In the United States, a plat ( /plæt/  or /plɑːt/ )  (plan) is a cadastral map, drawn to scale, showing the divisions of a piece of land. United States General Land Office surveyors drafted township plats of Public Lands Surveys to show the distance and bearing between section corners, sometimes including topographic or vegetation information. City, town or village plats show subdivisions broken into blocks with streets and alleys. Further refinement often splits blocks into individual lots, usually for the purpose of selling the described lots; this has become known as subdivision.
After the filing of a plat, legal descriptions can refer to block and lot-numbers rather than portions of sections.  In order for plats to become legally valid, a local governing body, such as a public works department, urban planning commission, zoning board, or another organ of the state must normally review and approve them.
The creation of a plat map marks an important step in the process of incorporating a town or city according to United States law. Because the process of incorporation sometimes occurred at a courthouse, the incorporation papers for many American cities may be stored hundreds of miles away in another state. For example, to view the original General Land Office plat for the city of San Francisco, California, filed in 1849, one must visit the Museum of the Oregon Territory in Oregon City, Oregon, as at that time Oregon City was the site of the closest federal land office to San Francisco. 
A plat of consolidation or plan of consolidation originates when a landowner takes over several adjacent parcels of land and consolidates them into a single parcel. In order to do this, the landowner will usually need to make a survey of the parcels and submit the survey to the governing body that would have to approve the consolidation. 
A plat of subdivision or plan of subdivision appears when a landowner or municipality divides land into smaller parcels. If a landowner owns an acre of land, for instance, and wants to divide it into three pieces, a surveyor would have to take precise measurements of the land and submit the survey to the governing body, which would then have to approve it.  A plat of subdivision also applies when a landowner/building owner divides a multi-family building into multiple units. This can apply for the intention of selling off the individual units as condominiums to individual owners. [ citation needed ]
A correction plat or amending plat records minor corrections to an existing plat, such as correcting a surveying mistake or a scrivener's error. Such plats can sometimes serve to relocate lot-lines or other features, but laws usually tightly restrict such use. 
A vacating plat functions to legally void a prior plat or portion of a plat. The rules normally allow such plats only when all the platted lots remain unsold and no construction of buildings or public improvements has taken place.
Other names associated with parcel maps are: land maps, tax maps, real estate maps, landowner maps, lot and block survey system and land survey maps. Parcel maps, unlike any other public real estate record, have no federal, state or municipal oversight with their development.
Plats contain a number of informational elements:
Surveying or land surveying is the technique, profession, art, and science of determining the terrestrial two-dimensional or three-dimensional positions of points and the distances and angles between them. A land surveying professional is called a land surveyor. These points are usually on the surface of the Earth, and they are often used to establish maps and boundaries for ownership, locations, such as the designed positions of structural components for construction or the surface location of subsurface features, or other purposes required by government or civil law, such as property sales.
The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) is the surveying method developed and used in the United States to plat, or divide, real property for sale and settling. Also known as the Rectangular Survey System, it was created by the Land Ordinance of 1785 to survey land ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Paris in 1783, following the end of the American Revolution. Beginning with the Seven Ranges in present-day Ohio, the PLSS has been used as the primary survey method in the United States. Following the passage of the Northwest Ordinance in 1787, the Surveyor General of the Northwest Territory platted lands in the Northwest Territory. The Surveyor General was later merged with the General Land Office, which later became a part of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Today, the BLM controls the survey, sale, and settling of lands acquired by the United States.
The Commissioners' Plan of 1811 was the original design for the streets of Manhattan above Houston Street and below 155th Street, which put in place the rectangular grid plan of streets and lots that has defined Manhattan on its march uptown until the current day. It has been called "the single most important document in New York City's development," and the plan has been described as encompassing the "republican predilection for control and balance ... [and] distrust of nature". It was described by the Commission that created it as combining "beauty, order and convenience."
In U.S. land surveying under the Public Land Survey System (PLSS), a section is an area nominally one square mile, containing 640 acres, with 36 sections making up one survey township on a rectangular grid.
Metes and bounds is a system or method of describing land, real property or real estate. The system has been used in England for many centuries and is still used there in the definition of general boundaries. The system is also used in the Canadian province of Ontario, and throughout Canada for the description of electoral districts. By custom, it was applied in the original Thirteen Colonies that became the United States and in many other land jurisdictions based on English common law, including Zimbabwe, South Africa, India and Bangladesh. While still in hand-me-down use, this system has been largely overtaken in the past few centuries by newer systems such as rectangular and lot and block.
Subdivisions are the act of dividing land into pieces that are easier to sell or otherwise develop, usually via a plat. The former single piece as a whole is then known as a subdivision. Subdivisions may be simple, involving only a single seller and buyer, or complex, involving large tracts of land divided into many smaller parcels. If it is used for housing it is typically known as a housing subdivision or housing development, although some developers tend to call these areas communities.
A cadastre or cadaster is a comprehensive recording of the real estate or real property's metes-and-bounds of a country. Often it is represented graphically in a cadastral map.
The lot and block survey system is a method used in the United States and Canada to locate and identify land, particularly for lots in densely populated metropolitan areas, suburban areas and exurbs. It is sometimes referred to as the recorded plat survey system or the recorded map survey system.
In real estate, a lot or plot is a tract or parcel of land owned or meant to be owned by some owner(s). A plot is essentially considered a parcel of real property in some countries or immovable property in other countries. Possible owner(s) of a plot can be one or more person(s) or another legal entity, such as a company/corporation, organization, government, or trust. A common form of ownership of a plot is called fee simple in some countries.
George L. Kinnard was a Representative from Indiana; born in Pennsylvania in 1803; moved with his widowed mother to Tennessee and completed preparatory studies; moved to Indianapolis, Ind., in 1823; studied law; was admitted to the bar and practised in Marion County, Indiana; assessor for Marion County in 1826 and 1827; member of the State house of representatives 1827–1830; county surveyor 1831–1835; colonel of the State militia; elected as a Jacksonian to the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Congresses and served from March 4, 1833, until his death on November 26, 1836; interment probably in Presbyterian Burying Ground, Cincinnati, Ohio.
An easement is a nonpossessory right to use and/or enter onto the real property of another without possessing it. It is "best typified in the right of way which one landowner, A, may enjoy over the land of another, B". An easement is a property right and type of incorporeal property in itself at common law in most jurisdictions.
Construction surveying or building surveying is to stake out reference points and markers that will guide the construction of new structures such as roads or buildings. These markers are usually staked out according to a suitable coordinate system selected for the project.
A severance can in law mean the act of severing a piece of land from a larger tract of land. The severed parcel of land becomes a separate lot (parcel). Second, it can refer to, in jurisdictions that have the form of co-ownership, the ending of a joint tenancy by act or event other than death. Third, it can be defined in a definitions clause or table in ways including the removal of a party from an agreement, or a permitted ending of the agreement — in an employment contract/negotiations especially common as to severance pay and other terms of severance — or part of the agreement in which case it may be either capable of forming the heart of a new agreement, that is being superseded or instead varied to be non-binding (avoided) as to future conduct and the parties should ensure which meaning is meant in this third range of senses.
A unit of real estate or immovable property is limited by a legal boundary. The boundary may appear as a discontinuation in the terrain: a ditch, a bank, a hedge, a wall, or similar, but essentially, a legal boundary is a conceptual entity, a social construct, adjunct to the likewise abstract entity of property rights.
Cadastral surveying is the sub-field of cadastre and surveying that specialises in the establishment and re-establishment of real property boundaries. It involves the physical delineation of property boundaries and determination of dimensions, areas and certain rights associated with properties. This is regardless of whether they are on land, water or defined by natural or artificial features. It is an important component of the legal creation of properties. A cadastral surveyor must apply both the spatial-measurement principles of general surveying and legal principles such as respect of neighboring titles.
Redmond–Bend Juniper State Scenic Corridor is a collection of ten unimproved land parcels administered for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The parcels are located along U.S. Route 97 between Bend and Redmond, Oregon, United States. It is named for the large western juniper trees found on the parcels. The scenic corridor is completely undeveloped with no trails or park facilities of any kind.
The Association of British Columbia Land Surveyors (ABCLS) is a self-governing, non-profit, non-governmental organization which sets educational requirements, examines for admission, and regulates professional land surveyors within British Columbia, Canada. The ABCLS is responsible for developing bylaws and guidelines for the conduct of its members, establishing and administering entry requirements for the profession, and liaising with governmental bodies and other associations to improve the quality of the profession's service to the public.
In English common law, real property, real estate, immovable property or, solely in the US and Canada, realty, is land which is the property of some person and all structures integrated with or affixed to the land, including crops, buildings, machinery, wells, dams, ponds, mines, canals, roads, and other things. The term is historic, arising from the now-discontinued form of action, which distinguished between real property disputes and personal property disputes. Personal property, or personalty, was, and continues to be, all property that is not real property.
Highland Park, also known as Highland Pines, is a populated place situated near Prescott and within the Prescott National Forest, in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. Highland Pines is the promotional name associated with the Highland Park areas several subdivisions. In the Arizona Territorial era up to 1912, and Statehood until around the late 1920s, this particular area of land acted as a cattle ranch with a mining history, lies within the Thumb Butte Mining District, which appears to be initially platted by the Arizona Corporation Highland Pine Properties Inc. beginning in the late 1950s.
James Thompson was an American surveyor who created the first plat of Chicago. Born in South Carolina, Thompson moved to Kaskaskia in southern Illinois as a young man and lived in the area for the rest of his life, working primarily as a surveyor. He was hired to plat settlements at the ends of the proposed Illinois and Michigan Canal in northern Illinois; he completed the plat of Chicago, the settlement at the eastern end, on August 4, 1830. After completing his survey of Chicago he returned to the Kaskaskia area and declined an offer of land in Chicago in favor of a cash payment. In addition to his surveying work, he served in various positions such as probate judge, county commissioner, and officer in the Illinois militia during the Black Hawk War.
The dictionary definition of plat at Wiktionary
Media related to Survey drawings at Wikimedia Commons