Land Ownership: Property Boundaries
Property boundary basemaps and ownership records are maintained at the county level, usually by the recorder's, assessor's or land surveyor's offices. Many Minnesota counties keep records in digital (computer-readable) format while others keep them as paper records. Note that the boundaries shown on the maps and the GIS data sets are approximate -- they are not substitutes for certified property surveys, legal property descriptions or detailed plat maps. For more information on property surveys and legal descriptions, see the Minnesota Society of Professional Surveyors' website (choose "About Surveying" under the "Resources" menu). Property records may also be referred to as parcel, cadastral, real estate or real property records.
Downloadable data sets
These data sets require geographic information systems (GIS) software.
- Open Data Counties, compiled: Minnesota counties that have opted-in for their parcel data to be included in this dataset
- Most current version, updated quarterly
- Twin Cities metropolitan counties: Regional parcel datasets compiled by MetroGIS
- Greater Minnesota counties: These counties provide their parcel data sets online:
Online parcel maps and informationThese county websites allow the public to view property information online. Some information may be password-protected or available only by subscription.
County-wide maps: These sites provide property information
using a county-wide map interface. They usually also allow searches by
specific criteria such as parcel identification number or owner name.
- Big Stone
- Blue Earth
- Crow Wing
- Lac qui Parle
- Lake of the Woods
- Le Sueur
- Mille Lacs
- Otter Tail
- Red Lake
- St. Louis
- No county-wide maps: This site allows users to search for property information by specific criteria such as parcel identification number or owner name, but does not provide a county-wide map interface option.
- County GIS contact information: Contacts and county mapping websites.
- Plat books: These books typically cover a county and show property boundaries, owner names and acreage along with other reference information such as roads and township section numbers. They are not intended for legal use in sales, trades or transfers of land. Plat books can be viewed at many libraries; they can also be ordered from the publisher, from map and book stores and from some county offices. Copyright restrictions may prohibit photocopying of recent books.
- Private companies publish plat books for a number of Minnesota counties. Check their websites for current lists of available counties and for related cartographic, publishing or software services that the companies may provide.
- Carlton County publishes its own plat book
- Cass County provides its 2012 plat book and its land atlas online
- Cook County publishes its own plat book
- Lake County provides its 2014 plat book / land atlas online
- Lake of the Woods County provides its 2014 plat book / land atlas online
- Otter Tail County publishes a digital plat book
- Stearns County publishes its own plat book
- St. Louis County publishes its own plat book
- Todd County publishes its own plat book
- Hunting land locations: Since hunters often ask about land ownership information, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has compiled a list of suggestions for finding public and private land ownership, including maps showing the boundaries of wildlife management areas, state and federal forests and national wildlife refuges.
Parcels and Land Records Committee: This Minnesota Geospatial Advisory Council committee researches statewide issues surrounding the automation and mapping of land record transactions.
Cadastral Data Content Standard: A standard endorsed by the Federal Geographic Data Committee.