Updates to the Content Requirements for Survey Plans and Sketches
On September 23, 2022, changes to the Content Requirements for Survey Plans and Sketches were implemented.
Consideration will be given to plans drafted and/or signed prior to September 23, 2022.
Further information can be found at:
Do you have any questions on this new process? Contact Alberta Environment and Parks Outreach Services.
Any surface work performed on public land (lands administered by Environment and Parks (the department) and or its predecessors) requires a survey/sketch plan along with the application/amendment/renewal form for a disposition [Public Lands Act: Section 23(1) and the Mines and Minerals Act: Section 26(1)]. The survey and/or sketch plan must indicate the extent of the activity being applied for and its proximity to existing dispositions.
For additional information on public lands administered by the department, refer to:
The purpose of this document is to provide information on the requirements for the survey/sketch plan, depending on the type of disposition and the purpose of the activity.
Legislation requirements and general information
Surveys must comply with the Surveys Act and the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association's Manual of Standard Practice and be conducted by an Alberta Land Surveyor commissioned under the Land Surveyors Act. The surveyor must hold a current annual certificate from the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association. The Director of Surveys administers the Surveys Act.
- Alberta Land Surveyors' Association
- Director of Surveys
- Land Surveyors Act
- Manual of Standard Practice
- Surveys Act
Surveys/sketches must comply with the requirements set out within this web page to be "acceptable" to the director [Public Lands Administration Regulation: Sec. 9(1)(a) and (b) (Formal Disposition); Sec.11(1)(a) and (b) (Authorization); and Sec. 13(1)(a) (Approval)]. To ensure sketches meet these requirements it may be prudent to engage a professional to prepare them.
Definitions for the common terms used in managing dispositions can be found at the Open Government Portal at:
Public land activities records
There are several repositories that can be used to obtain information on survey/sketch plans of activities on public land. These sources may help with the survey/sketch plan preparation required especially if the disposition or disposition reservation activity is adjacent to or bounds onto other dispositions or disposition reservations.
Electronic Transfer System (ETS)
Geographic Land Information Management and Planning System (GLIMPS) is an application used to manage and maintain surface land agreements and activities on public lands in the province of Alberta. This information is made available to the public through ETS.
Spatial Information System (SPINII)
Alberta Land Title Office's SPINII houses registered survey plans, title ownership, township images, survey control markers and other land information services.
To download registered survey plans, titles and other documents within Alberta visit the Alberta Registries online Spatial Information (SPINII) System website.
AltaLIS is the agent for Alberta Data Partnerships Ltd. (ADP). AltaLIS has the responsibility of making Alberta's base mapping infrastructure more available, accessible, accurate and affordable. AltaLIS is responsible for the updating and maintenance of several property datasets including:
- Base Features
- Other derivative mapping products
A fee is charged for most services.
Boundary and Document Gathering Resource (BADGR)
BADGR holds image copies of all current and historical Individual Surface Activity Plans (ISAPs) on public land on behalf of the Alberta Government. BADGR distributes plans from the library. BADGR has exclusive rights to re-sell copies of the ISAPs to the department's stakeholders. BADGR does not distribute plans registered at the Land Titles Office. Requests for plans can be made over the BADGR website.
Applicants must submit the appropriate plan type that meets the requirements for the activity and purpose of the disposition being applied for as shown in PLAR Table A1: AEP Public Land Dispositions and PLAR Table A2: AER Public Land Dispositions (excludes Reservations). PLAR Tables A1 and A2 can be found at:
During the application stage the following plan types may be acceptable:
- Conventional Survey
- Hybrid Cadastre Survey
- Compiled Plan
Disposition Reservations (DRS) are unique and used exclusively by the department and other ministries within the Government of Alberta. Disposition Reservations have many purposes ranging from fire towers to fish habitat protection areas. Generally, the plan requirements for Disposition Reservations follow the requirements of those dispositions with similar purpose and activities found in PLAR Table A1. For example, a fire tower would be equivalent to a Miscellaneous Lease and would be required to be surveyed.
For information on the Land Use Reservation Program (LURP) go to the reservations webpage:
Survey/sketch plan types
There are 2 types of plans:
- Survey plan which is a field survey performed by an Alberta Land Surveyor for the purpose of monumenting the boundaries of a right or interest in public land
- Sketch plan which is a sketch depicting the limits/extents of an interest in public land
Survey/sketch plan content requirements
The content requirements for survey/sketch plans may vary depending on activity type being applied for. For content requirements for agricultural activities contact Geomatics.
For content requirements for activities other than agricultural activities refer to:
- Content Requirements for Survey Plans and Sketches – excludes Agricultural Activities
- Director of Surveys Compiled Plan Standards
- Hybrid Cadastre Standards for Public Land Disposition Surveys and FAQs
Disposition amendments and renewals
Generally, a survey plan is required when a disposition is being amended or renewed. PLAR Table A1 and PLAR Table A2 show these plan type requirements. Additional information regarding amendment surveys can be found at:
Digital plan submission formats and specifications
All disposition plans submitted digitally need to be confirmed through the Plan Confirmation Service (PCS) and submitted through the Electronic Disposition System (EDS).
For successful submission through PCS the standards set out in the Digital Plan Submission Standards and Procedures and Geo-referencing Guide documents must be met.
- Plan Confirmation Service Plan Submission User Guide
- Geo-referencing Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions: Geo-referencing Guide
The information on these web pages has been developed to be consistent with legislation, orders in council, ministerial orders, codes of practice, treaties/agreements, policies, frameworks, strategies, plans and other approved documents which provide direction on implementing legislation. Should the legislation or any of these documents be amended, or it is found that there is a discrepancy between the information provided through these pages and legislation, the legislation shall prevail.
Ensure you read the most current relevant legislation and other regulatory documents. The onus is on you, the applicant, to ensure you are in compliance with these.
Contact us at: