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.
There are two separate and distinct systems of land surveys in the United States:
- System of metes and bounds in which each parcel of land is individually described and bounded
- System of rectangular surveys under which the land is divided basically into equal-sized townships, sections, and fractions thereof