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State plane coordinates are a function of the plane-rectangular coordinate systems developed for each U.S. state in the mid-20th century by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (now the National Geodetic Survey). A basic premise of the system is to allow geodetic positions (latitudes and longitudes) to be defined as plane (x, y) coordinates, while maintaining a maximum scale error of 1 part in 10,000. This allows land surveyors to use conventional surveying measurements and plane geometry to determine geodetic coordinates (latitude and longitude) to an acceptable degree of accuracy.

A GIS must utilize a coordinate system as its mapping basis. The state plane coordinate system may be the choice, but even when it is not, data are often collected and documented as state plane coordinates ...

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