Steve, Thank you for your prompt response to me question.
Let me say up front that my thinking is not fully developed as to what an
ideal database would be or how it would be useful.
My thoughts are colored by my recent experience with Maryland land
records. Maryland patents and patent survey certificates records are much
more preserved and complete than Virginia's, but the archival indexing of
Maryland records is much less sophisticated than is Virginia's; thus, it
is much easier to isolate a set of Virginia tracts of land by watercourse
of other attribute before engaging in detailed plotting.
My vision of an ideal map database would be that it facilitate queries on
By way of example an individual Maryland survey certificate file or
record from the archives can be either very simplistic or can be very
detailed. A typical robust file would include:
warrant (common or special) with details
original patent/patents identity with tract name (somewhat peculiar to
Maryland) and dates
other tracts included
general location by watercourse or other features
person issued survey certificate
metes and bounds of individual original tracts and contiguous vacant land
metes and bounds of final survey
identity of adjacent tracts and features
date of survey
If a database was created for a set of 1000's of tracts of land and their
linked attributes, then it could be queried. A query example: John Doe,
all survey's, before 1730, adjacent tracts, tracts adjacent to adjacent
Clearly DeedMapper can be configured by the user to list almost any
attribute the user might assign. It is not clear to me how to efficiently
query the lists once established. The inputs of attributes as keyed into
DeedMapper are logical and efficient. To re key input data into another
program is a monstrous job. Are there ways to export data sets
(copy/paste) from DeedMapper into other applications programs? Say a list
of "adj" property into a spreadsheet such as Excel?
Finally, linked searches and queries could be useful to the ultimate
users of published county/state deed mapping projects if/when they get
published or distributed.