimensions and location. Sometimes parcel maps are hand-drawn and show an approximation used for tax and zoning purposes.

Things You Will Need

  • Parcel map
  • Map legend

Tip

  • Lot numbers are often used to help describe property in a deed of conveyance.

Warning

  • Parcel maps are generally not scientific or 100 percent accurate as to lot dimensions and location. Sometimes parcel maps are hand-drawn and show an approximation used for tax and zoning purposes.

About the Author

Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.

Photo Credits

  • compass image by cico from Fotolia.com
  • compass image by cico from Fotolia.com