The origin of county government in Hawai‘i is found in the Organic Act (June 14, 1900) which created the Territory of Hawaiʻi and which gave it the authority to establish municipalities. A mapping effort was initiated in 1917 with the appropriation Act. A Branch was created for the purpose of making maps for the use of the tax assessors.
In 1932, a comprehensive plan for a coordinated mapping system was adopted. The key system provided for the accounting of all properties based on location, boundaries, area and ownership identified through its Tax Map Key. The property Tax Map Key is typically written as: (1) 4-4-006:014 (District 1; Zone 4; Section 4; Plat 6; Parcel 14 – if this was a condominium, the sequence would be followed by the assigned tax map unit number.)