Open Geospatial Consortium

Submission Date: 2018-02-27

Approval Date:      2018-12-14

Publication Date:      2019-02-12

External identifier of this OGC® document:

Internal reference number of this OGC® document:        18-008r1

Category: OGC® White Paper

Editor:      Christiaan Lemmen, Peter van Oosterom, Mohsen Kalantari, Eva-Maria Unger and Cornelis de Zeeuw

OGC White Paper on Land Administration

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This document is not an OGC Standard. This document is an OGC White Paper and is therefore not an official position of the OGC membership. It is distributed for review and comment. It is subject to change without notice and may not be referred to as an OGC Standard. Further, an OGC White Paper should not be referenced as required or mandatory technology in procurements.

Document type:        OGC® White Paper

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Document stage:    Approved

Document language:  English

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i. Abstract

This white paper provides an overview of the land administration domain and proposes actions needed for design and development of implementation standards this domain. A close cooperation between the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and ISO is expected to accelerate those developments.

A huge task is waiting: the establishment of land rights for all: young and old, rich and poor, male and female. Data on many millions of parcels, spatial units, (use-) rights, persons, and parties have to be collected, linked, maintained, and published. Land Administration Systems (LAS) should be designed for maintenance of the dynamic relations between people and land. Existing land administrations require extensions: such as 3D and 4D functionality and datasets, blockchain for transparent transactions, generic processes and integration with remote sensing, and processes to support conversion from social to legal tenure.

A broad range of geospatial technologies and applications are available. They range from satellite and drone imaging and mapping, to geodesy, precise positioning, geo‐information science, cartography, spatial data infrastructure, and many surveying sub‐disciplines. The scientific and professional disciplines in the geospatial community design, develop, and apply those technologies. Apart from this technical component, a land administration also has a social and legal component. This makes land administration an arena where, apart from the geospatial community, many different scientific and professional disciplines meet. Depending on the stage of development and the level of societal acceptance of the land administration, those disciplines involved may be different.

1. Introduction

Land Administration is defined as the processes of recording and disseminating information about the ownership, value, and use of land and its associated resources. Land administration further includes restrictions and responsibilities related to rights, land value, land use, and impact of development processes (UNECE, 1996).

Land Administration Systems are not just 'handling geographic information,’ as they represent a lawfully meaningful relationship amongst parties (natural and non-natural persons, companies, governmental bodies, etc.) and between people and land. There is a call for recognition and inclusion of legitimate tenure rights – as customary land rights or informal land rights. There is also a global call for conversion of social tenure to legal tenure – see goal 1.4 in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN, 2015).

At the ‘other side of the spectrum,’ the management of complex urban environments is requiring more and more representations of rights in 3D. The complexity of managing these issues implies that stakeholders from different disciplines need to cooperate in the development and operationalization of land administration standards.

Land administration can be title- or deed-based in the case of property rights. If the state owns the land occupancy rights, administration can be more easily managed. Initial data acquisition can be organized based on sporadic and systematic initial data acquisition. People-to-land relationships are dynamic and require maintenance. Land Administration Systems should be designed for maintenance purposes from the very beginning.

Maintenance and updating may be regular and continuous based on transactions of land rights or may be applied over time intervals. Systems may be completely or partly analogue or digital. In many countries, legal documents are paper-based. Transactions may be based on the use of digital signatures. Organizations often operate under distributed responsibilities. Organizations often have a long history and data are collected over a long time – with different methodologies, archive approaches, and technologies. Analogue data are sensitive and fragile and it is complex to organize a reliable backup.

Land administration methods and tools develop rapidly, supported by private companies, modern technology, and new information and communication possibilities. Further steps are needed to operationalize those methods and tools at scale (Enemark et al., 2016). Innovative thinking coupled with quickly maturing, scalable approaches is needed in many countries in order to create full coverage in land administration. Support is needed by world‐leading private companies, modern geospatial technologies, and a new professional mindset: the provision of global land administration that supports good land governance appears to be a feasible objective within the current generation – this would be in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs (UN, 2015).

This paper gives an overview of land administration standardization in section 2. Context of development of land administration is given in section 3. Needs and requirement are in section 4, followed by an overview of proposed actions in section 5. The paper ends with concluding remarks in section 6.

2. Land administration and ongoing standardization

The Land Administration Domain Model (LADM) has been developed by ISO / TC 211 Geographic Information / Geomatics. This development was initiated by the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG). It is referred to as ISO 19152 (ISO, 2012). CEN 287 also adopted the standard. This domain-specific standard captures the semantics of the domain. It provides a shared ontology, defining a terminology for land administration. The LADM covers basic information related to components of land administration including water and elements above and below the earth’s surface and people. Those components concern: party-related data; data on Rights, Restrictions, and Responsibilities (RRRs); the basic administrative units where RRRs apply; data on spatial units; surveying; and topology/geometry. LADM includes the Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM).

The data sets in those components are represented in Unified Modelling Language (UML) packages and class diagrams. All data in a land administration are supposed to be documented in (authentic) source documents. LADM is capable of supporting the progressive improvement of land administration. LADM can potentially be used to support organizational integration, for example, between often disparate land registry and cadastral agencies. LADM can help to reconcile superfluous government databases and reduce the large amount of data redundancy that currently exists.

LADM can be integrated with other geo-information standards - e.g., to link legal spaces to their physical ‘counterpart’ represented in Building Information Modeling (BIM)/IFC, GML, CityGML, LandXML, LandInfra, IndoorGML, RDF/linked data, and GeoJSON. BIM is very important in order to establish a link between construction works and land administration in relation to spatial planning and lifecycles of buildings. LADM code lists could provide the basis for establishing a complete catalogue of global land-people relationships. Registries would be needed for managing the content of code list values and their definitions.

The members of the OGC drafted a charter for a Land Administration Domain Working Group (OGC, 2016). This charter describes how to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Land Administration Systems by optimizing the use of OGC and complementary open standards. Land administration activities in all countries can benefit from improved interoperability using open standards. Improved interoperability contributes to reduced deployment time, lower system lifecycle costs, improved flexibility and scalability, improved choice from the IT marketplace, and improved ability to share, exchange, and integrate information related to land administration. While there are some standards describing elements of an administrative system, such as in LADM, there might be gaps in the way that they incorporate geographic descriptions of land records, and/or inadequate rules for defining and describing the quality of the records. There might also be governance barriers in adopting the standards.

The OGC Land Administration Domain Working Group aims to assess the existing standards and address any gaps and barriers it finds. There is a challenge for countries on how to implement the model. There is a need for good practices, processes, implementation guides, and expertise from past implementation.

The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) identified the need to take action to strengthen international cooperation in the area of global geospatial information management by establishing the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM). Under UN-GGIM an expert group on land administration and management has been established, which focuses on addressing sustainable governance, data management, and the adoption of institutional frameworks and technology in relation to land administration and management systems, as well as their linkages to the relevant aspects of the SDGs. The UN-GGIM encouraged the expert group to address the issue of fit-for-purpose land and geospatial information required to support effective and efficient land administration and management (including standards) in order to address the need to secure land and property rights for all [1].

Operationalization of LADM enables providers of survey instruments, service providers for land administration, suppliers of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Document Management Systems (DMS), and Database Management Systems (DBMS) to develop products, services, and applications for land administration. In turn, this will enable land registry and cadastral organizations to use these components to design, develop, implement, and maintain systems in an even more efficient way.

3. Context of developments

This section provides overview and context of developments to be used for analyses and setting of needs and requirements for land administration data acquisition, maintenance, and publication. Requirements range from development of 3D cadastre (including underground utilities and infrastructure) to the initial set up of a land administration or initial data collection.

Data maintenance is crucial: people-to-land relationships are dynamic. Some interoperability and outputs are discussed with respect to Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). Those PPPs can be organized in technical settings as available today: web-services, portals, and conventional data exchange.

3.1. Data collection

Ongoing urbanization and increasing complexity of infrastructures and densely built-up areas require a proper recording and registration of the legal status which can only be provided to a limited extent by existing 2D cadastral systems. The registration of legal status can be complex in 2D. 3D, including indoor modeling, is required to capture the whole legal and spatial dimension, which further includes the marine environment.

In cases where value of land is higher or an intensive level of land use exists, conventional field surveys using high-precision instruments (GPS, Total Stations, Laser scans) can be deployed. Areas with lower land values may require other approaches (use of imagery, lidar, radar). All those approaches are covered by the Fit-For-Purpose approach for land administration (descriptive, not prescriptive).

The Fit-For-Purpose approach (FIG/World Bank, 2015, UN-Habitat, 2016) argues for cost-effective, time-efficient, transparent, scalable, and participatory data collection and management, including participatory surveying, volunteered land administration, and crowdsourcing. In many situations, it is sufficient, to identify visual boundaries in the field using imagery. By following the Fit-For-Purpose approach, Land Administration Systems are simple at the start and can improve over time whenever necessary or relevant. It is a dynamic process: adapting to address different countries/areas, technologies deployed, and administration approaches. Such an approach must be gender sensitive, transparent, and highly participatory. The approach is affirmed in the Addis-Ababa Declaration ‘Geospatial Information Management towards Good land Governance for the 2030 Agenda’, (UN-GGIM, 2016).

Implementation of the Fit-For-Purpose approach requires flexible standards and a good model for data description using metadata, such as is incorporated in LADM. LADM supports the continuum of land rights (management of different tenures in one environment) and a continuum of approaches in data acquisition and recordation and many different representations of spatial units (point-based, line-based, polygon-based, and volume-based), and parties (from groups to individual and non-natural persons). Complete point-based approaches with identified monuments or beacons (or wooden pegs) are time consuming and complex.

Different types of survey approaches must be accommodated to allow integration of new spatial cadastral data with existing data, and to assure retention of original field observations. The software required for adjustments is often integrated in the survey instruments – but it should also be available during cadastral mapping – e.g., with a tablet in the field. In all cases there should be options to include rights and right holders with related attributes. Adjustments of field observations to existing cadastral spatial data could be included in cadastral GIS. Surveys are also needed in support to quality improvement of cadastral data.

Using app and cloud-technology, collected field data can be transmitted from a mobile device directly to a cloud-based GIS environment, enabling everyone to follow the process remotely. The field survey is, for example, about creating an overview of all existing people-land relationships, including formal (legal) ownership and informal (social) land use and overlapping claims. Owners or claimants are invited to walk the perimeters of their land parcels and to point to the vertex points of the boundaries themselves using a GPS receiver. A grassroots surveyor records the observations with an app installed on a mobile device or tablet. Imagery (from satellite, aircraft, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)) of the area is displayed on the screen of the mobile device. Data collection is done in an integrated way: the perimeter is stored as a closed polygon together with the claimed type of right combined with a photo of the face of the owner or claimant and a photo of the owner’s or claimant’s ID. A preliminary identifier is used as linking key. The GPS receiver may be handheld low-accuracy. In this way, the walked perimeters identify a boundary from sides, from two spatial units. If those are within a specified tolerance, then agreement is demonstrated. The approach implies that neighbors do not have to be in the field at the same time, which reduces the complexity associated with organizing the participation of boundary neighbors at the same time. The approach can be done in analogue way, too. Digital pens may be used in that case. This approach can be organized as participatory survey – where the right holders hold the GPS receiver and point out the vertex points and a grassroot surveyor (trained by a professional) collects the data in the app – with a very simple user interface. In this case the professional surveyor is the organizer, the person who creates awareness, organizes the data acquisition, accepts the data, and manages quality assurance. GIS is needed to handle collected data – calculating averages in boundary observations (which is complex – not all of the same points are necessarily observed from two sides), identification of objects, area calculation, and public inspection. During a public inspection of collected data, the agreement on boundaries can be confirmed – and the boundary may be visualized as a “green” (agreed) boundary.

It is crucial to get an overview of areas under dispute and to collect the geometry of the disputed area. ‘Dispute holders’ need to ‘agree’ on the area and location of the dispute. During the adjudication process in the field, disputes may lead to the creation of overlaps between polygons. In that case, those overlaps are mapped and the corresponding authorities know the exact location of a land-related conflict. Conflict resolution approaches need to be included as well as the interaction between land administration and disaster management.

After field data collection, the data must be checked for completeness and prepared for public inspection. Integration of knowledge and expertise from Remote Sensing in the Land Administration Domain is important and needed.

Automated feature extraction may be applied to boundaries of plots bounded by topographic features instead of the plots themselves. If extracted features are visualized on printed or screen-displayed imagery, they can be used to identify features as being identical to cadastral boundaries or not. Feature extraction may be helpful in estimating the number of parcels or spatial units that can be expected in project areas as what can be expected in the field is often unknown.

Fixing boundaries in participatory approaches is preferred – if needed. Conventional approaches in monumentation are always possible, but may be avoided in the preliminary stages of development of land administration. Demarcation with monuments or beacons takes a substantial part of the (grassroot) surveyor’s time. If demarcation is an absolute legal requirement, people could place the beacons themselves. Otherwise, it is a good idea to explore modern demarcation methods – smart markers could provide a good alternative. Modern markers like the traceable 3D radio frequency identification (RFID) markers can be detected and identified from a distance of several meters using a simple smartphone.

Data acquisition for millions of spatial units – based on evidence from the field in participatory approaches – is an enormous operation. Millions of polygons, lines and points are to be observed in reality and need to be linked to formal and informal holders of real rights and/or use rights. The organization of this process requires enormous amounts of human-supported transactions related to logistics and case management - all based on geographic information. During field work, a check on the completeness of the data acquisition needs to be performed in an easy way. Tools, transport, paper, imagery, awareness campaigns, local support from local authorities (if needed in co-management with traditional authorities), and grass-root data collectors combined with professional expertise has to be organized at the right place and time.

3.2. Processes, maintenance and transactions

Updates and changes may concern the following: parties and their attributes, rights, restrictions and responsibilities and related attributes, basis administrative units and related attributes, and spatial units and related attributes. Common transactions are buying and selling, establishment of mortgage, or rights (for example encumbrance, usufruct, but may be also tenancy). A very specific transaction is the inclusion of the result of spatial planning, e.g., a land consolidation or land readjustment.

More generic process-related modules (Stubkjaer, et al., 2007) in data acquisition and data handling as well as maintenance and publication are needed. Standardization can also make it easier to monitor the progress of global indicators relating to land tenure security. Process information is information on who has to do what in approving the transaction. LADM has roles already included as well a series of dates for interaction with processes – but the LADM Edition I does not include Land Administration processes for initial data acquisition, data maintenance, and data publication.

Cadastral data maintenance can be ‘programme-driven’ (systematic) or ‘sporadic.’ Programme-driven means maintenance through a complete and systematic new acquisition after initial data acquisition or an earlier maintenance effort. Sporadic means case by case maintenance in a ‘transaction-driven’ way and relates to transactions in the land market (buying/selling, establishment of mortgage, etc.). Transactions require source documents providing the basis for changing and updating the data in the database – from one consistent state to another. Attributes in all classes can be subject to change.

The blockchain is a secure mechanism to handle and store transactions in a distributed ledger environment. Once a transaction has taken place, it cannot be altered or erased from existence. A transaction is irreversible. An additional advantage of blockchain use is that not only the transaction itself, but also the history of transactions, is safely captured, making the data immutable and hence providing trust by definition. Blockchain is also known as the ‘distributed ledger;’ it is the database that provides proof of who owns what at any given time and it is publicly available and publicly maintained. A blockchain is transparent. That means: everyone who would like to see the transaction is able to do so and verify the transaction. This makes the process of value exchange visible, so normal people can see any injustice. Development of blockchain support in land administration requires co-operation with ISO TC 307 on Blockchain. FIG is also involved in the use of blockchain. Smart contracts are contracts whose terms are recorded in a computer language instead of legal language. Smart contracts can be automatically executed by a computing system, such as a suitable distributed ledger system. The smart contract is the layer that fully utilizes the potential of blockchain technology. Smart contracts contain the computer code that executes the contract.

Knowledge on geometric accuracy should result in quality labels identifying the relative and absolute accuracy of geometric data. This is relevant for adjustment later on and the integration of data from different sources collected with different instruments and tools in different approaches. But land administration is not only about geometric data. Talking about quality in land administration means not only talking about geometric accuracy, but also about ‘linking’ polygons (spatial units) and people (right-holders). Needed functionalities should be deployable on a single device, i.e., linking functionalities for image-based data acquisition to handheld GPS, biometric data (fingerprint identification and facial recognition), and voice/video recording in support of object identification. Devices supporting these functions could also be useful for inspections, for fieldwork related to building and construction permits, for cadastral maintenance, etc. Land data collected on many devices could deliver results in formats based on operational standards.

Legacy data may be located and stored all over a country in administrative (legal) and spatial (survey) archives. The paper documents in those archives often have a legal meaning. After digitizing the documents, they are not yet archived in a unified manner compliant with (international) standards: this applies to both the archives with the maps as well as the archives with the deeds. Having a digital archive is one of the preconditions for e-services to function optimally. Stages of digital archiving may be distinguished: protection of the existing archives; scanning and indexation; quality improvement of the archives; optimization of internal consistency; and integration of the digital archive in workflows.

3.3. Interoperability and Outputs

Interoperability, data sharing and data integration is needed in development of land administration.

External links to other databases (supporting information infrastructure deployment), e.g., addresses, population register, business register, building register, utilities register, etc., are needed. Use of these databases includes access to libraries with cloud free compositions of imagery as produced on large scale with remote sensing technologies, approaches in initial data acquisition, methods in public review/inspection, and checks on complete coverage. Data sharing means the data is collected once and used many times through establishing linkages with SDIs, for example. Duplicative efforts in data collection and maintenance can be avoided. Data has to be ‘kept at the source.’

Services must be able to support operations in an internet-connected environment as well as a disconnected environment, as internet is not reliable in many areas. Services may support declaration of land rights online by the rightholders themselves. Quality assurance procedures are required in these cases. Also, for maintenance, services can be developed. Further applications may support reporting land disputes and conflicts, requests for information, publication of land data, provision of products and services, land right formalization, map renovation and quality improvement, and digital archiving.

A fiscal registry or database is supposed to record legal, physical, geometric, economic, and environmental characteristics of the property units, which are subject to immovable property valuation and taxation. A land administration infrastructure is required to link fiscal registries with other public registries (e.g., cadastre, land registry, building, and dwelling registries).

3.4. Public-Private Partnership

While most developing economies are trying to establish Land Administration Systems, some developed jurisdictions are undergoing significant change in terms of their Land Administration Systems. The New South Wales state government in Australia privatized the operation of its land registry in 2016. The South Australian state government also privatized it land registry earlier in 2017. Now, Victorians await on whether their lawmakers will follow suit.

While rare, privately-operated land registries do exist elsewhere. A private operator administers the buying, selling, and subdivision of properties in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba. In other jurisdictions, there have been unsuccessful privatization attempts. In 2013, the Canadian province of Alberta’s Real Estate Council concluded that a proposal to privatize the title office was not in the public interest. And last year, the province of Nova Scotia assessed the prospect of a privatized titling office and concluded there would be no considerable gain from it. The UK Conservative government in 2016 also examined this idea but did not go ahead with privatization. This was primarily due to a lack of support from the property industry and a fear of public backlash.

There are risks and opportunities that is PPP-based land registries bring. These include increased fees, a natural monopoly, banks requiring title insurance for purchasing properties, risks to the integrity of land registration processes and property information, depreciating existing skillsets in the title offices that are hard to source, and the prospect of jobs moving elsewhere and even overseas.

At the same time, PPP-based land administration provides an opportunity to harness technologies that transform land administration into faster and more automated processes while removing intermediary fees and reducing red tape. Using technologies like blockchain, titles and other documents can be encrypted and protected in digital transactions. This challenges the need for lawyers to check documents, financial institutions to prove money exchange, insurance companies to back the title, and title offices to register the transactions. Consumer-grade technologies such as drones, 3D scanners and smartphones also make it easier for the public to collect land information. This will challenge regulated professions such as land surveying. These professions need to be rethought in a technology-driven society where land data collection becomes accessible to everyone (Kalantari and Jeffers 2017).

4. Needs and requirements [1]

The development of a land administration framework is challenging because it has to support a wide variety of regulatory and policy environments. Interoperability between underlying technologies and systems is key in providing the necessary flexibility. There is an impetus to guide developing nations in a programmatic way to establish cost-effective, interoperable land administration, to upgrade current manual processes (Stubkjaer, et al., 2007), and to field automated solutions that can be flexibly adapted to new data sources and new technologies. Key is the ability of proposed land administration frameworks to support the regulatory and policy environments that are often unique to individual jurisdictions and nations.

This section provides an overview of needs and requirements discussed by an inventory by an international group of experts during the LADM Workshop in Delft, The Netherlands in March 2017 and in Zagreb, Croatia in April 2018. Some of these needs recommend an extension of LADM – it is relevant in this context that adding complexity to LADM is to be avoided as much as possible.

4.1. General

Cooperation. It is very possible to re-use and develop implementation standards in OGC together with the development of LADM Edition II in parallel to implementation of LADM. Commitment of personnel representing professional organizations is important here of course. As Christine Lacroix from ISO says: “When expertise from the whole world comes together to solve important problems, great things can happen [2] .” Global organizations as UN and the World Bank are of crucial importance in setting needs and requirements and as motivators.

Communication. The functionality and options for use of LADM should be better known and communicated. LADM is a flexible standard that can meet local requirements. It is not a prescriptive standard – it is descriptive. LADM can also be described as a land administration expert language. It describes the common denominator in land administration worldwide. The rich functionality of LADM should be better and further promoted. UML instance level diagrams are very useful in communicating this functionality.

Standards like the LADM are crucial to jump-start new initiatives and are connecting top-down and bottom-up projects. It is very important that there is awareness of this at policy level. Policies should support the implementation of standards particularly when such standards are globally agreed.

Common vision on use and applications of standards in land administration. Different disciplines working in land administration have their own view and interpretation to its importance, use, and application. We talk about anthropologists, social scientists, lawyers, registrars, conveyors, notaries, geodesists, surveyors, remote sensing experts, valuers, brokers, spatial planners, land tax officers, cartographers, GIS/SDI/database experts, and information managers – from academia, public, and private environments. A common vision and agreement on the information, the structure of the information, and the meaning and use of information is important. Of course, OGC and ISO are involved in this work.

Compatibility. future versions of the LADM should be backwards compatible with prior versions.

4.2. Extended scope of conceptual model

Valuation. The LADM is a conceptual data model which provides a standardized global vocabulary for land administration. A proposal to extend the scope of LADM with a fiscal perspective is available (Çağdaş, et al., 2016; Çağdaş, et al., 2017). This proposal provides a data model that could be used to construct information systems for immovable property valuation and taxation and offer a data exchange option. The proposal (for inclusion in the second edition of LADM) provides a common basis for governments to direct the development of local and national databases and for the private sector to develop information technology products. Another option could be to include this fiscal work as an informative annex (similar to LPIS or INSPIRE CP annexes). Currently it is mentioned in the informative annex K (External classes: ExtValuation and ExtTaxation) of ISO 19152, Edition I (ISO, 2012). The valuation discipline needs to be involved here. OGC needs to be closely involved in order to bring experience as well as good and workable solutions for mass appraisal.

Indicators. The Global Land Indicator Initiative (GLII) [3], seeks to derive a list of globally comparable harmonized land indicators, using existing monitoring mechanisms, and data collection methods as a foundation. Internationally agreed standards will be key alongside agreed global concepts and evidence-based approaches. Note: this concerns aggregated data and statistics – not policies.

Land Administration Performance Index. Although, there has been significant progress in developing performance evaluation frameworks and benchmarks for individual Land Administration Systems (LAS) aspects, ontological differences inherent in each LAS, however, have stymied attempts to cross-compare performance of land administration systems in their entirety. There is need for a foundation of a Land Administration Performance Index – which is possible linked to existing global frameworks or initiatives.

Linking physical objects. Legal space and legal objects have their own geometries which are in many cases not (or not completely) equal to physical space and physical objects. Legal space could be linked to physical objects – by identifierss or re-use of descriptions of space. GML and CityGML offer options in this respect.

Indoor models. The users of indoor spaces create a relationship with the space depending on the type of the building and the function of the space. Applying LADM allows assigning rights, restrictions, and responsibilities to indoor spaces, which indicates the accessible spaces for each type of user. An IndoorGML-LADM model is one example of linking physical and legal objects.

Marine Cadastre. The LADM standard is as-published applicable to Marine Cadastres. Also there needs to have special attention for the transition zone from land to sea and Marine Spatial Planning (MSP). A normative reference to IHO S121 (Marine Limits and Boundaries) based on the LADM principles needs to be included in ISO 19152.

Spatial planning/zoning with legal implications. In principle, this is a matter of coding zones in code tables (based on the local situations). It further implies integration of spatial planning and land administration environments. Re-use of zones from spatial planning into restrictions to land rights should be possible.

Other legal spaces: mining, archaeology, utilities. These may need specializations in the data model.

4.3. Improvement of current conceptual model

Formal semantics/ontology for LADM Code Lists. For the domain of land administration, the localization issue extends from language names to the various organizations and institutions dealing with interests in land. Paasch et al. (2013), propose code lists as a means of internationalization by which the classes of the LADM may be related to the jurisdiction concerned. The issue of code lists has been addressed by the OGC as well, namely in terms of the document [OGC 17-050r1] “Code List Manifesto.”

Metadata and tenure atlases are relevant in this context. Tenure atlases provide overview on tenure systems and the level of recognition. This may include areas without land markets and nature preservation, etc.

More explicit 3D+time profiles. There is a model for representation of legal space with a datatype allowing the representation of volumes that are not completely closed. More functionality is required for a complete partition of space.

Extended survey model and legal model. This model can define adjustments from field observations to the spatial database and the generation of quality labels.

Encodings/technical models. Models concerning the further integration of LADM with existing standards. Note: INTERLIS is available as an implementation standard.

Open data. Open data made available specifically for the Coding of Rights, Right holders, Spatial Unit Types, etc. See Informative Annex J of [ISO 19152, 2012].

4.4. Process models

Survey procedures and map updating. Cadastral map updating includes adjustments and transformations of field observations (collected at different moments in time and with different survey instruments or via use of imagery from different sources) to the spatial database. Management of areas is needed: there may be more than one area to be maintained for the same spatial unit and the legal and accurate area as calculated in the cadastral GIS may not match other records. Implementation of tolerances to manage the differences in measurements should be flexible and purpose-related. Results of subdivisions of spatial units and the results of readjustments and land consolidation may need to be shared with other systems.

Generic processes. Processes such as initial data acquisition involve many millions of spatial units (amongst them parcels) where people-to-land relationships have to be determined, documented, and reviewed.

In implementing countries, specific strategies and more generic approaches are expected to be applicable and operationalized. For example: participatory surveying where people themselves hold the GPS receiver or blockchain technology with less involvement of professionals in transaction processes could be very applicable for transactions in land administration.

Conversion of social tenure to legal tenure is a process that may require different levels (layers) of data with related attributes. The same is valid for geometric quality improvements of the cadastral map.

A new class representing processes may be defined: a specialization of the class representing sources – thereby creating a connection between the classes of workflow management module and LADM classes.

Processes can be organized on the basis of use of electronic signatures in cases of applications and information requests requiring public or private keys and encryption/decryption.

Provision of information to data collectors for initial data collection or maintenance is a specific but very important process (task management, logistics). This provision of data can be paper-based imagery or digital: paper-based acquisition allows leaving the collected field boundary evidence to the local people. Data provisioned include:

  • participatory approaches,

  • roles,

  • on-line/off-line publication,

  • ids,

  • photos,

  • signatures,

  • fingerprints,

  • video,

  • voice recording,

  • right types,

  • restrictions, and

  • disputes.

VGI and crowdsourcing for Land Administration. It is possible that rightsholders and communities collect and maintain their own data with a certain level of professional support for quality assurance, etc. Participatory surveying is possible with GPS. Conversion from social tenure to legal tenure may require professional support – but caution must be taken as the way in which professional support is applied can be made easy or complex. The Publication of parties, related rights, and spatial units may also occur via global services (e.g., Google Earth, Bing Maps, Open Street Map, and many others). Note: this type of publication may be in conflict with legislation – in some countries the land administration must be established within the country.

Integration. To ensure securing land and property rights for all, there needs to be concerted efforts to improve the production of data and the generation of information needed to record all forms of people-to-land relationships that will provide effective and efficient Land Administration Systems. There will be a need for considerably more integration across the various national data and information systems and platforms in order to leverage the most effective data and analysis for evidence-based policy formulation and decision making.

Internationally agreed-upon and open standards will be key to unlock the value of data and the wealth of information needed to recognize all forms of people-to-land relationships, which is vital for the well-being of all humanity and sustainable development.

5. Proposed actions

This section proposes a first overview of actions to be taken in cooperation with standardization organizations. Note: countries without membership in OGC and/or ISO may be represented directly in the OGC Land Administration DWG or through the DWG’s linkages with other global organizations and NGOs. Actions are related to OGC, FIG, ISO / TC 211, the UN-GGIM Expert Group on Land Administration and Management, the International Hydrographic Organisation. and the user community.

5.1. OGC

The OGC Land Administration Domain Working Group (LandAdmin DWG) will focus on (see charter):

  1. the examination of existing systems of land administration;

  2. preparation of best practices that enable nations to address their needs in less time, cost, and effort through standards-based implementations [4]; and

  3. dialog on the integration of emerging information resources and/or technologies to assist nations in leapfrogging capability.

Additionally, the DWG will identify proposals for industry interoperability assessments, interoperability testbeds, pilots, and experiments designed to bring together users and technology providers to test, demonstrate, and validate best practices to guide the acquisition and implementation of sustainable, scalable, and interoperable land administration systems. The LandAdmin DWG cannot work in isolation. The LandAdmin DWG will work closely with the LandInfra DWG and SWG and CityGML SWG to identify existing standardization efforts underway in the OGC that reference Land Administration concepts to work toward interoperability with LandInfra standards. Within OGC, cooperation will occur with the Marine DWG and the Data Quality DWG as well as with ongoing discussion forums regarding non-authoritative data and blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. In addition to engaging OGC membership, the DWG will leverage OGC’s formal alliance partnerships and liaisons with other associations and standards development organizations (e.g., ISO / TC 211, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), OASIS, International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), and The Global Land Tool Network (GLTN)) to address interoperability issues that span the land administration community of practice, geospatial systems, and the broader IT environment. Examples include linkages with ISO / TC 211 regarding the LADM (Land Administration Domain Model, ISO 19152:2012) standard as well as those Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) responsible for IT standards related to topics such as security, web and mobile services. Further, this DWG will be open for participation by any interested organizations and individuals.

In this context, there should be a focus on the nexus of BIM and 3D Cadastres to examine the challenges of integration of data from each discipline. The challenges include leadership, advocacy, collaboration, inter-domain and intra-domain, best practices, funding models for BIM and 3D Cadastre integration, BIM and city models data value/intellectual property, standards and scales, bringing BIM to 3D Cadastre workflow, data models based on concepts and ontologies, cross-domain curriculum development, and BIM/3D Cadastre issues in the context of current social constructs such as public and private sector duties and partnerships. There is also a recognition of cross-domain collaboration in this space such as those between OGC, buildingSmart International, and ISO. The need for academic community input more into BIM and 3D Cadastre standards is also required (Kalantari, 2017).

5.2. FIG

FIG will submit a New Working Item Proposal to ISO on the development of LADM Edition II. The proposal includes the following main scheduled LADM extensions.

  1. Extended scope of conceptual model. This includes valuation, SDG LA indicators, Performance Index, linking physical objects, indoor models, marine, spatial planning/zoning with legal implications, and other legal spaces: mining, archaeology, utilities.

  2. Improvement of the current conceptual model. This includes formal semantics/ontology for LADM Code Lists more explicit 3D+time profiles and an extended survey model and legal model.

  3. Encodings/technical models. This includes further integration with BIM/IFC, GML, CityGML, LandXML, LandInfra, IndoorGML, RDF/linked data, and GeoJSON.

  4. Process models for: survey procedures, map updating, and transactions – including blockchain.

FIG will propose that OGC and ISO look for options to cooperate in order to align and accelerate developments where possible. FIG may involve the Joint board of Geospatial Information Societies as professional disciplines have to cooperate and join forces to achieve and maintain tenure security for all.

5.3. ISO – in close cooperation with OGC

If the New Working Item Proposal is accepted, ISO / TC 211 will develop the next LADM Edition in cooperation with its members and following the ISO procedures. On the valuation extension, cooperation is needed from the International Valuation Standards Council, Standards on Mass Appraisal of Real Property, and International Property Measurement Standards. There will be an extension of the scope of LADM with valuation.

Co-operation should occur with ISO TC 307 on distributed ledgers / blockchain.

ISO and OGC will cooperate on LADM in order to accelerate development. Apart from the development of the next edition, there will be attention to the management of code lists in order to include formal ontology and semantics.

5.4. UN GGIM Expert Group on Land Administration and Management

This experts groups finds amongst its members the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation, UN-Habitat, and the World Bank. This Expert Group addresses standards and Fit-For-Purpose approaches in Land Administration into the Framework for Sustainable Land Administration – as part of the overall Integrated Geospatial Information Management Framework. The Framework for Sustainable Land Administration is a reference for developing and strengthening Land Administration Systems and a reference for Member States when developing, strengthening, or modernizing their national (or sub-national) Land Administration System. The Framework shall describe key principles for a sustainable and interoperable land administration and management system that can efficiently and effectively document, record, and recognize people-to-land relationship in all its forms.

5.5. International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO)

The coordination with IHO S121 regarding Marine Limits and Boundaries needs to be organized with the IHO and the UN – Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea.

5.6. LADM Users [2]

A close coordination with the user community needs to be organized – including surveyors, registrars, and valuation experts.

6. Concluding remarks

There is a clear challenge for the global land community and for the global geospatial community: secure land rights for all people, in all places, at all times. The biggest challenge is to keep the information on land rights up to date and accessible at the appropriate level of accuracy.

The geographic data/software industry provides tools, products and services to support a number of processes required in Land Administration. Image-based acquisition of cadastral boundaries needs access to huge image libraries – including historical imagery – to support large-scale implementations. Detection and selection of cloud-free imagery is needed to create cloud free compositions, possibly from different sensors. By using orthophotos to produce spatial frameworks, the imagery is typically linked to the national geodetic reference frame through GNSS. Furthermore, automated feature extraction and feature classification appear to be very promising developments for the generation of coordinates of visual objects from imagery, Lidar, and radar technologies. ‘Pre-defined’ boundaries resulting from feature extraction may be plotted on paper or visualized in interfaces and can then be declared identical to cadastral boundaries in the field.

7. Relevant documents and publications – First and Incomplete Draft

  • Alattas, A., Zlatanova, S., van Oosterom, P.J.M., Chatzinikolaou, E., Lemmen, C.H.J. and Li, K.J. (2017) Supporting Indoor Navigation Using Access Rights to Spaces Based on Combined Use of IndoorGML and LADM Models. In: ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information : open access, 6 (2017)12article no. 384.

  • Athanasiou, Katerina, Efi Dimopoulou, Christos Kastrisios and Lysandros Tsoulos [presentation] Management of Marine Rights, Restrictions and Responsibilities according to International Standards.

  • Çağdaş, V., Kara, A., Işikdağ, Ü., van Oosterom, P.J.M. and Lemmen, C.H.J. (2017) A Knowledge Organization System for the Development of an ISO 19152:2012 LADM Valuation Module. In: Proceedings of FIG working week 2017, 29 May - 2 June 2017, Helsinki, Finland.

  • Çağdaş, V., Kara, A., van Oosterom, P., Lemmen, C.H.J., Isikdag, Umit., Kathmann, R. and Stubkjaer, E. (2016) An initial design of ISO 19152:2012 LADM based valuation and taxation data model. In: Proceedings of the 11th 3D Geoinfo conference, 20-21 October 2016, Athens, Greece. Peer reviewed Annals, Volume IV-2/W1 / edited by E. Dimopoulou and P. van Oosterom. ISPRS, 2016. ISSN: 2194-9050. pp. 145-154.

  • FAO, (2012): Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of Food Security.

  • FIG/WB, 2014: Fit-For-Purpose Land Administration. FIG Publications No 60, FIG Office, Copenhagen.

  • FIG/GLTN, 2010: The Social Tenure Domain Model. FIG Publication No 52, FIG Office, Copenhagen.

  • IFC, (2012). Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability – 2012 Performance Standards. International Finace Corporation, Worldbank Group.

  • ISO, (2012). ISO 19152:2012. Geographic information – Land Administration Domain Model (LADM). International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Geneva, Switzerland.

  • Kalantari, M., Gary Jeffress (2017). Privatised land title offices can harness new technologies to provide a better service. The Conversation, 26 September. Web.

  • Kalantari, M., (2017), BIM is the New GIS, Coordinates, Volume XIII, Issue 11.

  • Lemmen, C.H.J., Vos, J. and Beentjes, B. (2017) Ongoing Development of Land Administration Standards : Blockchain in Transaction Management. In: European Property Law Journal, 6(2017)3.

  • Lemmen, C.H.J., van Oosterom, P.J.M. and Bennett, R.M. (2015) The land administration domain model. In: Land use policy, 49 (2015).

  • OGC, (2016). Domain Working Group (DWG) Charter Land Administration. Open Geospatial Consortium.

  • Paasch, J.M., van Oosterom, P., Lemmen, C.H.J. and Paulsson, J. (2015) Further modelling of LADM’s rights, restrictions and responsibilities (RRRs). In: Land use policy, 49 (2015).

  • Rahmatizadeh S, Rajabifard A, Kalantari M,(2016a). A conceptual framework for utilising VGI in Land Administration, Land Use Policy, Volume 56, November 2016a, Pages 81-89, ISSN 0264-8377,

  • Rahmatizadeh, S., Kalantari, M., Rajabifard, A., Ho, S., & Daneshpour, A. (2016b). How VGI Intersects with Land Administration, Proceeding of Locate 16, Melbourne Australia

  • Stubkjaer, E., Frank, A. and Zevenbergen, J.A. (2007) Modelling real property transactions : an overview. In: Real property transactions : procedures, transaction costs and models. / ed. by J. Zevenbergen, A. Frank and E. Stubkjaer. - Amsterdam : IOS Press, 2007. ISBN 978-1-58603-581-5 pp. 3-24.

  • Sutherland, Michael, Charisse Griffith-Charles, and Dexter Davis, 2016. Toward the Development of LADM-based Marine Cadastres: Is LADM Applicable to Marine Cadastres?, 5th International FIG 3D Cadastre Workshop, 18-20 October 2016, Athens, Greece.

  • UN, (2017). New Urban Agenda. Endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly at its sixty-eighth plenary meeting of the seventy-first session on 23 December 2016.

  • UN, 2016: Draft outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) with Annex: New Urban Agenda – Quito Declaration on Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements for All.

  • UN, (2015). Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 Sept 2015. General Assembly, Seventieth session, Agenda items 15 and 116. A/RES/70/1.

  • UN ECOSOC and African Union, (2016). Facing the Challenges of Land Monitoring in the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa – Towards Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

  • UN ECE, (1996). UNECE, (1996). Land administration guidelines. With special reference to countries in transition. Geneva, Switzerland, United Nations/Economic Commission for Europe.

  • UN-GGIM, (2016). Addis-Ababa Declaration ‘Geospatial Information Management towards Good land Governance for the 2030 Agenda’,

  • UN Habitat/GLTN, (2017) Sourcebook for Operationalisation of Global Land Indicators. Global Land Indicators Initiative (GLII) Working Paper Number 4. Nairobi.

  • UN-Habitat/GLTN, (2016). Fit-For-Purpose Land Administration - Guiding Principles for Country Implementation. Nairobi, Kenya.

  • UN-Habitat, (2008). Secure land rights for all. Nairobi, Kenya, United Nations Human Settlements Programme:

  • Van Oosterom, P. and Lemmen, C.H.J. (2015) The Land Administration Domain Model (LADM) : Motivation, standardisation, application and further development. In: Land use policy, 49 (2015).

  • Van Oosterom, P.J.M., Lemmen, C.H.J., Uitermark, H.T., Boekelo, G. and Verkuijl, G. (2011) Land administration standardization with focus on surveying and spatial representations. In: Survey summit: the ACSM annual conference, 7-12 july 2011, San Diego, USA : 2011 proceedings.

  • Van Oosterom, P.J.M., Lemmen, C.H.J., Ingvarsson, T., van der Molen, P., Ploeger, H.D., Quak, W., Stoter, J.E. and Zevenbergen, J.A. (2006) The core cadastral domain model. In: Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 30 (2006)5.

  • Wassie, Y.A., Koeva, M.N., Bennett, R.M. and Lemmen, C.H.J. (2017) A procedure for semi-automated cadastral boundary feature extraction from high-resolution satellite imagery. In: Journal of spatial science, (2017).

  • World Bank (2011). Land Governance Assessment Framework. Washington.

  • Zevenbergen, J., A. Frank, and E. Stubkjaer (editors), 2007. Real property transactions : procedures, transaction costs and models. Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2007. I

1. Some of the contents of this section are derived from abstracts prepared for the 8th LADM Workshop to be held in Zagreb April 2018 – Not yet included in the references
1. See
3. see UN Habitat/GLTN, 2017 and also UN ECOSOC and African Union, 2016
4. See