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 "About MSPS"
menu). Property records may also be referred to as parcel, cadastral, real estate
or real property records.
Not sure which county your city or township is in? Use our city/county search page to find out.
- Downloadable data sets: These data sets require
geographic information systems (GIS) software.
- 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 information: These 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
county-wide map interface. They usually also allow searches by
specific criteria such as parcel identification number or owner
- Big Stone
- Blue Earth
- Crow Wing
- Lake of the Woods
- Le Sueur
- Mille Lacs
- Otter Tail
- Polk (click on "Interactive Mapping Site")
- St. Louis
- Wright (click on "Beacon - Interactive GIS Map")
- Yellow Medicine
- No county-wide maps: These sites allow users to search for property information by specific criteria such as parcel identification number or owner name, but do not provide a county-wide map interface option. Some sites, however, provide maps of individual properties.
- 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.
- County GIS contact information:
Contacts and county mapping websites.
Survey & Land Management Information: This brochure from the
Minnesota Department of Transportation's
Office of Land Management describes
parcel-related information available from MnDOT.
- 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
- 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
- Lyon County provides its plat book 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
- Minnesota's Bookstore carries current plat books for a number of Minnesota counties.
About plat books:
For more information about how plat books
are created, see the Wisconsin State Cartographer's Office site.
- 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 MnGeo 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.