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July 26, 1996


Re: Digital Plan Standards for Municipal Mapping Purposes

You will recall that this office issued draft standards (Version 0) for digital submission of plans to municipalities for municipal mapping purposes, in October, 1994. The draft standards were developed in conjunction with the Corporation of the District of Saanich and the Corporation of Land Surveyors of the Province of British Columbia and were circulated prior to the annual general meeting of January, 1995. Constructive input from surveyors was solicited at that time and on several occasions since. I am now pleased to enclose a copy of PDF iconVersion 1 of the standards.

The purpose of the standards is to provide a uniform format for digital survey information where required by municipalities in order that surveyors working in a number of municipalities will not have to maintain a different format for each municipality. Municipalities which adopt the standards will not, of course, have to receive different formats from different surveyors and will, therefore, be able to streamline their mapping update process. The format also reflects a structure which I am confident will be a component in the future development of digital survey returns for legal surveys.

It must be recognized that both surveyors and municipalities use a wide variety of software and plan/mapping formats and that some translation software may need to be developed in order to transmit and receive digital survey data in the formats required by the standards, however, having to do this for only one set of standards will, in our view, be cost effective for all parties.

Because of characteristics inherent to widely used survey software packages, it was necessary to adopt certain conventions which may be foreign to users of other computer driven drafting systems. For example, numeric layer (level) names were chosen in order to accommodate software packages which cannot support alpha-character layer names.

Version 1 of the standards will also be sent to municipalities and regional districts and I would urge you to discuss these standards with municipal and regional district staff should the opportunity arise.

Yours sincerely,

Patrick Ringwood
Surveyor General