Law and Regulation for Geospatial Data Collection in Indonesia – a comparative...

Law and Regulation for Geospatial Data Collection in Indonesia – a comparative Study’


Permission or authorization in the process of collecting quality Geospatial data sometimes a bit challenging as there are many regulations and laws are involved. What are the requirements to be fulfilled in Indonesia and find out how the difference in each country will influence each other?

Permission for GD collection In Indonesia

By definition, collection of Geospatial data is a process or a way to acquire geospatial data by using specific methods and instruments of data collection. Processed geospatial data will be used as a tool in the process of policy formulation, decision-making, and implementation of activities related to the spatial aspect of the earth; and this processed data known as Geospatial Information.

In 2011, President of Indonesia approved a Geospatial Information (GI) Act which legislated that Badan Informasi Geospasial (BIG) would serve as the main source for all geospatial information in Indonesia. Under the regulation, BIG responsible in governing the providers, implementers and users of the Geospatial information as well as in the aspect of the regulation, data collection, data processing, storage, data dissemination and data security. The presence of Geospatial Information Act is to cultivate and to build the momentum in the geospatial community of Indonesia.

The enactment of the GI Law in April 2011 also paved the way for key improvements. The enactment of this law was necessary at the time, as the country was unable to accomplish the necessary reforms for GI and mapping through coordination and cooperation between the respective agencies. The law provides a legal framework in acquiring accurate Geospatial Data (GD) and creates a regulatory framework for the administration of national GI and the process on how GI is acquired and distributed. The Indonesian National Mapping Agency (Bakosurtanal) then re-named as the Geospatial Information Agency (Badan Informasi Geospasial or BIG) and designated as the lead agency for coordination of GI and the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI).


The priority for BIG in Indonesia is to ensure that GD is accurate and better organized with all the mapping activities and to be used as a single common reference map-based known as OneMap. The aim is to establish OneMap as the one and the only mapbase used by all ministries and government institutions in Indonesia, thus critical for decision-making. Accordingly, all stakeholders including the private sectors, civil society and indigenous communities also encouraged to provide spatial inputs to OneMap.

“ The dynamics of the political economy of land that challenge the implementation of good land governance in Indonesia is fundamental to reforms in the sector and in providing donor support ” said Dr Keith Cliff Ord Bell and Shivakumar M. Srinivas, as cited in A BIG change 2011.

The highly political nature of agrarian reforms has seen the subject of Land become the center stage of the public debate again. While the Indonesian government and political leaders struggle to reform land laws, the local communities and local governments seem to have taken the lead in forging new relationships and patterns in land management creating new challenges for land governance. Access to nationally consistent and complete geospatial data, through OneMap, is critical in improving land governance and for more accountable and transparent government.

The implementation of Law of Indonesia No.4 2011 about GI means to produce high quality of GI. Syahrudin S.T in his study ‘ The Establishment Of Spatial Data Infrastructure In Enhancing Development Planning Process, 2014’ argued that development planning in Indonesia is not optimal as due to lack of GI utilization. Unavailability of GI, which can be resulted from either the absence of GI or access to it, are suggested to be the major causes. This problems can be resolved by establishing spatial data infrastructure (SDI) using its ability in providing technical and institutional arrangement among stakeholders.


This study is necessary in surpass the identified problems mentioned before. But, it is also equally important to know and understand about the Permission of GD Collection in several other countries. Mastering the Permission GD Collection is not just about knowing the regulation in others country. More comparison and question need to be asked in this research. What kind of regulation in permission GD collection in Indonesia and other countries, and how the difference in each country will influence each other? How the regulation of permission GD collection in Indonesia could be the most ideal regulation of GI of the world?

In general, the research aims to answer those problem which integrated regulation of permission GD collection in several countries (Singapore, Japan and China), describing the practice in Indonesia and getting the information of regulation in other selected countries and understand the influence of the regulation.

To achieve the objective of the research, comparative technique and study about the law in Indonesia and other countries has been done as well as secondary resources from the internet to describe the overall result.


The Activities to Establishment of GI in Indonesia is executed through activities such as collecting of GD, processing, storing, safeguarding and dissemination of GD and GI as well as utilization of GI.

Collection of GD is performed by a survey using measurement and recording instrumentation, either carried out on land, on water, aerial or space platform. This process also can be performed through national census or in other way accordance to the development of science and technology. There is standard for the Collection of GD that should be fulfilled including Geospatial reference system and types, definitions, criteria and also data of the format.

In the process, permission is required to guarantee the safety and to safeguard the person who is executing data collection and for the benefit of the society. The permission is required when it is performed in a forbidden zone; where it has the potential for danger on the ground (any method other than satellite)

The owner, authority, or beneficiary of that area must be informed for any geospatial data collection activities in their territories and this regulation is applied even for the government agency and institution. The owner may refuse or could make other suggestion but the objection should base on their true opinion that there is potential danger in that area, thus not suitable for data collection activities. However, any refusal or recommendation must be conveyed within 7 days after the permission applied. Otherwise, the data collection activities can be done if there is no objection within that period of time.


Boundaries and Survey Map Act in Singapore does not clearly mention about the Permission GD Collection, but there are provisions regarding the approval of cadastral survey and assurance plans in Part IIA “Conduct of Cadastral Surveys”, article 11D and In Part III “Privileges of Land Surveyor”, Illegal Practice, article 10.


In Japan, there are provisions for the survey activities in the country like The Survey Act in Japan, Law No. 188 of 1949, Law 106 of June 1961 (addition), Law 102 of December 1985 (partial revision), Law 53 of June 2001 (partial revision), and Law 160 of December 1999 (partial revision). Those Act aims to contribute to fair operations and development of survey business, by regulating business activities and requiring registration of survey companies. The Act also contributes to the coordination among various kinds of surveys and development of the survey system in Japan.

There are specific provision likes Article 10-3 where it defined the terms of the survey company while Article 13 the permission and requirement for The Director General of the Geographical Survey Institute regarding Basic Surveys data and reports.


Surveying and Mapping Law of the People’s of China No. 66 of 1992 also does not clearly mention about Permission GD Collection. There are provision stated in Article 12, 13 and 14 regarding the registration, verifications and consent from the Administration under State Council and Central government for any surveying and mapping activities in China. There is also specific requirement mentioned military surveying and mapping missions, whereby it will be governed by the relevant regulations under the Central Military Commission.

The standard practice, government policy and technologies adopted is the defining factors for each country in legislating the Act and Regulation for Permission GD Collection; which made them unique and exclusive.