Community Boundaries (Towns) from Survey Points (Multi-part Polygons)
The political boundary datalayer is a polygon representation of town boundaries created from arcs developed from survey coordinates extracted from the 68-volume Harbor and Lands Commission Town Boundary Atlas for the 351 communities (cities and towns) in Massachusetts. The Atlas was published in the early 1900's and is maintained by the Survey Section of Massachusetts Highway Department. For communities with a coastal boundary, MassGIS has collaborated with Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and the Department of Environmental Protection to complete a 1:12000 scale coastline. The boundary for the coastline was defined as being the upland side of tidal flats and rocky inter-tidal zones. Note that the 351 communities are the official municipal names, not including "villages" or other sections of towns.