In-Depth Look into Land Alteration and Intensification

Land Alteration and Intensification

Changing landscape of land administration was the talking point at the third session of the symposium on land administration titled Expanded Role and Transformation of Land Authority. With the population rising and infrastructure moving on a growing trail, land transformation has become unsustainable. To address economic, social and environmental concerns, we need a land administration system, and to get an in-depth understanding of the role it plays, one needs to unravel the changing equation between humans and land.

Carol Agius, Secretariat, UN-GGIM: Europe, began the session by throwing light on the importance of geospatial data. Agius said, “Trusted data from official resources plays a crucial role for society facing national, regional and global changes. Data is needed for evidence-based decisions and also for decision-making and policy formulation. However, land and geospatial authorities need to meet the demands and needs of users by providing them more trusted data, which has to be informational as it is used for analytics and informed decisions.”

Taking forward the discussion, Holli Howard, Program Manager, Google Maps, Ireland, delved deep into enhancing interoperability. Howard said, “The GIS team is responsible for map accuracy, for getting the third-party external data through standard formatting and alter the maps. The focal point of my presentation is interoperability through partnerships, and how all of our maps and products are dependent on the accuracy resulting from our important partnerships.”

Building maps through partnerships

Google maps have been around for over 15 years, and in the beginning, the data was in-house, created either through ML or street view cars driving around and grabbing images. So, to keep the data fresh and up-to-date, partnerships are crucial. In keeping with the sustainability theme, one of the initiatives of Google is to help cities reduce emissions. For instance, environmental insights focuses on working with cities and gathering their data, helping them plan their goals. Geo data upload tool helps data providers give data to maps. Then, there is address maker for plus code creation, which helps users get deliveries and mails in remote areas through code creation.

On GIS, Mohd Moniruzzaman, Deputy Director Survey, Department of Land Records and Survey, Bangladesh, said, “As far as my country and my department are concerned, GIS is in a nascent stage. Hopefully, in the next two to five years, we will be able to develop infrastructure to leverage GIS in all sectors. Our government, too, is focusing on digitization at the moment. Since 1888, we have carried out three cadastral surveys. When the country was a part of Pakistan, we did state acquisition cadastral survey, and we just completed our revisional survey.”

Vision and mission

“Our vision is to introduce people-oriented information system of record of rights. Our mission is to have accurate record of rights of citizens by ensuring efficient technology-oriented and sustainable management of land surveys. In 5 to 10 years, Bangladesh will have all modern technologies. Also, demarcation of international boundary, maintenance of boundary, and boundary pillars with India is our priority. We aim to bring together land settlement, land management and land administration under one umbrella,” Moniruzzaman said.

Projects on anvil

After geodetic control point, we will start our digital survey. As we lack skilled workforce, we look forward to big firms for collaboration. We aim to use land survey drones and modern technology in future land operations. Also, on our list is integration of land administration with the Five Year Plan and Delta Plan, besides installation of up-to-date machinery and software for standardization of public-oriented service.

Listing his goals, Slobodanka Kljucanin, Federal Administration for Geodetic and Property Affairs —FGU, Bosnia and Hercegovina, said, “We aim to provide a secure, efficient and sustainable record system, uninterrupted access and distribution of digital data, accuracy and quality of topographic data, and consistency of data with other institutions. Apart from this, we look forward to having a place for collecting, updating, controlling and distributing current topographic data, and developing real estate cadastral and official topographic maps.”

Reform results

We have managed to get favorable businesses and digitize land registries.  More than 1.2 million owners and co-owners have so far registered their real estate. Then, there is online availability of cadastral and LR data, e-services and interoperability of land registry information system with the systems of the Address Registrar and IDDEEA. 

Highlighting rapid urbanisation, Raphael Aminov, Senior Mapping and GIS Consultant, GEODATA AG, Israel, said, “Today, Africa is undergoing the largest wave of urban growth. In the near future, 50 percent of the population will move to the cities. Keeping in mind the expansion, we have carried out aerial and drone surveys of more than 6,000 square kilometers of urban areas, registered 100,000 properties, and developed a registration system in 18 provinces in Angola.”

Concluding the session, Mahamat Abdoulaye Malloum, Land Administration Expert Land at Scale Project, Kadaster International, Chad, said, “The need of the hour in Chad was a cadastre response framework and diagnosis of land administration. The major problem plaguing Chad is land conflict. I have come here looking for a solution to the problem. Under the land at scale project, there are three components:  support for finalization of new land code, support for land development and a better land administration.