Summer 2010

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

From the Chair
Conference Planning 
Scholarship Update
Annual Report Online

GLO Field Note Project
LiDAR update
FSA Photos 2010

Commendation Nominations

Metro Air Photo Update

Eagan Tracks Diseased Trees
Goodhue Co Historical Features

Higher Education
GISSO Job Fair Report



Preserving Minnesota’s GLO Field Notes - Project Funded
By John Hoshal, MnGeo

The Minnesota Historical Society has awarded a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant to MnGeo to scan, index, and publish Minnesota’s General Land Office (GLO) Field Notes online, thereby greatly increasing their accessibility. The field notes were created for the federal government between 1847 and 1911, prior to opening Minnesota to land sale and to European settlement.

MnGeo will work in partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society, Office of the Secretary of State, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Minnesota Association of County Surveyors and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to digitize and index these exceptional documents and publish them online.  The project’s anticipated completion date is June 30, 2011.
Contained in 1410 volumes totaling nearly 250,000 pages, the notes serve as the legal foundation for all land ownership in the state.  All property titles in Minnesota ultimately rest on these descriptions. They are also uniquely valuable for historical, environmental, genealogical and legal purposes and are the only comprehensive representation of Minnesota’s landscape prior to development. However, access to the actual notes has posed challenges due to their unique nature and fragile condition.  This project will ensure that the public will have full access to them for generations to come.
Some of the field notes and all of the maps derived from the notes are currently available online:
  • Selected field notes: See an earlier article about a pilot project to scan and index the notes; selected notes from Anoka, Chisago, Hennepin, Isanti, Pipestone and Traverse counties are online.
  • GLO maps: Over 3,600 GLO maps derived from the notes are already available for download at and will be tied to the field notes. 
Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants are made possible by the Minnesota Legislature from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund created with passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution in November 2008. The grants are awarded to support projects of enduring value for the cause of history and historic preservation across the state. 
More Information
For more information about the project, contact John Hoshal at, or 651-201-2482.
Project updates will be posted here.