Kansas Geological Survey, Open-file Report 2012-14
Glennon F. Gagnon
KGS Open File Report 2012-14
For nearly 50 years the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) has been involved with developing computer programs to convert legal land descriptions to mapping coordinates. The first program was written in 1964 by Donald Good. His program used 126 land locations and an arbitrary map-coordinate system to test the possibility of using a computer to convert section, township, and range notation to Cartesian coordinates. Good's program was written in FORTRAN II for an IBM 1620 computer. Subsequent programs, such as KANS, developed by Charles O. Morgan and Jesse M. McNellis (1969) offered significant improvements, including the ability to calculate latitude and longitude values. KANS was written in FORTRAN IV and tested on an IBM 7040 at the University of Kansas Computing Center. The program utilized 948 latitude and longitude control points and 962 township and range correction parameters.
These early programs ran in a mainframe environment, making access to the general public impractical. With the advent of the PC, however, KGS employee Charles G. Ross (1989) saw an opportunity to write such a program. Ross named the program LEO, a play on words "LEGAL to GEO." In 1994 LEO II was released as a second generation version of the program. Subsequent development work was performed by David R. Collins with the release of LEO 3.4, LEO 3.6, and finally LEO 3.9 released in 1999. The DOS versions of LEO were written in FORTRAN 77 for IBM-compatible personal computers. They remained a popular tool for industry, researchers, and government for nearly 20 years.
In 2007 work began on a GUI version of LEO that would utilize the benefits of the more powerful yet low-cost computers. LEO 7.0 was developed by Glen Gagnon as a stand-alone desktop program written in Java. Released in 2008, it offers an intuitive graphic user interface, NAD27 and NAD83 conversion options, and batch processing capabilities. The application was designed to run on any system supporting the JAVA Runtime Environment (JRE 1.6). A key aspect of the LEO 7.0 design was the ability to de-couple the calculation engine from the GUI front end. When implemented in this fashion, the same engine used in the desktop version can be called within database environments, such as Oracle. This feature makes LEO very flexible and guarantees the same results in all environments.
Deployed as a web service, it is called thousands of times per day to perform location calculations on the KGS web site. The database implementation of LEO is powerful, yet many users continue to rely on the stand-alone version. One reason is the ability to operate untethered from network connectivity. At times, the freedom to work remotely in the field is essential but the stand-alone design has a downside. One major drawback is the need for sufficient computer skills to install JAVA. Another is the lack of a method for periodically updating the stand-alone versions with corrected coordinate values for section corners.
Web-based software and the advent of mobile computing have made it possible to implement a solution that streamlines use, runs remotely, and can update coordinates in a timely manner. This document serves as the User Manual for the LEOWEB 11 application and is intended to assist users with various features of the program.
KGS_OF_2012-14_LEOWEB_11_UserManual.pdf (2.6 MB)
To read this file, you will need the Acrobat PDF Reader, available free from Adobe.
Kansas Geological Survey
Updated July 9, 2012
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