Federal Mining Claims in Alaska

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Frequently anticipated questions:

What does this data set describe?

Title: Federal Mining Claims in Alaska
This coverage displays the non-surveyed boundaries of active (recorded or interim) federal mining claims within the State of Alaska. Each mining claim is represented as an individual region, identified by the casefile serial number which can be linked to background data via the ALIS (Alaska Land Information System). Mining claim boundaries were identified in location notices from the original casefiles. They were plotted on maps based on rough sketches, claimant maps or physical descriptions. The mining claim boundaries were transferred (when applicable) by use of a zoom-transfer scope and light table from claimant maps or estimated from land descriptions onto 1:63,360 quadrangle maps. Claims were then digitized into ArcInfo following statewide BLM standards.
Pending, Interim, or Recorded Federal Mining Claims are available to the public. Closed Federal Mining Claims are available to internally BLM only.
  1. How should this data set be cited?

    Bureau of Land Management, 20161107, Federal Mining Claims in Alaska: BLM, Anchorage, Alaska.

    Online Links:

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?

    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -168.472059
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -120.599890
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 68.455505
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 53.986141

  3. What does it look like?

  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?

    Calendar_Date: 07-Nov-2016
    Currentness_Reference: publication date

  5. What is the general form of this data set?

    Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: vector digital data

  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?

    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?

      This is a Vector data set. It contains the following vector data types (SDTS terminology):

      • G-polygon (14632)
      • Label point (16751)
      • GT-polygon composed of chains (15361)

    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?

      The map projection used is Albers Conical Equal Area.

      Projection parameters:
      Standard_Parallel: 55.000000
      Standard_Parallel: 65.000000
      Longitude_of_Central_Meridian: -154.000000
      Latitude_of_Projection_Origin: 50.000000
      False_Easting: 0.000000
      False_Northing: 0.000000

      Planar coordinates are encoded using coordinate pair
      Abscissae (x-coordinates) are specified to the nearest 0.6
      Ordinates (y-coordinates) are specified to the nearest 0.6
      Planar coordinates are specified in meters

      The horizontal datum used is North American Datum of 1983.
      The ellipsoid used is Geodetic Reference System 80.
      The semi-major axis of the ellipsoid used is 6378137.000000.
      The flattening of the ellipsoid used is 1/298.257222.

  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?

    Alaska Federal Mining Claims (Source: BLM-Alaska)

    Internal feature number. (Source: ESRI)

    Sequential unique whole numbers that are automatically generated.

    ALIS Case Serial Number for individual mining claims (Source: BLM-Alaska Alaska Land Information System)

    Various Casefiles

    Character field

    Name of Mining Claim (Source: Defined by claimant)

    Character field

    Primary owner/operator of claim (Source: User defined)

    Character field

    nature/class of mining claim as deterimed in ALIS (Source: BLM-Alaska Alaska Land Information System)

    384101MC-LODE CLAIM
    384301MC-TUNNEL SITE

    Field office with jurisdiction over the particular mining claim (Source: BLM-Alaska)

    AnchorageAnchorage District
    FairbanksFairbanks District
    GlennallenGlennallen District

    Meridian, Township, Range, Section (Source: PLSS)

    Character field

    Meridian, Township, Range, Section, Aliquot part description of mining claim

    Feature geometry. (Source: ESRI)

    Coordinates defining the features.

    Status of mining claim. (Source: BLM-Alaska Alaska Land Information System)

    PendingPending claim
    ClosedClosed claim
    InterimInterim claim (on appeal)
    RecordedMining claim has been established and recorded in Alaska Land Information System.

    Date mining claim was located on the ground. (Source: BLM ALIS)

    Varies by claim

    Descriptive characteristic of geographic area (Source: User defined)

    Unique geographic characteristic of feature.

    Source of claim boundary -- coded as 1 = GPS data obtained from claimant, 2 = claim drawn on 1:63,360 scale USGS quad map by claimant, 3 = claim drawn on Master Title Plat by claimant, 4 = claim depicted on hand-drawn map by claimant, 5 = claim drawn on 1:63,360 scale USGS quad map by tech using claimant's written description (Source: User defined)

    1GPS data obtained from claimant.
    2Claim drawn on 1:63,360 scale USGS quad map by claimant.
    3Claim drawn on Master Title Plat by claimant
    4Claim depicted on hand-drawn map by claimant.
    5Claim drawn on 1:63,360 scale USGS quad map by tech using claimant's written description.

    Method of data entry -- coded as 1 = digitized, 2 = scanned, 3 = GPS direct entry (Source: User defined)

    3GPS direct entry

    Individual who digitized and attributed the data and office (branch) they work under (Source: User defined)

    Unique geographic characteristic of feature.

    Individual who digitized and attributed the data and office (branch) they work under.

    Date Status was verified from ALIS query (Source: ALIS)

    publication date

    Date and employee to last modify the data. (Source: User defined)

    Individual who digitized and attributed the data and office (branch) they work under.

    Date and employee to last modify the data.

    Claims may be stacked (Source: Branch of Solid Minerals)

    Range of values

Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)

  2. Who also contributed to the data set?

  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?

    Julie Capps
    Bureau of Land Management, Alaska State Office, Mineral Law and Solid Minerals
    Land Law Examiner
    222 W. 7th Ave #13
    Anchorage, AK 99513

    (907) 271-3197 (voice)

Why was the data set created?

This coverage was developed as part of a statewide effort to track active mining claims. This portion is only for those claims which are managed by the federal government. The coverage is intended to be linked with bi-weekly data downloads from the ALIS and published on the web for public and agency informational purposes.

How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?

    ALIS (source 1 of 1)
    BLM, 20100204, ALIS Query.

    Type_of_Source_Media: computer program
    Source_Scale_Denominator: 63360
    Source_Contribution: Query for active and on-appeal claims.

  2. How were the data generated, processed, and modified?

    Date: 07-Nov-2016 (process 1 of 1)
    Maintenance of the table of digitized Alaska, Federal Mining Claims.
    The official data for the federal mining claims is in the ALIS- Oracle Database and the digitized mining claim database is reflective of the currently open mining claims in the ALIS database.
    The current method of digitizing mining claims is: 1. Files containing the mining claim location descriptions are transferred from the Mining Law staff.
    2. New claims are digitized in ArcMap and saved in the FedClaims table via scanning maps, plotting GPS coordinates or aliquot part descriptions. ALIS Case Serial numbers are assigned as the primary key attribute in the FedClaims table.
    3. After the updates are completed, a java program is executed that updates all of the attributes in the FedClaims table with attributes that are stored in the ALIS database. Any claims that are not updated are reviewed and the case serial number is validated against the ALIS database. Once case serial numbers are validated, the java program is re-executed.
    4. BLM users can browse the federal mining claims and note the status of the claims. Federal mining claims available through <http://sdms.ak.blm.gov> will not show 'CLOSED' mining claims.

    Person who carried out this activity:

    Tim Varner
    Bureau of Land Management, Alaska State Office
    IT Specialist
    222 W. 7th Ave #13
    Anchorage, AK 99513

    (907) 271-5799 (voice)

  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?

How reliable are the data; what problems remain in the data set?

  1. How well have the observations been checked?

    Claim numbers, source, method, office employee, update employee and stack level were proofed by the technician at the time of input and checked independently for missing or inappropriate values. The geog-info attribute was filled in automatically by an aml which searched the USGS Geographic Names Information Server for a placename within 20,000 m of the region. The remaining fields; claim name, claimant, district, mtrs and casetype were filled via a data dump from BLM's Alaska Land Information System (ALIS).

  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?

    The horizontal accuracy is contigent upon the quality of the boundaries mapped by the claimant which is inestimable. Claimant maps varied widely in their level of detail -- from hand drawn maps of landscape features and claim placement to estimates on Master Title Plats or USGS topographic quadrangles. On occasion, maps were not even provided by the claimant in which case accuracy depended entirely on the legal description. The zoom-transfer process minimized error propagation prior to digitizing claims. Claims were digitized using both paper maps and mylar as sources. A double precision coverage was created at an RMS < 0.005 with fuzzy tolerance and dangle lengths set to 0.01.

  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?

    Terrain effects on claim boundary placement were not taken into consideration. Only if claims are surveyed by GPS and updated will vertical and horizontal accuracy be improved.

  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?

    These data represent all the active federal mining claims as compared to the federal mining claims in the Alaska Land Information System.
    These data also represent a portion of the inactive federal mining claims. Federal mining claims that were active at the time of initial data collection continue to be represented as federal mining claims but their status is noted as 'CLOSED.' Federal mining claims that were inactive at the time of initial data collection were not digitized to begin with.

  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?

    Spatial Topology is present.

How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?

Discretionary, contains no sensitive information - generally considered releasable.
Any hardcopies or published datasets using this data shall clearly indicate their source.
Any user wishing to modify this data are obligated to report the extent of their modifications. User specifically agrees not to misrepresent modifications to this data, as approved or endorsed by the BLM.

  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 1)

    Tim Varner
    Bureau of Land Management
    IT Specialist
    222 West 7th Ave., #13
    Anchorage, Alaska 99513-7599

    (907) 271-5799 (voice)

  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set?

    Downloadable Data

  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?

    No warranty is made by BLM as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of these data for individual use or aggregate use with other data.

  4. How can I download or order the data?

Who wrote the metadata?

Last modified: 07-Nov-2016
Last Reviewed: 07-Nov-2016
To be reviewed: 07-Nov-2016
Metadata author:
Bureau of Land Management
Attn: Tim Varner
IT Specialist
222 W. 7th Ave. #13
Anchorage, Alaska 99513-7599

907-271-5799 (voice)

Metadata standard:
FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC-STD-001-1998)
Metadata extensions used:

Generated by mp version 2.9.12 on Tue Oct 16 11:22:48 2018