Australian jurisdictions still use metes and bounds in describing boundaries of administrative areas such as local government areas, schedules of proclaimed areas, park proclamations and other boundaries that are required to be described in a government gazette.
Spatial Vision was recently developed metes and bounds descriptions as part of a redistribution of the Queensland state electoral boundaries for the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ). As well as providing maps for the redistribution, Spatial Vision was tasked with preparing metes and bounds descriptions of the new electoral division boundaries.
In order to meet the tight deadlines for this project, Spatial Vision decided the best approach was to automate the process of defining the metes and bounds. Spatial Vision used ESRI ArcGIS with Python scripting to first identify the features that make up the boundary, identify a direction in which the feature was heading and then convert this into a written description of the boundary with appropriate text which connected the various boundary elements into a single coherent paragraph.
Different geographical, administrative and cadastral features are used to define the divisional electoral boundary. The features include physical features such as roads, watercourses, canals, shorelines, waterbodies and even ridgelines. Administrative boundaries included local government areas, localities and cadastral parcel boundaries.
The end product was a list of features placed into a list with appropriate connections between clauses that can be interpreted as a single paragraph describing the metes and bounds.
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