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The land administration challenge | P. 28

Has OGC lost its way ? | P. 58




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JUNE 2013 » VOL 03 » ISSUE 11 | ISSN 2277–3134

Shaping Hexagon

The men behind Hexagon’s reinvention speak about how the company seeks to change the business model with its customer and industry-specific solutions for a smarter world

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Mobile Geospatial Solutions for a Smarter City Intergraph® road or utility line damage. Intergraph Mobile MapWorks is a practical tool for local governments.

With Intergraph’s mobile offerings, you’re fully equipped to make smarter decisions. GEOSPATIAL.INTERGRAPH.COM/MOBILE

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Inside... June 2013 • Vol 3 • Issue 11

The Big Story

Corner Office


18 Ola Rollen

42 Dr Gregory Myers Director, Land Tenure and Property Rights Division, USAID

President & CEO, Hexagon

21 Melker Schorling

56 Carlos Guedes

Chairman, Hexagon

President, National Institute for Agrarian Colonization, Brazil

22 Juergen Dold President, Hexagon Geosystems

25 John Graham

62 Barbara Ryan Director, Group on Earth Observations secretariat

President, Intergraph SG&I

Sustaining development: A land administration challenge


Bhanu Rekha


M P Narayanan Sanjay Kumar

PUBLICATIONS TEAM Managing Editor Editor — Building & Energy Editor — Latin America (Honorary) Editor — Geospatial World Weekly Executive Editor Deputy Executive Editor Product Manager Sub-Editor Graphic Designer Circulation Manager

Prof. Arup Dasgupta Geoff Zeiss Tania Maria Sausen Dr. Hrishikesh Samant Bhanu Rekha Anusuya Datta Harsha Vardhan Madiraju Ridhima Kumar Debjyoti Mukherjee Amit Shahi

Advisory Board

Disclaimer Geospatial World does not necessarily subscribe to the views expressed in the publication. All views expressed in this issue are those of the contributors. Geospatial World is not responsible for any loss to anyone due to the information provided.

Case Studies

34 Empowering SDIs

38 A BIG change 44 Open to all 46 An umbrella of information 48 Towards e-ffective governance 50 Building on the third dimension

Rumyana Tonchovska

53 Standards for new approaches Dr Christiaan Lemmen, Prof Dr Peter van Ossterom and Prof Ir. Paul van der Molen

58 Has OGC lost its way? Prof Arup Dasgupta OGC Column

Conference Report

72 Spatial communication for built enviornment

66 Geospatial rendezvous

05 Editorial

08 News

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Aida Opoku Mensah Director – ICT Division, UN Economic Commission for Africa


Barbara Ryan Secretariat Director, Group on Earth Observations

Bryn Fosburgh

Derek Clarke

Dorine Burmanje

Sector Vice-President, Executive Committee Member, Trimble Navigation

Chief Director-Survey and Mapping & National Geospatial Information, Rural Development & Land Reform, South Africa

Chair-Executive Board, Cadastre, Land Registry and Mapping Agency (Kadaster), The Netherlands

Prof. Josef Strobl

Dr. Hiroshi Murakami Greg Bentley CEO, Bentley Systems

Director-General of Planning Department, Geospatial Information Authority of Japan

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Prof. Ian Dowman First Vice President, ISPRS

Chair, Department of Geoinformatics, University of Salzburg, Austria

Juergen Dold President Hexagon Geosystems

Mohd Al Rajhi Kamal K Singh Chairman and CEO, Rolta Group

Lisa Campbell

Mark Reichardt

Vice President, Engineering & Infrastructure, Autodesk

President and CEO, Open Geospatial Consortium

Matthew O’Connell CEO, Adhoc Holdings

Asst Deputy Minister for Land & Surveying, Ministry of Municipal & Rural Affairs, Saudi Arabia

Ramon Pastor Vice-President and General Manager, Large Format Printing Business, Hewlett-Packard


Vanessa Lawrence Stephen Lawler Chief Technology Officer, Bing Maps, Microsoft

Dr Swarna Subba Rao Surveyor General of India

Director General and Chief Executive, Ordnance Survey, UK

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Space is so startling… Prof Arup Dasgupta Managing Editor


he Geospatial World Forum 2013 was a great experience with a chance to meet old friends and make new ones; also to take in new ideas and new thoughts as geospatial systems evolve. One of the important takeaways for me was the concept of open spending in which government spending is opened up and mapped to indicate to citizens what is being implemented where. This would be a very innovative application of geospatial technology. Another takeaway was a very interesting session on GI Policy where some very novel ideas were presented. These included the use of geography as a policy driver; a policy to address the citizens who cannot access geospatial services because of poor literacy, conflict, poverty, repression, lack of information and lack of bandwidth. If knowledge is power then absence of knowledge is enslavement. My third takeaway was a very novel interactive session on spatial thinking. Spatial thinking is thinking in, with and about space which can be micro, personal, environmental, geographical and finally outer or extraterrestrial. Such a concept makes use of all our senses — not just visual. Now returning to terra firma, this issue has several articles on land administration. This is an area as old as civilisation itself but like all other human endeavours, it must evolve with changing needs of the society. Sustainable development is the demand of the millennium and this needs

land recordation to be quicker, cheaper, simpler using techniques like crowdsourcing, high resolution remote sensing imagery, unmanned aerial systems, digital pen and harness the potential of ICT in providing appropriate services to the public. Developing countries building modern land administration systems should include participatory enumerations, use inclusive mechanisms (STDM), apply standards (LADM) and voluntary guidelines (UN-FAO), and utilise the available funding mechanisms of UN-HABITAT, World Bank and USAID. Evolution is happening in the business world as companies merge to create strong solution-based entities. Geospatial is no longer a set of building blocks but an interconnected flexible solution to specific requirements. As Ola Rollen says, “Geospatial technology will be increasingly important, simply because life is getting more and more complicated. We need to be more careful about the resources on this planet… infrastructure, resources, manufacturing, and protection — all enable us to work towards sustainable development of the planet”. Space is so startling, particularly if we expand our consciousness about the space around us. It goes much beyond maps — paper and digital.

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Americas NEWS BUSINESS Satellite imagery company Skybox ties up with MapBox As mapping becomes a big business, more and more companies are teaming up to create publishable information on Websites or news articles using detailed satellite imagery and advanced publishing tools. Skybox, a company that has raised $91 million to launch its own satellites into outer space to capture detailed imagery of streets and buildings, is working with MapBox, an OpenStreetMap contributor, on analysis and publishing tools. One of the examples of analysing all of the images that Skybox captures, is a “change detection” system that focuses on one area and builds a playlist of photos that

ness impacted location and mapping service revenue growth. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop’s strategies to launch HERE as the new brand for its location and mapping service in November 2012 did not work out well for the telecom equipment and handset major. Net sales from HERE’s internal business plummeted 53% to €52 million from €111 million.

Apple’s new patent points to enhanced map service

Courtesy: TechCrunch

The map overview and listings are aligned in columns across a landscape printout

The image highlights how one can add notes to ships they have detected

one can go through to detect changes in the area.

Nokia’s mapping service posts 22% dip in revenue Nokia’s location and mapping service HERE posted 22% decrease in January-March 2013 revenue at €216 million against €277 million in the year-ago period. Nokia’s poor performance in own phone busi8

An Apple patent application published by the US Patent and Trademark Office suggests the company may be looking to build out its mapping service, as the fi ling describes a printing function not currently supported by the iOS. Apple’s ‘Systems and methods for printing maps and directions’ patent fi ling discusses a process of printing out on paper, navigation and mapping assets stored on a computer or portable device. The invention calls for a device to print out directions based on a request to do so, laying out a map overview and distinct steps along the route for easier navigation. As per the patent fi ling, “The resulting printout can include a

listing of turns, a map overview, and notes that a user may have wished to include in the printout."

Hexagon buys Leica distributor in Brazil Hexagon AB has acquired all shares in MANFRA, the Brazil-based distributor of Leica Geosystems products for nearly 30 years. “MANFRA’s strong installed base in the Brazilian territory and expanded footprint across the region strengthens our penetration in this emerging market,” said Hexagon President and CEO Ola Rollén. “In addition to increased distribution capabilities in the whole of South America, we look forward to the unique application knowledge and products the Manfra acquisition brings to the Hexagon family. Both will help add value to our solutions and better serve the evolving needs of the local customer base,” he added.

APPLICATIONS Satellite data explains changes in vegetation In the last 30 years, vegetation has changed significantly the world over. But until recently, the extent to which the climate or humankind was responsible remained unclear. Geographers from the University of Zurich and colleagues from the Netherlands now reveal that over half of these changes are climatological, human-climate interactions cause over a third and around 10% cannot be explained fully by either the climate or human activity. Geographers used satellite data on the vegetation increase or decline from the last 30

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Americas NEWS

Courtesy: UZH

Google patent brings augmented reality driving to life

Relative contribution of climatic effects to the global vegetation change (1982-2011)

Google has been granted a patent that brings several of its ideas, including augmented reality and Street View, into one single satellite navigation system. The patent, “Panoramic images within driving directions”, describes a GPS guidance system that overlays information via a video feed onto your windscreen. Utilising 3D models, live video feeds, 360-degree video and images, your route could be shown in a heads-up display such as your windshield, or even Google Glass. With current technology, you have to take your eyes off the road to actually see the route. With this augmented reality setup, the road will become your display.

years, climate measurements and models, and data on the kind of land cover to discover this. The scientists demonstrated that around 54% of the changes in global vegetation activity can be attributed to climate variability.

RS technology identifies permafrost degradation A team of geoscientists from Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) have achieved unprecedented detail in quantifying subtle, long-period changes in the water levels of shallow lakes and ponds in hard-to-reach Arctic wetlands using remote-sensing technology. Analysis comparing time-lapsed, high-resolution satellite imagery of the Ahnewetut Wetlands in Kobuk Valley National Park, Alaska, revealed an accelerated loss of surface water in shallow thaw lakes and ponds over a recent 27-year period compared to the preceding 27-year timespan.

MISCELLANEOUS New strategy for civil earth observation released The US government’s National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) has released a National Strategy for Civil Earth Observa-

Courtesy: Android Authority

tions—a framework for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of using earth observation data for civil use. According to a statement issued by the White House, “Currently, 11 Federal departments and agencies engage in earth observation activities, collecting volumes of important data about the Earth on an ongoing basis, using an array of sophisticated tools and systems. The new strategy outlines a process for evaluating and prioritising earthobservation investments according to their value to society in critical areas such as agriculture, global change, disasters, water resources, and weather.”

USGS launches interactive online biodiversity map The US Geological Survey (USGS) has launched BISON (Biodiversity

Information Serving Our Nation), a web-based resource for fi nding species in the US and territories. It offers more than 100 million mapped records of nearly every living species in the country. And the vast majority of the records are specific locations, not just county or state records. BISON provides an 'Area of Interest' search capability in which users can query by drawing the exact boundary around their area of interest, down to and including towns, villages, or even much smaller areas such as parks.

GPS-like device that is smaller than a penny DARPA researchers at the University of Michigan have made significant progress with a timing and inertial measurement unit (TIMU) that contains everything needed to aid navigation when GPS is temporarily Geospatial World | June 2013

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Americas NEWS

Courtesy: DARPA

to space aboard the maiden fl ight of Orbital Science Corp’s Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia. The trio of ‘PhoneSats’ is operating in orbit, and may prove to be the lowest-cost satellites ever flown in space. The

responding to 23 sheets at 1:100,000 scale, with a total of 119,750 km linear lifting. It used a multi-system set up by geophysical methods and magnetic gamaespectrométrico. With this survey, Bahia has become one of the most researched Brazilian states in terms of geophysical survey.

TIMU is only 50 microns thick

New system processes complex data in seconds MIT researcher Todd Mostak has invented a new parallel database that allows for crunching faster than CPUcomplex spatial based systems and GIS data in milliseconds. Dubbed MapD, the database uses off-the-shelf gaming GPUs in the same way that you would use a rack of mini supercomputers. Mostak reports performance gains upwards of 70 times faster than CPUbased systems.

70 times

NASA launches three smartphone satellites Th ree smartphones destined to become low-cost satellites rode 10

URUGUAY Deal inked on spatial data infrastructure

Courtesy:NASA Ames

unavailable. The single chip TIMU prototype contains a six axis IMU (three gyroscopes and three accelerometers) and integrates a highly accurate master clock into a single miniature system, smaller than the size of a penny. Th is chip integrates breakthrough devices (clocks, gyroscopes and accelerometers), materials and designs from DARPA’s Micro-Technology for Positioning, Navigation and Timing (Micro-PNT) programme.

First blurry image of Earth transmitted by the Phonesat

goal of NASA’s PhoneSat mission is to determine whether a consumer-grade smartphone can be used as the main fl ight avionics of a capable, yet not very expensive, satellite. The satellite phones were named Alexander, Graham and Bell.

BRAZIL Geophysical survey to aid in mineral exploration In a bid to attract investments in the mineral sector, the Bahia Mineral Research Company (CBPM) is releasing results of the Airborne Geophysical Survey of the North Central area of Bahia to the public. The new survey covered an area of 56,823 sq km, cor-

Experts from Uruguay and South Korea will boost the development of the Uruguayan spatial data infrastructure for capturing, storing, analysing and displaying data on digital maps. According to the Ministry of Communications of the Presidency, a bilateral agreement signed by both countries includes cooperation in geodetic research, mapping and remote systems development, cadastral mapping, databases and systems and spatial information, among other areas.

BOLIVIA Records on biodiversity digitised, open to public More than 50,000 digitised records on the vertebrate fauna of Bolivia are now available to the public and specialists at the first Geospatial Center for Biodiversity of Bolivia (CGB). The records available on the webpage allow access to technical data sheets of threatened species, geographical and spatial distribution, natural history, conservation status and the possibility of building their own maps according to the requirements of search made.

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Europe NEWS UK New map reveals topography of Antarctic seafloor Reliable information on the depth and floor structure of the Southern Ocean has so far been available for only few coastal regions of the Antarctic. Courtesy: IBSCO An international team of scientists under the leadership of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, has for the fi rst time succeeded in creating a digital map of the entire Antarctic seafloor. The International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO) shows the detailed topography of the seafloor for the entire area south of 60°S. The IBCSO data grid and the corresponding Antarctic chart are intended to help scientists to better understand and predict sea currents, geological processes or the behaviour of marine life.

‘BIM poised to be a great leveller for SMEs’ Building information modelling (BIM) has been hailed by British Cabinet Office Minister Chloe Smith as a “great growth opportunity for SMEs”. Speaking at the launch of a new group aimed at helping SMEs to start using BIM, she said it could be a

“great leveller” for smaller companies to compete with larger organisations. BIM was fast becoming a keystone for industry reforms and better outcomes, Smith said adding, “It’s central to the future success of BIM that SMEs can adopt [it], even if it’s through providing data.”

standards and data through research. In addition, the laboratory will also deliver open source geospatial training and programmes. The laboratory is one of the members of a worldwide network developed under the auspices of the ICA-OSGeo MoU.

LITHUANIA UK bioenergy target is achievable: Study Researchers at the University of East Anglia use GIS mapping to chart supply and demand for bioenergy over the whole of England. This showed that the potential for bioenergy generation exceeds the 2020 UK target. The study, published in Biomass and Bioenergy, is the first to look at this issue on a national scale. “We found that it is possible, theoretically, to meet all of the targets for bioenergy cultivation in the UK,” said Amy Thomas, the lead author of the study, “but there are a lot of potential barriers to achieving this.”

UK University establishes Open Source Geospatial Lab The University of SouthHampton, one of the leading research universities in the UK, has announced the establishment of an Open Source Geospatial Laboratory which aims to support the growing demand for the development of open source geospatial software technologies, trainings and expertise across various industries. The laboratory will engage in open source research for geospatial software and data, using open source geospatial software and data as tools and contributing to the development of tools,

Tax cheats nabbed using Google Street View Lithuanian tax officials said they have tracked down at least 100 suspected tax cheats by checking out their property using Google’s Street View mapping service. The Baltic state's tax authorities will now probe individuals whose buildings appeared to be worth considerably more than the declared value to determine if they sought to evade taxes, tax service spokesman Darius Buta said. He added the department used the popular online application, which lets users view panoramic street scenes on Google Maps, to confi rm real estate information on tax declarations.

BELGIUM European satellite navigation framework agreed Permanent Representatives of EU Member States have endorsed the compromise reached between the Council and the European Parliament in their negotiations on a new fi nancial and governance framework for the European satellite navigation systems (EGNOS and Galileo) for the period covered by the multi-annual fi nancial framework for 2014-2020. In order to enter into force, the draft Geospatial World | June 2013

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Europe NEWS regulation stills needs to be formally approved by the Parliament and the Council.



In order to protect the country from possible terrorist attacks, the Constitutional Commission of the Spanish Congress will discuss a non-legislative proposal made by the Popular Party regarding access to online mapping in the country. According to the Popular Party (PP), online maps and GPS services can be used for undesirable purposes, such as the organisation of a terrorist attack. The political group highlights that satellite mapping on the Internet can provide information of sensitive settlements, such as military facilities, that could put at risk national security and international stability.

Demand for data to support imagery intelligence (IMINT) continues to grow globally to support defence activities and military operations, according to Euroconsult’s new report, ‘Earth Observation: Defense and Security’. However, as a result of the relatively high cost to maintain and launch EO defence satellites and the investment required to fund R&D, only 11 countries have developed EO defence EO commercial data capacity market attributed to dedicated defence customers in 2012 to supporting IMINT. “Since only a few countries operate proprietary high-resolution satellites, the commercial sector is expected to make up a significant part of future demand for IMINT,” said Adam Keith, Director of Space and Earth Observation at Euroconsult.

Courtesy: Google Maps

‘Imagery intelligence driving EO market’

Restriction on online mapping to avoid terror strikes


Forest-mapping satellite to join Earth study mission A satellite to map the world’s forests has been chosen for the seventh mission in Europe's Earth Explorer project, the European Space Agency (ESA) said. Dubbed “Biomass”, the satellite will use sophisticated radar technology to map and monitor living matter — plants and animals — as well as inor12

Airbase at Torrejon, Madrid

ganic carbon contained in forests, one of the world’s most precious resources. “This information, which is poorly known in the tropics, is essential to our understanding of the role of forests in Earth’s carbon cycle and in climate change,” the ESA said. It will also allow scientists to map the elevation of inaccessible parts of the planet covered by dense vegetation, and provide data on sub-surface geology and icesheet cover.

Free, open policy for Sentinel data recommended A recent study brings forward the idea that data from the upcoming Sentinel series of satellites should be regarded as public sector infor-

mation, increasing their value for money. Through the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme, decisionmakers will have access to reliable, timely and accurate information services to manage the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security. The potential of these data and information to be ‘reused’ both for commercial and non-commercial purposes recently came into focus in an ESA-commissioned study. In the final report, the authors outlined how reusing the data could potentially generate new businesses and jobs, and provide consumers with more choice and more value for money.

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Interexpo GEO-Siberia concludes on a high note

Benefits from GLONASS projects exceed $25,864-bn The economic benefit gained from the use of GLONASS technology in Russia is estimated at over $25,864 billion, annually, President of the GLONASS non-commerof the market use cial partnerGLONASS/GPS ship Alexander dual system Gurko has said. The GLONASS/GPS dual-system know-how has almost supplanted gear based on the GPS alone, he said. “More than 90% of the market use GLONASS/GPS dual-system equipment,” he added.


Russia plans to double fleet of civilian satellites by 2020

Representatives from over 91 companies across the world congregated at the IX international geo-forum “Interexpo GEO-Siberia-2013”. Around 2,000 Russian and foreign professionals, researchers, lecturers from 235 organisations took part in the extensive business programme at the three-day forum. The international workshop on “The Risk and Emergency Management Circle: How to Support it by Cartography, Geoinformatics, GPS and Remote Sensing?” was one of remarkable events at the Conference. The workshop was organised by the ICA Working Group on Cartography on early warning and crisis management, the International Society for Digital Earth and Siberian State Academy of Geodesy.

DUBAI Advanced DubaiSat-3 to blast into space in 2017 Dubai’s third earth-observation satellite, which will have more advanced imaging equipment than its two South Korean-built predecessors, is due to blast into space in 2017. DubaiSat-3 will be a state-of-the-art small satellite carrying an electro-optical camera with 0.7-metre resolution imaging capability, but it weighs less than 350 kg. DubaiSat-3 will be built by the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (Eiast) in collaboration with South Korean company Satrec Initiative.

Etihad Airways, LinkedIn launch online mapping tool


Courtesy: Mapped Out website

SRI LANKA There will be 113 economic and scientific satellites in the Russian fleet by 2020, head of the Federal Space Agency satellites in Russian fleet by 2020 (Roscosmos) Vladimir Popovkin said. Currently 60 satellites having social, economic and scientific purposes are operating in the orbit. “In two years there should be 95 of them and 113 in 2020,” he added. Russia aims to generate all the data it needs from its own satellites. “Today we meet only one fifth of the demand of customers for images taken from space. That is thanks to Canopus-V launched last year,” Vladimir Popovkin said.

Aerial survey to assess mineral wealth In a significant boost to proposed foreign investment in exploiting Sri Lanka’s sub-surface mineral wealth, the government is contemplating conducting a fresh aerial geophysical survey after a span of more than 50 years. "We are awaiting the green light from the Treasury to go ahead with this vital task”, says Susil Premajayantha, Minister of Environment and Renewable Energy. The minister further said, "We need to raise $ 15 million for this survey to detect sub-surface mineral wealth". At present, the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) is employing other techniques to assess the country’s mineral resources.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has launched an online mapping tool in cooperation with professional network LinkedIn to make it easier to message new contacts, arrange meetings and be more productive while travelling. The airline said its ‘Etihad Mapped-Out’ tool offers professionals on LinkedIn the ability to search their connections by geographical location and see them displayed on a map, making it easier for business travelers to connect with their global network of contacts. Geospatial World | June 2013

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Asia NEWS VIETNAM Violators of national map to be fined $2,400 Violations related to national maps may be given a pecuniary fine of up to VND50 million ($2,400), according to the draft decree of the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Th is is the highest among the fine rates specified in the country’s draft decree on penalties for administrative violations in the field of hydrometeorology, meteorology and cartography. The act of providing maps that show incorrect national borders, sovereignty, land and sea territories of the SocialistRepublic of Vietnam will be fined the same rate.

Vietnam launches first remote sensing satellite Vietnam’s first remote sensing satellite, VNREDSat-1, was launched by

Arianespace from the Guiana Space Center, French Guiana on May 7. The VNREDSat-1 was launched with two other space vehicles, including a 140kg Proba-V satellite of the European Space Agency (ESA) to map vegetation cover, and a 1.3-kg Estonian microsatellite, ESTCube-1, to test an electric solar sail. VNREDSat-1 will provide high-resolution satellite images that will serve social and economic development purposes.

CHINA $810 million for Beidou products ecosystem China is hoping to expand the usefulness of its Beidou navigation satellite system by investing $810 million to create an industrial park meant to house companies developing products using Beidou's technology. The 27-hectare site, called Beidou Strategic Emerging Indus-

China launches high-definition EO satellite Courtesy: News.CN


China has opened its 2013 account with the launch of a new civilian high-resolution remote sensing satellite called Gaofen-1. The satellite was launched by a Long March 2D carrier rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The rocket also carried three CubeSats — Ecuador’s first satellite, a spacecraft built by students in Turkey and a technology demonstration platform from Argentina. Gaofen-1 is the first of the five or six satellites to be launched for the high-definition earth observation system (HDEOS) between 2011 and 2016. It is equipped with two solar panel wings. For observation purposes, GF-1 is equipped with a 2-metre resolution CCD camera, an 8-metre resolution multi-spectrum imager, and a 16-metre resolution widefield multi-spectrum imager. The system could play an important role in disaster prevention and relief, climate change monitoring, geographical mapping etc.

trial Park, will house 30-50 companies. These companies are expected to offer products and services worth around 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) by 2017. “Many excellent Beidou products, with imaginative functions and design, will emerge,” said Miao Qianjun, secretary-general of the GNSS and Location-based Service Association of China. The association estimates the Beidou ecosystem will help create a domestic market worth $64.4 billion by 2020, with an annual growth rate of 30% to 50%.

SINGAPORE FARO meet exceeds content, delivery expectations FARO Technologies hosted its fi rst ever 3D Documentation Conference in Asia Pacific. Over 180 delegates from 20 countries congregated for the conference held in Singapore, centred on the theme, ‘Connecting 3D Communities’. The conference featured latest developments as well as future perspectives relating to 3D documentation. Plenary speaker Magnus Ronnang, Technical Expert, Volvo Cars Group, Sweden, spoke about the usage of 3D laser scanning in virtual manufacturing. He asserted that a paradigm shift is imminent, where reverse engineering from point clouds to CAD would no longer be necessary. Leading experts from FARO, 3D Systems, Bentley Systems and Dustin Productions also shared their visions on business trends, industry trends, as well as application usage trends for 3D laser scanning technology.

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Australia/Oceania NEWS AUSTRALIA

sistent and publically available land and soil information system. ACLEP partnered with Esri Australia to overhaul existing disparate information systems to develop an online portal for national soil data management and delivery. Using GIS technology to literally map the geographic elements contained within the data, ACLEP has developed the Australian Soil Resource Information System (ASRIS) – a publically accessible interactive mapping website.

Courtesy: GeoInformatics

3D mapping system to protect heritage sites

SIBA to build digital cities Zebedee 3D mapping system

National soil database developed To ensure the nation’s soil data could be properly maintained and accessed, the Australian Collaborative Land Evaluation Program (ACLEP) identified the need for a nationally con-

Defence agency to be renamed Australia’s Defence Signals Directorate and the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation will be renamed. Prime Minister, Julia Gillard said the newly released white paper recognised that defence made a significant contribution to Australia’s broader national security arrangements. She said the agencies would be renamed as the Australian Signals Directorate and the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation, respectively, to more accurately reflect their roles. “The renaming will see no change to the current functions, powers or accountability responsibilities of the agencies under the Intelligence Services Act 2001,” she added.

NEW ZEALAND Courtesy: Spatial Source

Australian researchers have developed a mobile laser 3D mapping system called Zebedee to preserve some of the country’s oldest and most culturally significant heritage sites, CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency said. As per the new joint research initiative between CSIRO and the University of Queensland, detailed 3D maps of historic sites of Moreton Bay will be collected. At the core of the technology, developed by CSIRO’s Autonomous Systems Lab in Brisbane, is a laser scanner that swings back and forth on a spring to capture millions of detailed measurements. Zebedee gives researchers the ability to reliably map an environment in 3D by simply walking through it.

future,” said Richard Simpson, CEO, SIBA Queensland branch.

Easier access to land records soon

The Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA) recently announced a new project that will seek to build ‘digital cities,’ starting with Australia and New Zealand’s major cities represented as they were during the ANZAC period (1900 to 1915). “Spatial data enables us to make the invisible visible, the intangible more tangible, and can help us to discover stories not only about places from our past, like the time of ANZACs, but also better understand our present and our

A new project about to get underway at Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) will soon see the country, business and the general public gain easier, faster and cheaper access to land records — streamlining the process involved when people are considering buying or selling property. The project will deliver two online services: one allowing the public to fi nd and purchase land records — such as property titles — automatically and instantly, and a business-to-business Web interface through which land search businesses can provide records to customers. Geospatial World | June 2013

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Indoor maps of 65 local shopping malls and the country’s nine largest airports have been developed by South African mapping company MapIT. The maps, created in conjunction with partner Micello, will be used in mobile and desktop applications and could allow for location-based advertising by store owners and marketers. Micello’s map data adds to MapIT’s range of data, which includes maps from navigation company TomTom along with traffic data and information from geospatial specialist DeCarta.

ALGERIA Satellite imagery helps North Africa fight locust plagues DMC International Imaging (DMCii) is helping The Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) to predict the spread of locust plagues across North Africa as part of a pro-active approach to tackle the destructive phenomenon using satellite imagery. Every year, North Africa is subjected to locust plagues that threaten to decimate crops and endanger countries’ food security. The satellite imagery is used to assess vegetation conditions, which helps to predict the locations of locust breeding grounds. The imagery, from the UK-DMC2 satellite, is used in conjunction with weather data to help create locust forecasts and focus the application of pesticides to prevent the spread of swarms. 16

Courtesy: CNES 2013/Astrium

Indoor maps of malls, airports developed

Building damages in Baga, April 26, 2013.

Satellite images expose human rights abuse in Nigeria In yet another example of the power of satellite imagery to fact-check claims that might otherwise be difficult to verify, Human Rights Watch has nailed false claims of the Nigerian army. The army claimed that it burned 30 houses when its personnel went on a hunt for Islamist militants in the town of Baga last month. However, community leaders claimed as many as 2,000 homes were destroyed. According to satellite images analysed by US rights group Human Rights Watch, 2,275 houses were destroyed and 125 severely damaged.

KENYA Online mapping system helps fight malaria

status of single or multiple Anopheles species to one or more insecticides within their region of interest.

GHANA The fi rst online mapping tool to track insecticide resistance in mosquitoes that cause malaria has been launched. The interactive website, IR Mapper, identifies locations in more than 50 malaria-endemic countries where mosquitoes have developed resistance to the insecticides used in bed nets and indoor residual sprays. IR Mapper incorporates the just-released WHO revised criteria for reporting insecticide resistance which is designed to detect it earlier. The mapping function allows fi ltering and projection of data based on a set of user-directed criteria. For instance, users can examine the resistance

New map sharpens view of African ecosystems A team of African and North American scientists led by the US Geological Survey and NatureServe, a conservation non-profit organisation, has created a series of continent-wide ecosystem maps that offer the most detailed portrayals of Africa's natural setting yet produced. The new maps and related data on landforms, geology, bioclimates, and vegetation can be used across Africa for conservation planning and resource management.

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Corner Office | Hexagon

Shaping change and how! T

he world needs smart technology to respond to the challenges of sustainable development. Hexagon is at the forefront in developing such solutions. From enabling the emerging markets, where adoption of new technologies is faster, to developing next-generation technologies for the mature markets, which are looking for efficient workflows, Hexagon is helping businesses across the world reach their potential. With solutions for the complete geospatial workflow of measurement, design and visualisation technologies, Hexagon is enabling users to turn a wide range of data into actionable intelligence and ‘shaping change’for a better tomorrow. ‘Shaping Change’ indeed has almost been a philosophy for Hexagon, as it has effected rigorous changes, again and again, even on its own bearing. From a company which didn’t exist in the geospatial market a few years ago, Hexagon has implemented an innovation and M&A strategy to emerge as a leading company in the industry today. Though this special feature, Geospatial World brings exclusive interviews of the men behind this amazing transformation, together for the fi rst time ever, as they explain the vision, innovation and strategies for the future.

We are not defining Just wait and watch ourselves as a — Melker Schorling, traditional geospatial Chairman player — Ola Rollen, President & CEO P. 18

P. 21

What you do not Dynamic GIS provides measure, you cannot better information for manage a quicker response — Juergen Dold, President, Hexagon Geosystems

— John Graham, President, Intergraph SG&I

P. 22

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Corner Office | Ola Rollen

We are not defining ourselves as a traditional geospatial player The days are over when geospatial was just a map with processors presenting pictures of glaciers today and 20 years ago, says Ola Rollen, President & CEO, Hexagon AB. He believes people need much more updated information as he talks about his vision of dynamic GIS and complete workflows Hexagon grew by 5% in the fi rst quarter of 2013 in its core business of measurement technology, with the lion’s share coming from the emerging markets. You have vowed to continue investing in markets like Brazil, Russia, China and Africa. What kind of commitment does Hexagon have in these regions? Emerging markets do not have set structures in the government; they are developing the structures. They are open to trying new solutions. In fact, certain emerging markets are adopting new technologies faster than the mature markets. Take China for example. The Chinese are trying to define their infrastructural expansion so that they can have control over their infrastructure in a better way than developed regions like Europe. Whether it is the high speed rail programme or optical fibre cable laying, they are starting afresh. Africa is taking off now. For the first time ever, Africa represented more than 2% of the sales of Hexagon in 2012. Africa is not one country or one region. It consists of several sub-regions, all with their unique problems. Hexagon is committed to helping all the emerging markets with its new technological developments. Though growth rates are relatively low, Western Europe and North America constitute the majority of Hexagon’s revenues (about 61%). What is your strategy in giving momentum to these markets? If a company wants to grow in the mature markets, which are currently facing depression with very little flow of money, it needs to develop next-generation technologies that are so good


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that users cannot resist buying them even if they don’t have much money. That is exactly what Hexagon is doing. With our nextgeneration products, a user can enhance his productivity with lesser resources. Th is phenomenon spurs growth in mature markets. Hexagon has been thriving on acquisitions — big and small. What is the vision behind so many acquisitions? About 10 years ago Hexagon did not exist in the form it is today. To get the full picture, it is important to know that Hexagon sold about 70 companies, bought 100 companies, basically changing its skin, so today we are a completely different company from what we were 10 years ago. That’s how dramatic the change has been. Our strategy regarding acquisitions, as we call it, is ‘make or buy’. We have the resources to develop the technology required for our future but sometimes it takes too long to develop. Sometimes it is quicker and cheaper to buy a company that has the technology we need rather than spend a lot of time and develop the new technology required. Hexagon has done so many acquisitions. That’s a huge change of character for a company in such a short period of time. How have you managed to oversee this change? We buy top class companies that are number one or two in their respective markets. So, they will survive. And there is no alternative to hard work and communication. Would it be right to say Hexagon’s offerings now encompass the entire geospatial workflow? We are not defi ning ourselves as a traditional GIS player . We are currently preoccupied with designing solutions that are comprehensive and based on complete workflows. But we still lack certain technologies that we might acquire or develop to fulfi ll our vision for our customers.

How is the integration and synergies between the various Hexagon companies opening up further areas of innovation and business? We want the acquired companies to continue with the businesses they were in before we acquired them. Otherwise we would lose a lot of money. On top of that, we take a small group from the acquired company and a small group from the core Hexagon organisation and they start working together developing new solutions for the future. That is how we operate. At the beginning of the year, we heard you saying that Hexagon will now focus on organic growth. But after that, we have seen several acquisitions. What is the reason behind these decisions? Distribution is vital to our business model. Unless we have local sales and service people, who work very close with the end user, we cannot sell our future solutions. Th is is about consultative selling rather than book selling through distributors. So, we are transforming Hexagon from having the traditional distribution model of selling fi nished products into having local consultants who discuss the problem with the customer and then come up with a solution. At present, geospatial business comprises 30% of Hexagon’s revenues. And there has been a consistent improvement over the previous years. Going further, will we see a change where geospatial contribution will be more than the rest of the business components of Hexagon? It depends on how you defi ne geospatial. We have another defi nition. We say we work with the real world and the manufacturing world. Th is way, the revenue sharing would probably be 50-50. Manufacturing solutions include automotive, aerospace and everything that is manufactured. The real world solutions deal with everything from a police department to a defence body to a utility company. We will continue to focus on

If a company wants to grow in the mature markets, which are currently facing depression with very little flow of money, it needs to develop next-generation technologies

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Corner Office | Ola Rollen

Mapping is great and is the prerequisite. But we need to invest, not in GIS but in the layers that describe the activity in the real world — a dynamic GIS

Hexagon’s Smart Solutions


real world applications, which are closer to geospatial, but not necessarily geospatial in the strict sense. They will probably outgrow manufacturing activity in the future. You once said, “The geospatial industry will eventually move from being a horizontal industry to a vertical one focused on certain industry applications.” Can you elaborate on the rationale behind this thought? Take the case of defence. Security forces are not interested in a plain map. They need the map to know what they are encountering, what they can expect in the next few miles and they need to know where all their tanks are in relation to each other and the enemy. If one could have map as a background, with real-time sensors that could convey positioning in real time; and be able to update the map every second as the enemy approaches and actually see the enemy moving on that map, they would get excited. So, it is not the technology of creating the map that will excite them, but the technology that allows them to scan and see what the enemy is doing. Security forces need to know how many drones or planes are just now approaching their territory. They also need to know where the drones are at the moment, with their speed and their direction. They can then intercept and

shoot them down. That needs the coming together of a variety of technologies, not just geospatial. When I say future is in the verticals, I mean to say that the days are over when geospatial was just a map with processors presenting pictures of glaciers today and 20 years ago. Our customers need much more updated information. Mapping is great and that is the prerequisite. But we now need to invest, not in GIS but in the layers that describe the activity in the real world — [what we call] a dynamic GIS. What are the verticals of Hexagon’s interest? We want to focus on four ‘smart verticals’— smart infrastructure, smart protection, smart resources and smart manufacturing. Let us take smart protection for example. It could include public safety, security, defence or even natural disasters. And smart infrastructure could be transportation networks, power and water systems, construction, city and urban planning. Smart manufacturing is the metrology system we are building on. What is your assessment of the current day’s geospatial industry? Geospatial technology will be increasingly important, simply because life is getting more and more complicated. We need to be more careful about the resources on this planet and I believe 3D technologies will enable mankind to smarten up in using resources. And the verticals we are looking at – infrastructure, resources, manufacturing, and protection — all enable us work towards sustainable development of the planet. We, as a company, aspire to be a great partner to our customers by developing meaningful solutions that in turn translate into good productivity achievements for our customers. Otherwise we do not have a reason to exist.

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Corner Office | Melker Schorling

Just wait and watch A string of big-ticket acquisitions has not satiated Chairman Melker Schorling’s appetite for acquisitions as he hints that Hexagon is keeping an eye on companies which cover special aspects of the technology value chain and fit into the group very well How has Hexagon AB evolved? I started cooperating with Ola Rollen in 1999 and under his leadership the company took great strides. The fi rst step was buying a metrology company (Brown & Sharpe). The next step, of course, was the acquisition of Leica Geosystems followed by NovAtel. Intergraph was, in a way, always in the picture. We knew it is an important step and when we heard that Intergraph was on the block, we saw that as an enormous opportunity to bring all these companies together. How do you see Hexagon today? At present, there is a tremendous potential for cooperation between different divisions in the group. We are deliberating, discussing and working on a variety of ideas for more integrated workflows. What is in store for the future? Ola and I work in close coordination and we take quick decisions. That’s an advantage. I think we have a good platform now to work from. We spend a lot of money in research and development. So, you will probably see more organic growth from now on. But there are certain interesting companies which cover special aspects of the technology value chain and which fit into the group very well. They have been identified and we are waiting for the right moment to acquire them. You just have to wait and watch!

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Corner Office | Juergen Dold

What you don’t measure, you can’t manage Measuring the world around us is very important, believes Juergen Dold, President, Hexagon Geosystems as he explains how the company is expanding its solution portfolio by not only capturing the reality from the air and creating maps, but also creating more added-value information from this data Leica Geosystems is one of the oldest and largest suppliers of mapping and surveying solutions in the world. It has been part of the Hexagon group for sometime now. What product innovations can we expect shortly? We continue to invest in innovations, as we have done for the past 90 years. Take for instance our airborne sensors division, which we intentionally call Geospatial Solutions Division. It is expanding its airborne offerings to other platforms as well. We call it ‘3D Mapping with different views’. Urban population is growing at the rate of 180,000 people per day globally, which is why our cities are growing vertically too. There is change everywhere, and we are addressing these changes with several initiatives. We have created an oblique sensor which includes a new workflow so that you can fly on Monday and have the real, photorealistic, digital city 3D model by Friday. And we continue to work on reducing these times down to hours. We have made our scanners mobile: to be able to manage road assets at the speed of traffic. With this, we are creating a dedicated mobile mapping system. We can combine our customers’ scanners with a device that they can put on a car and make it mobile. We have also entered into a strategic alliance with a UAV supplier in Germany


called Abiotix. They have built an octocopter which has a greenhorn function, so you can land it back where you came from, and the rotators are protected so that if you hit something it bounces back and doesn’t break. The aim is to make unmanned surveys available to every surveyor because not every surveyor is a pilot. Our machine control division is moving forward with innovations as well. First, there are GNSS solutions that we use in fleet management and machine control for mines which are moving towards autonomous machines. There are also continuous investments in our machine control for construction sites and agriculture applications where we automate with our integrated GNSS solutions, thus driving operations to higher performance. One recent example is our world’s first dual GNSS Wheel Loader solution. Our survey division is currently very excited about multiple game changers. We have already released the Leica P20, which is the fastest scanner at the longest range and has a very unique onboard “calibration” capability. You no longer need to send scanners around the world anymore to check and re-calibrate. Th is capability is now on board and provides the best accuracies anywhere and anytime. Our newest announcement on the world’s fi rst MultiStation is about combining

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all we are known and famous for into one solution, and creating a new dimension in measurement technology. The MultiStation can do everything a survey instrument does, only faster, with extended 2-km reflectorless range and a resulting image capability that makes looking through telescopes a thing of the past. However, the real game changer here is that we have miniaturised “scanning� into a device smaller than a cigarette box to fit in a survey instrument. Now, the new standard for survey equipment in industry combines survey capabilities with onboard scanning and onboard point cloud capabilities. Th is redefi nes how surveys will be done in the future. Th ink about our H2O solutions, where you have total stations placed at remote dams and you want to know more about dam deformation. You can now look through the instrument to get fully remote measurements.

We are also expanding the capabilities of our solutions by creating more added-value information from the data. So, instead of stopping at the image, we are automatically creating a 3D terrain or a photorealistic digital city model where you can fi nd the sunny side of the roof in order to calculate the solar potential of an entire city. We are the only company in the market with this kind of broad performance and wide range of multi-platforms.

With the toughening business environment, it is observed that the trend of expanding airborne sensor fleet is slowing and the market is saturating. What is your take on this? I agree that there is a saturation of airborne sensors in certain markets, but in emerging markets there are wide areas that are yet to be mapped. If the market is fi lled up with airborne sensors to make the fi rst capture of a country, then afterwards it is primarily not about selling only new sensors, but about the constant modification of those sensors to be more efficient. Last year, we said we could capture 23,000 sq km a day at a given resolution with the latest sensors. Th is year, we have improved the technology to capture 40,000 sq km a day giving us the same resolution. So, instead of capturing half of America in three months, one can do it in one-and-a-half months. We are experiencing high demands in the emerging markets and we have to equip these markets with new sensors while we make higher-performing sensors for the advanced markets.

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Corner Office | Juergen Dold

After three years of coming together of Leica Geosystems and Z/I imaging, Hexagon Geosystems released Leica ADS100 early this year, touted to be the most productive airborne sensor available today. Are we seeing a synergy between the workflow and product lines of the two companies? Absolutely. All the peripheral products of the two companies were the first to be unified. Fleet management, mission planning, mission control software, stabilising platforms and such kind of platforms have been unified. The core product lines have endured despite the fact that people said we will shut down one product line or the other. Contrary to that, we have grown with local organisations around the world that can offer our customers the solution that best fits their challenge, instead of offering just one type of sensor.

Intergraph has a very highperforming business and so do we and both are needed in our respective markets. But together, under the Hexagon brand we can create targeted industry vertical solutions


How is this synergy getting populated with the Technology division (constituting Intergraph) of Hexagon so that you cater to the entire geospatial workflow? We have our measurement solutions which can be combined with visualisation and technology from Intergraph. I can give three applications where our technology is playing a key role with the software solutions of Intergraph’s total vertical solutions. First is H2O, which manages the water infrastructure for water preservation, energy creation, dam management and the environment. The second is about reality capture in designing and maintaining industrial plants where we integrate our scanning solutions with Intergraph/PP&M SmartPlant 3D solution. The third is the new way of constructing industrial structures — the smart assembly of large structures where you need noncontact measurement technology with intelligent design processes to put parts together so that they fit together. Th is project is about a collaboration between Intergraph PP&M and Hexagon Metrology, which also uses Hexagon Geosystems measuring solutions. Hexagon Geosystems integrates map-

ping sensors with Intergraph software. Th is is also happening separately in the market, where sales organisations are serving our customers with technologies from both divisions. Intergraph has a very highperforming business and so do we and both are needed in our respective markets. But together, under the Hexagon brand we can create targeted industry vertical solutions. While machine control is quite promising, it still seems a long way before these technologies as standard on machines and equipment such as bulldozers, graders etc. What is your take? This varies from region to region. In some regions, these technologies are already mandatory. So construction players, instead of having 10 surveyors for 50 machines, have one positioning system and one surveyor. In other parts of the world, it’s about educating the market. Saving labour cost is secondary here; saving materials and resources is the primary aspect of machine control. And new technologies can take between 5 and 10 years to be present in every single market. But the good thing about our industry is that not every single market is on the same high at the same time, so we can grow every year. What is your take on the localisation strategies of Hexagon Geosystems? Hexagon Geosystems believes that everyone has to measure in one way or another; because what you don’t measure, you can’t manage. And that’s the business we are in since 90 years. That’s the reason we focus on measuring the world around us by building and maintaining infrastructure, enabling efficient use of resources in mining and agriculture, and making the world safer with forensic technology and aid against natural catastrophes. And we do that in a two speed world. In the slower growing advanced markets it is all about increasing efficiency. And in the emerging where it is all about growing, but efficiency is needed too.

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Corner Office | John Graham

Dynamic GIS provides better information for quicker response The energy in Intergraph’s product line lies in the ease of use, simplified workflows and where and how quickly the users can get value out of products and solutions, believes John Graham, President, Intergraph SG&I Interg Intergraph has introduced innovative products in the market over years. What innovation can we expect after its acquisition and the ye reincarnation as Hexagon Technology? reinc The concept of just having a map in trying to understand how something has changed over a certain period of time is nice, but for the military or police or disaster management, real-time information is critically important. Making sure customers receive accurate, up-todate information — whenever and wherever they need it — is fundamental to our product strategies. We released our Intergraph Geospatial 2013 products in the beginning of the year and we will continue to expand the capabilities of these products. With Geospatial 2013, we are providing the full lifecycle of geospatial information management, combining GIS, photogrammetry and remote sensing. By connecting these different capabilities, we can lower training costs and simplify the process of creating geospatial workflows. We have also been working to improve our user interface to make it more user-friendly. A lot of our capabilities lie in simplifying the workflows, which is useful to GIS and non-GIS professionals because, as I said, just having the map isn’t enough. The energy in the product line lies in the ease of use, simplified workflows and where and how quickly the users can get value out of products and solutions. How is Intergraph levering on the synergy between various Hexagon divisions to create innovative solutions? A key component in the dynamic GIS concept is how we connect with sensors and how we connect them into visualisation and ultimately to our response systems. Th is is where working with Hexagon Geosystems is important since it has the sensors to monitor the real world — for instance, dam monitoring, which is part of our H2O solution for water management.

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Corner Office | John Graham

A key component in the dynamic GIS concept is how we connect with the sensors and how we connect them into visualisation and ultimately to our response systems. This is where synergy with Geosystems comes in

Much of our geospatial work revolves around Geosystems, as a lot of our capabilities are built around sensors and devices that collect information and monitor and manage that information. Th is data management is very intensive and our speciality lies in the ability to visualise that as useful information and tying it into a workflow or process that helps people to do their job easier and quicker. For example, we are spending time on UAV technology and how to use that information — whether it’s a video or LiDAR — and plug it easily into our geospatial products. We can create useful information this way, which can then be used by industrial users or disaster management agencies for real-time information. I think this demonstrates the synergies between Hexagon Geosystems and its sensor and data collection capabilities and Intergraph’s abilities in providing strong visualisation and emergency response tools. And I think this makes the concept of dynamic GIS real for everybody in our user community. Dynamic GIS is providing solutions to customers whether they are managing infrastructure, monitoring natural resources, or responding to a crisis. The Hexagon group has identified four smart verticals to focus on. Intergraph has a wide range of solutions in all these segments. What is your take? Intergraph has always operated within vertical solutions. We were the fi rst company to combine GIS with emergency response and through that we have created a vertical set of solutions that leverage our geospatial foundation and our global response and resource management tools. We have helped improve public safety dispatching, and are expanding that portfolio by adding analytics, Web-based records management, and more. We have a utility-specific GIS for infrastructure management, as well as tools for managing field crews and detecting and


restoring power outages, which also build from our geospatial and response capabilities. We offer industry-specific solutions for transportation planning and operations. These solutions also all address major global challenges, which is something Hexagon has also focused on. The exciting part of being a part of Hexagon is our ability to tie up with sensors and other things that the Geosystems team is doing, managing and updating information that is geospatially oriented, and incorporating data into workflows that allows better information for quicker response. With those combined capabilities, you can do a lot of great things for your customers. How do you think Intergraph stacks up against the competition? Other companies can provide GIS products, whereas Intergraph has the ability to use GIS and other software and incorporate that into very robust solutions to help organisations such as police, governments, utilities and other agencies do their job more effectively. While others build and present a GIS product, we have an entire array of products and services, which we bring together to create solutions for people that protect and manage infrastructure or the environment and society at large. What is the biggest technology trend today that you think the company should ride on? What is critically important is mobility and ease of use -- not just for consumers but also for professionals. We are building mobile applications for multiple platforms and selecting technologies that give our customers choices going forward. Another important technology trend I see is the ability to manage large amounts of information in the Coud. Geospatial data is large, so Cloud-based solutions will be an important part of customer deployments moving forward. Th is is also something we are focusing on.

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The Big Story

Sustaining development A land-administration challenge

With a vast majority of the population in the developing world without appropriate legal rights over the piece of property they own and live on, there is an urgent need for countries to build effective land administration systems for inclusive growth and development



istory is dotted with wars waged over land. Land defi nes a country’s identity, its people, its culture and its progress. Early on, man learnt that wellmanaged land/territory is the prerequisite for prosperity and so evolved systematic mechanisms to administer land. By defi nition, land administration systems (LAS) provide the infrastructure for implementing land policies and land management strategies in support of sustainable development (Williamson et al, 2010) but LAS are conventionally centred around cadastre. They use precision surveying technologies, have parcel and its boundaries as basic unit and confer clear, secure and legally valid titles on the owner. The developed world has been experimenting

with building modern cadastre and land administration systems for 150-200 years now and they have highly evolved systems in place. However, the experience of the developing world (Asian, African and South American countries) is just 50-year-old. Land administration systems — whether highly advanced or very basic — require a large-scale spatial framework to operate. Technology advancements allow increased accuracy of cadastral surveys, thereby facilitating consistency between cadastral, topographic and other land-related information. Th is integrated, coherent and interactive land information is paving way for the establishment of spatially enabled societies. However, this is the scenario in just about 25-30 countries, mostly from the developed

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world. Also, the existing LAS have limitations because they have no scope of including informal and customary tenures. Majority of the developing countries have a cadastral coverage of less than 30% of the country. Many of these countries are battling with the legacies of complex and rudimentary colonial systems which were made to cater to the elite and do not recognise the range of informal, social or customary types of tenure. Th is scenario leaves a vast majority (about 70%) of the population in these countries without appropriate legal rights over the piece of property they own and live on, leading to land grabs, litigation, unrealised land value, lower contribution to the country’s GDP etc. The global economic meltdown brought sharp focus on mortgage policies and processes, as well as on the need for adequate and timely land information, both in developed and developing worlds. Today, more than ever, there is an imminent and urgent need for every country to have complete coverage of its land through an effective land administration system. Conventional land administration systems are costly, time-consuming and exclude informal and customary rights and do not serve the dynamic land administration needs of a country today. “In fact, traditional cadastral and land administration systems are often accused of locking development because of their preoccupation with accuracy,” says Stig Enemark, Honorary President, FIG. The need of the hour is a more flexible system that records and recognises not just formal rights but a continuum of rights including informal and customary rights; a system that manages the value, use of land and land development plans. In short, it should be a land administration system that is fit-for-the-purpose. “Such a flexible extension of LAS should be based on a global standard and should be manageable by local communities,” says Christiaan Lemmen (The Social Tenure Domain Model- A Pro-Poor Land Tool, FIG,

March 2010) of the Netherlands Kadaster, as standardisation allows for integration of data collected by communities into formal LAS at a later point in time. “However, while there is an urgent need to explore more flexible systems, it should not be misunderstood that formal land titling is unimportant and unnecessary. It is not enough on its own to deliver security of tenure to the majority of citizens in most developing counties,” exhorts Christiaan.

Technology to the rescue There are several innovative ICT and geospatial new-age tools and approaches that are fast, scalable, cost-effective and provide an alternative solution to bridge the cadastral divide. »Volunteered geographic information: One potential solution to bridge the cadastral divide and move towards formal land rights


The continuum of tenure is a range of possible forms of tenure which can be considered as a continuum. Each continuum provides different sets of rights and degrees of security and responsibility. Each enables different degrees of enforcement. Across a continuum, different tenure systems may operate, and plots or dwellings within a settlement may change in status, for instance if informal settlers are granted titles or leases. Informal and customary tenure systems may retain a sense of legitimacy after being replaced officially by statutory systems, particularly where new systems and laws prove slow to respond to increased or changing needs. Under these circumstances, and where official mechanisms deny the poor legal access to land, people tend to opt for informal and/or customary arrangements to access land in areas that would otherwise be unaffordable or not available (UN-Habitat: 2008)

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The Big Story

International Property Rights Index 2012 Country

World Rank



















Hong Kong

8 Top 10 countries

Courtesy: Netherlands Kadastre (Chrit Lemmen and Co Meijer)

High resolution satellite imagery


quickly is using volunteered geographic information. The increasing use of location-enabled smartphones and image-based mapping enable amateur professionals to easily collect data. The ease of use and growth of Web 2.0 and cloud-based services facilitate aggregation, organisation and management of data. It would be worthwhile if land professionals engage and encourage citizens or citizen volunteers, establish partnerships and involve them to capture and maintain land information in their neighbourhood. Such an approach could be potentially beneficial where land administration systems do not exist, or where the existing system fails to recognise the interests of the poorest in a country. “Crowdsourced data is people centric and have strengths in local knowledge, higher currency, wider range of geospatial data, greater attribution and good vernacular,” says Robin McLaren, Director, Know Edge. He, however feels crowdsourced data is not normally managed in a systematic manner with moderation, and, therefore, tends to have inconsistent coverage with variable and unknown quality and authenticity. “Despite these drawbacks, crowdsourced geospatial data is being used in an increasing number of professional and social applications where accurate, authoritative and assured (AAA) geospatial data is not required. It is delivering significant benefits to developing countries where upto-date mapping is sparse,” he adds. »High resolution satellite imagery: The past decade has seen the proliferation of high resolution earth observation satellites. The sub-metre resolution imagery from these satellites is capable of supporting mapping projects from 1:50,000 scale to 1:5,000 scales, making this a cost-effective and quick option for cadastral and land information systems. Th is approach is particularly suitable in rural areas, mountainous and desert-like areas with wide-open spaces. The information derived from imagery like

landuse/land cover, change maps can be used for mapping and monitoring land registry systems. The frequent revisit of the satellites allows for frequent monitoring and updating of land systems. However, the spectral resolutions available with the current day high resolution satellites are still not adequate for precise boundary measurements in urban areas. Though this scenario may change as image resolutions increase and prices drop, the need for in-field checks, surveys, and more importantly, agreement on where exactly the boundaries lie will remain. »Unmanned aerial systems (UAS): The increased use of UAS as mapping platforms has caught the attention of land professionals as well. UAS are capable of being equipped with a variety of photogrammetric measurement systems like thermal or infrared camera systems, multispectral cameras, range camera sensors, airborne LiDAR sensors or a combination of the above. The higher resolutions available today also enable UAS utility in densely built-up urban areas. The advantages lie in its high flexibility, speed and efficiency in capturing the surface of an area from a low fl ight altitude. Being low-cost systems with lower operational costs, UAS is often termed as an economical alternative to high-cost traditional survey methods. In addition, further information such as orthoimages, elevation models and 3D objects can easily be obtained from the imagery obtained by the UAS. »Point cadastre: The urgency to renew outdated and/or incomplete cadastres, the need to have more current and up-to-date, cheaper and fit-for-purpose cadastres is pushing land administration professionals in developing countries to opt for innovative technology means. When point features are combined with satellite imagery, freely available topographic maps (e.g. OpenStreetMap), and managed using cloud based

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GIS, a simple cadastral solution becomes apparent (Robert Antwi et al, 2012). In this, a single coordinate pair is used to represent a property. “The idea is that any spatial recordation of a parcel, even if only a single point, is better than nothing. More complete adjudication of boundary location might occur later, when there is suitable demand,” argue Dr Rohan Bennett and Dr Jaap Zevenbergen of ITC, Netherlands. While this approach has been tried and tested successfully as early as in the 1990s in a few South East Asian countries, new and low-cost technologies like high-resolution satellite imagery, location-enabled handheld devices and smartphones are capable of capturing location information of the land parcels/dwellings. Th is can be coupled with attribute/textual data, enabling a basic cadastre in the shortest possible time with minimal cost. »Digital pen: Digital pens have been around for more than a decade, but its application in geospatial data collection and mapping is a recent development. A digital pen can directly record spatial data (points, polygons, lines) and attribute data in digital format. Data can then be processed with CAD and GIS software to build a database while simultaneously collecting the field data. It eliminates the need to redraw the collected data, scanning of field sheets and georeferencing. The significant contribution of digital pen system is in providing real-time and continuous information as soon as changes happen in people-land relationships. The digital pen system can be applied in preliminary survey such as in subdivision process, identification of boundary disputes and indexing parcel mapping which needs less accurate data than cadastral parcel mapping data (Hendro Prastowo, 2011). However, the technology is still new, post processing is required to get better quality data and workflows to scale-up the system are yet to be designed.

Point Cadastre »Social tenure domain model: Most of the traditional land administration systems do not accommodate informal and customary tenures. Most often than not, governments do not even recognise the need for such inclusion. The Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM), developed by UN-HABITAT in association with FIG, World Bank and ITC, facilitates the recordation of all types of tenures, fi lling this gap. STDM enables to show what can be observed on the ground in terms of tenure as agreed within local communities. Th is agreement counts as evidence from the field (Christiaan Lemmen, FIG: March 2010). STDM is an effective pro-poor land management tool to address the technical gaps associated with unregistered land, upgrading of slums and urban and rural land management. Th is can also be linked to the cadastral system to facilitate the availability of integrated information. STDM will improve security of tenure, reduce evictions and lower planning and servicing costs. »Harnessing the power of ICT: Being a prerequisite for the functioning of market economy and secure livelihoods, LAS create invaluable base data for all spatially based innovation. However, most countries fail to use this data and/or provide inclusive land administration services that reach all stakeholders in equal terms and tend to be slow in adapting alternative new approaches and technologies or game changing ideas. Commenting on this trend, Peter Rabley of Omidiyar Network says, “If we do not harness the power of technology and ICT tools and are worried about doing things incrementally, it will fly past us. It is important to use cloud-based platforms to create a level-playing field in collecting and using spatial data.” Also, implementing ICT innovations based on open local data may empower citizens to communicate with public service providers. Th is will become a catalyst to transform the relationship

Courtesy: Netherlands Kadastre (Chrit Lemmen and Co Meijer)

Courtesy: Netherlands Kadastre (Chrit Lemmen and Co Meijer)

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The Big Story

» UN-FAO Voluntary Guidelines on Land Tenure: The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO) has recently proposed and endorsed Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure to serve as a reference and provide guidance to improve the governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests with the overarching goal of achieving food security. They contribute to the improvement and development of the policy, legal and organisational frameworks regulating tenure rights thereby enhance the transparency and improve the functioning of tenure systems. The guidelines recognise the centrality of land to development by promoting secure tenure rights and equitable access to land. The guidelines strongly justify the establishment of land administration institutions and systems such as registration, cadastre and licensing systems to record individual and collective tenure rights that are appropriate to countries.

establish a continuum of land rights, rather than just focus on individual land titling; improve global coordination on land; and assist in strengthening existing land networks. GLTN partners have identified 18 tools to successfully implement land programmes, including tools to support efficient land management and administration. While recommending the use of technologies like GPS, GIS, remote sensing and geo-visualisation, GLTN suggests the realistic use of geospatial tools to create systems to provide easy access to land information for all stakeholders. GLTN also emphasises on the generation of more appropriate forms of large scale spatial information, rather than on the production of a few accurate cadastral parcels. It also recommends adoption of new approaches to spatial information upgrading and managing existing systems. Now in the second phase (2012-17) of operations, GLTN will focus mainly to consolidate the gains of Phase 1 (20062011) and continue with the advocacy and knowledge management efforts; prioritise land tools; pilot test and roll-out of priority land tools and approaches at country level; mainstream gender, youth and grassroots; integrate capacity development and training into tool development process; and implement capacity development programmes and support tool implementation in targeted countries and/or cities/municipalities. The project will be implemented in six years with an estimated budget of $40 million, inform Clarissa Augustinus and Danilo Antonio of UN-HABITAT.

»Global Land Tool Network: The Global Land Tool Network (GLTN), facilitated by UN-Habitat, is an alliance of global regional and national partners contributing to poverty alleviation through land reform, improved land management and security of tenure particularly through the development and dissemination of pro-poor and gender-sensitive land tools. GLTN aims to

» Funding mechanisms: For over four decades, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA) have provided support to member countries in strengthening land policies and administration systems. Over the past 20 years, the Bank has supported 76 dedicated land administration projects in 48 coun-

between government, civil society and development partners.

Multilateral Push While a host of alternative technology solutions are giving momentum to setting up LAS, multilateral organisations are creating awareness, devising frameworks, developing voluntary guidelines, formulating standards, providing technical expertise and training, and supporting with adequate funding for cost-effective development and maintenance of effective systems in the developing world.

Fact box • 29% of the earth is land mass, 40% of that is wilderness, 29% is desert or desert-like, 9% is Antarctica, 22% is agriculture, just 1% is inhabited by humans • Most developing countries have less than 30% cadastral coverage. Over 70% of the land is generally outside the land register • Only 25-30 countries in the world have land administration infrastructure with a nationwide coverage • Good land rights infrastructures exist in only between 35 and 50 countries • Only 25% of the estimated 6 billion land parcels are formally registered. More than 4 billion land parcels without land tenure security


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Land administration for sustainable development While geospatial technology plays a central role in building land administration systems, land administration is also about people, politics and places and requires an overall land management vision for the country. Also, LAS is a long-term strategy and so need to be resilient in the face of inevitable change.

Courtesy: Land Administration for Sustainable Development (Williamson et al 2010)

tries, totaling an investment of around $3.6 billion, and in addition, a further 228 projects (in 78 countries) had a secondary focus in land. Currently, the World Bank is providing funding of around $1.5 billion for around 46 projects which are classified as land administration and management projects, informs Keith Clifford Bell, Sustainable Development Department, East Asia Pacific Region, World Bank. The World Bank supports and consistently recommends government policies that implement systematic land surveying and titling programmes that recognise all forms of land tenure. It emphasises on policy dialogue, research, public investments and operational support for the resolution of land tenure issues. The Land Governance Assessment Framework (LAGF), developed by the World Bank with several partners, aims to assess the status of land governance at country level in a participatory process. To date, LAGF assessments have been carried out or are underway in 13 countries. To make sure the efforts and positive examples do not remain as isolated incidents, Klaus Deininger, Lead Economist in the rural development group of the Development Economics Group of the World Bank, recommends a shared understanding by all stakeholders of the existing gaps in land governance, clear indicators of progress that can be monitored, and ways in which government, private sector professionals, and civil society each can contribute to make things happen so as to build capacity and limit the power of vested interests.

Land administration in relation to sustainable development

Countries, for long, have relied and built cadastre and land administration systems to deliver security of tenure, nurture land markets and/or increase tax base. However, there is an imminent need for countries to take a broader perspective of developing LAS for sustainable development to meet the fast-changing needs of the world. According to Williamson et al (2010), future LAS strategies must support the well-being of countries, support initiatives aimed at meeting global warming and changing weather patterns, be sensitive to globalisation of the world economy and clashes between the haves and the have-nots and contribute to the reduction of hunger and poverty. Going further, LAS will have to move more broadly into land governance and add comprehensive ‘people’ tools to its toolbox. Evolving from its existing narrow focus, LAS will then replace its technology focus with information sharing, and help in solving the broad societal issues as highlighted by the Millennium Development Goals including poverty eradication, wealth distribution, management of cities and in effect, contributing to the sustainable development. Bhanu Rekha, Executive Editor

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Land Management | UN - FAO

Empowering SDIs A strong and efficient land administration provides the basis for SDIs, which have become an essential part of development “ Climate change is fast happening — much, much faster than one would have expected.” — Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General


he world today faces many complex challenges, including the adaptation and mitigation of climate change; rapid urbanisation; increased demand for natural resources; growing food, water and energy insecurity; increased natural disasters; and


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resolution of violent confl ict. Many of these challenges have a clear land dimension: unequal access to land, insecurity of tenure, unsustainable land use, and weak institutions for land administration etc. Responding to these challenges is particularly difficult when land governance is weak. In response to growing concerns towards international instruments to improve the governance of tenure, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and its partners devel-

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oped the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security ( These guidelines set out principles and internationally accepted standards for responsible practices. Improved use of spatial data is a key element to addressing these challenges. Changes in technology, in particular computerised systems that support tenure administration and management, provide valuable means by directly supporting improvements in governance of tenure, and are indirectly essential mechanisms for support to other governance initiatives. Innovative technology applied to land records and graphics improves knowledgebased decision-making and widens means for data dissemination and access to land records. E-governance in spatial data management is an area of rapid innovation in developed economies, and emerging economies can leapfrog ahead in this area. Spatial data infrastructure or SDI is potentially a game-changer for development as it allows governments to integrate planning, taxation, disaster risk management and climate change monitoring, mitigation and adaptation in new ways with great savings in terms of time and funds, while improving overall service and governance. “States should establish policies and laws to promote the sharing, as appropriate, of spatial and other information on tenure rights for the effective use by the State and implementing agencies, indigenous peoples and other communities, civil society, the private sector, academia and the general public. National standards should be developed for the shared use of information, taking into account regional and international standards.� – FAO Voluntary Guidelines par. 6.5. Land authorities provide the basis for SDI In the context of land administration, the information produced and distributed by cadastre and mapping authorities is an integral part of national SDIs and represents above 85% of the so-called reference data (base maps) without which the SDI could not be built up.

The computerised multi-purpose cadastre is a SDI-related tool, for efficient handling of land and property-related data that has the potential to provide many benefits across all sections of the community by adding value through combining datasets and making these widely available. At the European level, the INSPIRE Directive 2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council (in force since 15 May 2007) binds EU member states to establish and provide geographic data in a standardised way. INSPIRE sets the legal framework and the technical specifications necessary to overcome existing barriers in the sharing of environmental information. Such barriers add significant extra costs for those who need to fi nd, access and use environmental information. Most of the INSPIRE reference data are typically produced by the cadastre and mapping authorities: coordinate reference systems, geographical grid systems, geographical names, administrative units, addresses, cadastral parcels, elevation, orthoimagery, buildings and land use. It is important that these benefits are widely promoted both to the leaders of government who are responsible for the allocation of resources, and to the users of land and property-related information. SDI development and World Bank & FAO support In the Europe and Central Asia region (ECA), the World Bank and the FAO have been working together to assist countries with their land reforms over the past 15 years. As many as 39 land administration and management projects in 23 countries, with over $16 billion in loan

The information produced and distributed by cadastre and mapping authorities is an integral part of national SDIs and represents above 85% of the so-called reference data without which the SDI could not be built up

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Land Management | UN - FAO

or credit funds from the Bank, augmented government programmes and assistance from bilateral donors in a region that has seen a greater level of land and property redistribution than has been experienced at any other time in history. Currently, 17 projects are running. Over 56% of the investments made have been utilised for ICT system implementation for electronic cadastre and registration services and others. Countries in this region are now progressing to the next stage, by which the basic cadastre information is made available through the Internet and combined with other spatial information that will enable more efficient services across governments. The World Bank and FAO experience in the ECA region has shown that most countries are already involved in the establishment of SDI, albeit still in the early stages of preparation. SDI legal/regulatory has been put in place in Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Serbia and Turkey. SDI coordination mechanisms are established in Albania, Croatia, Moldova, Serbia and Turkey, and are in the planning stages in Montenegro, Macedonia and Kosovo. SDI strategies have been developed in Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, Russian Federation and Turkey, and are planned in Montenegro and Ukraine. Geoportals are implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Republica Srpska), Bulgaria, Estonia, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Serbia, Slovenia, Russian Federation, Turkey and recently in Ukraine (January 1, 2013). In ECA, the Western Balkans mapping and cadastre authorities in Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia,

In the World Bank’s Europe and Central Asia region, 39 land administration and management projects in 23 countries are operational, with over $16 billion in loan or credit funds from the Bank


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Montenegro and Serbia are working together to share the knowhow and experience on SDI implementation under the EU-fi nanced project “Inspiration — the SDI solution for Western Balkans”. The objective is to promote the spatial data infrastructure concept and prepare the countries in the region in implementing the EU INSPIRE directive. Project beneficiaries are the mapping and cadastre authorities, universities providing education in surveying, geodesy and geomatics, and ministries of environment and NSDI stakeholders like other governmental institutions, especially ministries of agriculture (LPIS), statistical offices, local authorities, geological and hydrographical surveys, private surveying, GIS and geomatics commercial sector, and research organisations. Th is is expected to result in SDI legal framework for implementation in each country; improved capacity and raised awareness among the public and governments in NSDI benefits and the EU SDI implementation process. Future challenges Coordination and cooperation among all key players at all levels remains the biggest challenge in the years to come. New organisational structures are needed to create an electronically processed cadastral and registration service for private and public customers. The new structures will equally affect the public sector and its working models with the private sector. Crucially, the security and privacy of personal data need to be considered and must be guaranteed. Further, efforts will be needed to strengthen the collaboration with the private sector. Close collaboration of all the parties involved — public sector, private sector and relevant professions — is a key factor in bringing land administration products and services successfully to the consumer, especially in the context of SDI. Rumyana Tonchovska, Senior Land Administration Officer – IT, Climate, Energy & Tenure Division (NRC), FAO,

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Land Management | Indonesia

A BIG change Courtesy:

Equipped with new laws and technology, Badan Informasi Geospasial or BIG, the national geospatial information agency, is ushering in changes in the entire landscape of the country


he political stability in Indonesia has created a window of opportunity to improve land governance in the country. Changes within the Indonesian government and changing relationships between the government, civil society and the private sector are opening up new spaces for negotiation even as it gives rise to new areas of confl ict. The enactment of the Geospatial Information Law in April 2011 paved the way for key improvements in this sector. The enactment of this law was necessary as the country was unable to accomplish the necessary reforms for geospatial information and mapping through coordination and cooperation between the respective agencies. The law provides a legal framework for acquiring accurate geospatial data and creates a regulatory framework for the administration of national geospatial informa-


tion and the process of how geospatial information is acquired and distributed. The Indonesian National Mapping Agency (Bakosurtanal), re-named as the Geospatial Information Agency (Badan Informasi Geospasial or BIG), is designated as the lead agency for coordination of geospatial information and the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). The priority for BIG is to ensure that geospatial data in Indonesia is better organised and more accurate with all mapping activities to use a common reference map-base called OneMap. Accordingly, the aim is to make OneMap the one and only mapbase used by all ministries and government institutions and is thus critical for decision-making. All stakeholders, including the private sector, civil society and indigenous communities, are now being encouraged to provide spatial inputs to OneMap.

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Land governance Fundamental to the challenges facing the reform of the Indonesian land sector is that it lacks a comprehensive land law. All land in Indonesia can be categorized into forest estate (kawasan hutan) and non-forest estate (areal pengunan lain, APL). As such, land is administered under a dual system through two different government agencies — the Ministry of Forestry (MoFor) and the National Land Agency (Badan Pertanahan Nasional, BPN), responsible for forestry and nonforestry lands, respectively. The issue is further complicated by indeterminate entitlements to land; lack of recognition of customary (adat) rights to land; lack of processes allowing free, prior and informed consent; excessive application of the state’s power of eminent domain; and a policy for the allocation of land concessions that ignores or overrides the rights and interests of others. Add to this, government control over land. Land administration and management are built upon a range of complexities established in the colonial past. The government is working to clear hurdles with regard to existing land-related regulations that date back to the 1800s. It is generally acknowledged that across Indonesia, land-tenure legislation struggles to be properly implemented, and most people gain access to land on the basis of local landtenure systems and community-acknowledged traditions. These customary practices and systems, broadly described as adat, have been profoundly impacted by decades of colonial and post-Independence government interventions and are continually burdened as a result of diverse factors such as cultural interactions, population growth, socio-economic changes, and political processes.

Welfare’, held in Jakarta in December 2012, high-level government and civil society speakers identified the lack of political will at the highest levels as the key obstacle to land reform in Indonesia. Initiatives to transform property rights seriously challenge existing structures that sustain deforestation. This means that any reform must challenge the power of the MoFor and local administration over forest lands. Any such reform puts at stake the ongoing accumulation of vast profits from economic activities generated from unregulated and unsustainable forestry. Accordingly, any effort to implement good governance over forest land faces numerous challenges. In case of non-forest land areas, complex and overlaps laws, decrees and regulations prevent resolution of tenure claims and strengthening land administration. Further, lack of clarity on forest and non-forest land areas, due to absence of reliable maps and data, prevent progress in building tenure security. To appreciate the challenges facing landsector reforms, it is also necessary to understand the political economy of land in Indonesia. Real prospects for reform have emerged only since the late 1990s. The government recently made a strategic commitment to developing stronger, more robust policies and programmes for addressing the land sector problems. Reforms are taking place through a series of top-down high-level initiatives and seem to be followed by a series of complementary bottom-up responses from civil society. Taken together, these are leading to changes in the formal and informal balance of power between central and regional government authorities such as in determining the allocation of land within provincial spatial plans. A pilot assessment of land governance, using the World Bank’s Land Governance Assessment Framework was undertaken in 2009. It is anticipated that a more comprehensive assessment will commence later in 2013. Also, there could be support for dissemination of the United Nations Voluntary Guidelines for Land Tenure.

Political economy At the international conference on ‘Regulatory Reform of Indonesian Land Laws for People’s

Top-down initiatives The government has initiated several measures at the national and local levels to focus

OneMap is a key enabler for reform of the land sector. Access to nationally consistent and complete geospatial data is critical to improving land governance and making government more accountable and transparent.

Fact File • 15th largest economy in the world

• 4th most populous country

• Over 238 million population.

• Hundreds of distinct native ethnic and linguistic groups • 34 provinces with approximately 17,508 islands

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Land Management | Indonesia

Forest Land Area While 70% is zoned as forest land — only about 12% of that has been mapped, surveyed and specifically designated as ‘forest estate’ • Slow progress made in designating forest land areas. • Existence of 33,000 villages within or around designated forest areas • No formal rights to land holders and rising social discontent. • Confusion and disagreement over the location of forest land areas • And uncertainty as to who controls land areas


on and resolve overlaps to simplify the legal instruments, confi rm tenure security, and strengthen institutional mechanisms for land governance. These initiatives include: »March 2013: The Forestry Management Reform Pact, which is a joint action agreement concerning the management of Indonesia’s forests, was signed by eight Cabinet ministers and the heads of four state institutions. The agreement is between the heads of the respective ministries of home affairs, justice and human rights, agriculture, forestry, public works and environment as also the National Development Planning Commission, together with the corruption eradication commission, the National Land Agency (BPN), the National Mapping Agency (BIG,) and the National Commission on Human Rights. »2012: Following the decision of the Constitutional Court on forest land areas, the MoFor has revitalised the Tenure Working Group on Forest Lands, which will comprise of representatives from civil society organisations too. Th is dialogue process was complemented by the CSOs drafting a Roadmap for Tenure Reforms (of forest land areas). »December 2011: The House of Representatives approved a Land Acquisition and Compensation Law, which covers land acquisition for public projects such as railways, ports, roads and dams. Th is law is seen as an instrument to clear existing blocks to executing infrastructure projects. Th is and other new regulations have been met with expected controversy and opinions are polarised on investor versus community/individual rights. »May 2011: The government announced a two-year moratorium on the award of new land use licences on primary natural forests and peat land areas. The Presidential Task Force is monitoring the enforcement of this moratorium. The government has acknowledged several issues go well beyond REDD+ and forest carbon/climate mitigation issues. »April 2011: The passage of the Geospatial Information Law has endorsed Indonesia’s NSDI and empowered BIG as the lead agency in this sphere. BIG will provide the muchneeded leadership to unify information on

land and natural resources in the country. The OneMap policy recognises that Indonesia needs a standard reference set of basic mapping. It also recognises that this must also include cadastral information — about the exact location of each land parcel, its boundaries, ownership and the rights attached to it. Th is is fundamental to good land governance and government decision making on land and natural resources. There are also other efforts to merge innovations and different technologies through a national data warehouse. »Early 2010: A unified Presidential Task Force on Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) was created. The Task Force is working on REDD+ related tasks to develop a set of strategies and plans for implementation. The REDD+ Task Force has 16 working groups to address specific issues. This task force has drafted a national strategy to unify all initiatives under REDD+, and set up the criteria and guidelines for funding mechanisms. The task force is also working on legal and enforcement issues. Central Kalimantan has been selected as the pilot province for these efforts. These efforts run parallel and are complimented by current trends towards decentralization of government functions. Taken together, the top-down reforms are leading to changes in the formal and informal balance of power between central and regional government authorities in determining the allocation of land to forestry versus no-forestry purposes within provincial spatial plans. Civil society advocacy and bottoms-up engagements On the bottom-up side of the reforms, the following initiates are important to note: • The judicial review petitions fi led by the civil society groups on the authority and management of forest land areas and pending petition on Land Acquisition and Compensation Law 2011 show that the support of local authorities and civil society groups for the big bang reforms is conditional. • The OneMap approach is designed to generate bottom-up support through community mapping to help people negotiate rights

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among themselves. BIG and the REDD+ Task Force are also taking steps to combine community mapping with satellite imagery and other geospatial information in a GIS under OneMap that can assist in recording and enforcing the agreements reached through community negotiation. Together with OneMap, the government has introduced participatory land use planning in forest areas. This is an initiative that MoFor has been keen to scale up from previous pilot efforts. This brings in both bottom up support/work and also endorsement from the top. The government is opening up to endorsing some new tenure norms (eg, community titling for the indigenous people based on community maps produced in the ancestral domain areas and pertinent registry). The government has also agreed to accept community maps produced for the ancestral domain areas where these indigenous people reside. The memorandum of understanding signed between the Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN, Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago) and BPN in September 2011 is an additional effort on the part of civil society organisations to focus on ways of carrying out reforms within the agrarian land sector (that includes forest land areas outside official governmental forest estate) such that the rights of indigenous people are recognised. NGOs working as part of the MoFor’s Tenure Working Group have prepared a road map to achieve tenurial justice for forest land areas and are working to implement the forest tenure improvement programme. There is a concerted effort to strengthen the tenure security over both forestry and nonforestry land. Not only will this significantly improve the lives of millions living in the official “forest estate” but given Indonesia’s focal status in REDD+ agenda, these reforms have placed the potential to transform rural people’s well being, forest condition as well as greenhouse gas emissions. In effect, the tenure working group provides the bottomup approach to complement the top-down initiatives like REDD+ Task Force.

World Bank land sector review The World Bank’s stock-taking of the land sector in Indonesia, a report on which is expected by September 2013, will identify priorities for donor support to land-sector reform. Early indications suggest that support may be required in several areas: • The proposed new Land Law and implementing regulations • Land Reform Plus (Agrarian Reform) • Procedures for recognising participatory community land mapping; to be undertaken by civil society in support of land rights of indigenous communities, especially in forest lands • Enhancing NSDI along with OneMap • Land governance, including the application of the Land Governance Assessment Framework and awareness raising of the United Nations’ Voluntary Guidelines for Land Governance • A comprehensive study on political economy of land. Conclusion Understanding the underlying 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. The highly political nature of agrarian reforms has seen the subject return to the centre stage of public debate. While the Indonesian government and political leaders struggle to reform land laws, 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 to improving land governance and making government more accountable and transparent.

Non-Forest Land This constitutes about 30% of Indonesia’s total land area (about 100 mn land parcels) and in theory, this should be covered & administered by the Basic Agrarian Law 1960 • However, only 10% land area is now administered by the National Land Agency while rest of non-forest land areas are controlled by military, police & various other government institutions within or around designated forest areas • Of the 10% of land area formally under the BPN’s authority, only about 1/3 of non-forest land parcels are registered under BPN.

Dr Keith Clifford Bell, Senior Land Policy Specialist, East Asia and Pacific Region, World Bank, Washington, DC Shivakumar M. Srinivas, Consultant, East Asia Region, World Bank & United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, Jakarta Geospatial World | June 2013

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Land Management | Interview

Involve private sector as it has more resources Geospatial technology will help capture the potential private sector investment in the land governance sector, says Dr Gregory Myers, Director, Land Tenure & Property Rights Division, USAID Formal registration accounts to just about 20% of total land transactions in developing countries, according to an estimate. Th is is a severe loss of tax revenue to the government. What do you think are the reasons? There are a number of reasons for low levels of registration and transactions and some are historical. People in countries such as Mozambique, Ghana and Burkina Faso had access to land during the colonial period when formalisation was introduced. During this period, agricultural producers had pieces of land, but they were never part of the formal system. Also, governments did not recognise the property rights of many people; so from a legal perspective, they had de facto land rights. It was a costly affair for a farmer to go to the city and formally register his land or record his rights. It required some kind of incentive that is cost effective and efficient which motivated them to enter the formal system. The other part of the problem is governance. If the government does not enforce or uphold the law, even persons with formal rights are at a loss. Because of this, many people choose to operate outside the formal system. Globally, land reform initiatives are currently operative in just about 50 countries. What initiatives is USAID taking in creating awareness among the governments? Where are we lacking in implementation of these reforms? In a broader context, the numbers are actually much higher for where the global community is working towards improv-


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ing land governance or land tenure systems. The US government alone has around 40 programmes in 32 countries. The way in which these initiatives are implemented is also changing, as it is becoming more user-driven. Countries now know their land tenure needs and demand the changes required to reform tenure systems. Some countries even want to approach the private sector for assistance. On one hand we have a huge demand, which is good, but on the other hand we do not have that many resources to fulfi l the demand. We can bridge this gap between demand and supply by accessing the right resources and becoming much smarter about the way in which we address problems. We have to be more strategic about what we do; innovation technology can help. Also, the private sector should be involved as they have more resources to address the problems. How is USAID mandating the use of geospatial technology in its projects? USAID uses many different types of technologies, including geospatial technology, to change governance systems cheaply and quickly. We also use new technologies to innovate and speed up land governance processes, because it is not feasible to wait for another 10-20 years to record property rights using conventional methods. Technology is helping USAID, and the countries in which we work, catch up with demand. Also, geospatial technology will help capture the potential private sector investment in the land governance sector. There are instances where the World Bank or USAID successfully do a pilot project in a country and trains the personnel. But after the project is complete, the local officials fail to scale the project or implement it successfully. How is USAID ensuring continuity of successful project models? We try to avoid instances such as the one you describe. While implementing a project,

we involve the government as well as all the stakeholders, so that countries develop their own requirements for donors to support. That way, there is local buy-in from the beginning. If this is not happening then the project is not successful during and after implementation. It is important to have buy-in of all the stakeholders involved and the biggest buy-in one is the government to enable it to create a right kind of policy framework. How does USAID enable such kind of environment? Our work on land tenure issues at USAID is demand driven and that demand varies from country to country. Sometimes the demand comes from the government that puts forward their policy requirements. In other countries, citizens and local businesses ask the government to do certain things which drives the process and is more democratic in nature. USAID also focuses its programmes on providing the right kind of technical input. For example, if someone understands the situation but cannot provide the right kind of guidance on what a good land policy or land law looks like, then it is less effective.

While implementing a project, we involve the government as well as all the stakeholders, so that countries develop their own requirements for donors to support. That way, there is local buy-in from the beginning

What according to you are the major challenges in creating and implementing a formal land tenure system, especially in developing countries? What are your recommendations to these challenges? A formal land tenure system cannot be created unless there is an incentive for one. Th is incentive can come from civil society, which requests a change, or from the government, when it realises that there is a problem. The biggest challenge in creating and implementing a formal land tenure system is recognising and determining which incentives to use in order to make effective changes. Also, the implementation of a formal land tenure system must be cost effective. Governments cannot carry forward projects which are expensive and labour intensive, particularly if they do not have the fi nancial resources necessary.

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National Cadastre System |Ukraine

Open to all Ukraine has developed a fully automated electronic National Cadastre System that maps all land parcels in the country and allows public access to land information for the first time ever


he launch of the fi rst ever fully automated electronic National Cadastre System in Ukraine is a breakthrough in the area of land management system in Europe’s largest country. Though Ukraine had initiated the Rural Land Titling and Cadastre Development Project as far back as 2004, its actual implementation took place over the last year owing to an incredibly fast pace of work. The primary goals of the $50-million project, collaboration between the national government and the World Bank, were to formalise rural land for free and develop the cadastre system in particular to create full-fledged technical infrastructure and a new mapping layer, as well as to develop software, and prepare and digitise existing data. The new cadastre registration system is operating since the beginning of this year in all 549 territorial offices of the State Agency for Land Resources of Ukraine, whose official staff list includes about 12,500 employees, of which about 2,000 are cadastre registrators. The project includes aerial photography of

the entire country, mapping of boundaries of all administrative and territorial units, and index cadastral and orthophoto mapping. All land parcels have been mapped and linked to their respective information, including scanned title documents. Since 2013, Ukraine has ushered in a unified coordinate system as against the earlier practice of thousands of varied local coordinate systems. In order to collect all the parcels, a unique software had to be developed to recalculate data from any local system into the national coordinate system in a matter of seconds. Tremendous work on data digitising was carried out during the six months prior to the launch of the project. More than 120,000 sheets of topographical maps in the scale of 1:10 000 and 1,600 sheets of maps in the scale of 1:100,000 were scanned. Then there were 40,000 sheets of graphical materials to mark boundaries of administrative and territorial units, 40,000 sheets of agro-industrial soil group maps and 17 million state deeds or 34 million pages (about 1 million pages per day).

The National Cadastre System includes information layers such as boundaries of human settlements, terrain contour lines, cartogrammes of steepness and heights, and agro-industrial soil groups


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Ukraine Fact File • Area: over 603,000 sq km; largest country in Europe. • Population: Over 45.5 million • Number of land parcels: 50 million; exceeding country population in figures. • The geographical centre of Europe is located in Ukraine. • One third of European black soils is also located in Ukraine. • About 2/3 of the country’s land resources or 430,000 hectare are agricultural land

The process also enabled the authorities to correct the errors contained in the poor quality maps and data that were accumulated during the 20-odd years of Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union. The National Cadastre System includes information layers such as boundaries of human settlements, terrain contour lines, cartogrammes of steepness and heights, and agroindustrial soil groups. The Public Cadastre Map

Web Portal shows all land parcels in the country, thus allowing public access to land information for the fi rst time ever in the country. The map is quite simple to use: there are several parameters for search — using cadastral number or parcel’s location. The map gives information about the cadastral number, form of ownership, designated use of the land parcel and its area. Personal data of land owners are hidden though. The primary feature of the cadastral map is its feedback system. If a citizen identifies any error with regard to a land parcel, he/she may submit an official application online for correction. The website has already become one of the most popular state web-pages in Ukraine. For the fi rst three months, more than 1.5 million unique users visited the portal, of which 13,000 users left their online applications for errors correction. Over the same period, more than 200,000 new parcels were registered in the system. The average time for registering a new land parcel has been reduced to an average of 30 minutes from the earlier time lag of several weeks. At present, the system registers over 5,000 land parcels per day. The Government of Ukraine is planning to develop the infrastructure of geospatial data on the basis of land cadastre system and looking for new partners and sponsors. Sergii Tymchenko, State Agency for Land Resources of Ukraine

The Public Cadastre Map Web Portal shows all land parcels in the country, thus allowing public access to land information for the first time ever in the country

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National Cadastre System | Ziyang, China

An umbrella of information An integrated system enables timely and accurate updates of the spatial and business data, improving land usage and promoting local economic development in a Chinese city


he city of Ziyang, located in the centre of Sichuan province in China, is an important industrial hub. Covering an area of 7,692 sq km and an overall population of 5.039 million, the city consists of 171 counties, 2,815 villages and 115 communities. The topographic feature can be divided into three types: low mountain, hill and river alluvial dam. Previously known as a major hill agricultural producer, Ziyang has transformed to emerge as a city hosting four major industries -- vehicle manufacturing, food, pharmacy and textile industries. The scale of production is increasing rapidly, leading to further economic and social development in the region.

Current land acquisition range of Ziyang

Land type patch data of 2011


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The need for a new cadastral system Before 2011, the Ziyang National Land Resources Management Department (ZNLRMD) was in the need of a new cadastral system which could fulfi l various requirements at various land management levels. The new system was to help local land agencies improve their work efficiency with a more organised and standardised framework. In December 2011, the city decided to go for a new cadastral system and the work was contracted to KQ GEO Technologies. In the next 10 months, KQ GEO customised the Ziyang ONE MAP Urban Cadastral Information Management System and its integrated supervision platform for the ZNLRMD. Today, the system is used for regular cadastral management operations. At

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Urban cadastre housing parcel image

different levels of administrative regions, the related data of land registration (including graphic and attribute data, digital archives etc.) follows the same standards framework during collection, processing, assessment, management and application. How the new system works The Ziyang ONE MAP Urban Cadastral Information Management System includes a spatial reference system, projection method conversion as well as data collection, editing, change query and other functions, compatible with various data formats. The map and text integrated management mode fulfi ls the e-governance requirements. While the authorities can use the data statistics and analysis as a tool for decision making and multi-purpose and multi-scale spatial data management, the system makes way for office automation too which is standardising the process of land registration, including the urban land data and development. Interface and data conversion functions is expected to help data linking and transfer while connecting to other systems for simultaneous view. A new sub-system or system upgrading can also be developed based on actual management needs. System safety management and maintenance functions will provide a complete and dynamic cadastral database building,

Urban construction project history management

maintenance and update functions, as well as intelligent security measures, which will ensure the system’s operating stability and safety. Through the Ziyang ONE MAP Urban Cadastral Information Management System, the city is reaping benefits such as: • Faster approval for business establishment’s in land registration process • Integrated library management of present library, temporary library and history library • Virtual Reality technology for 3D visualisation management of cadastral archives • Web GIS technology for graphic and attribute data sharing • Digital ID recognition technology for efficient system user authority control • Component technology for providing secondary development interface The ONE MAP system enables timely and accurate updates of the spatial and business data, thus improving the condition and environment of land exploitation and utilisation, optimising the land market and promoting local economic development. Efforts are on to integrate it with the National Land Registration Information Monitoring and Assessment System. Lynn Li, Elizabeth Hu, International Business Department, KQ GEO Technologies, China

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Land Information Management | Goa, India

Towards e-ffective governance A small state in India has recognised GIS-based land records information system as the basis for all developmental planning across its various departments


and and its ownership is a matter of concern for all landowners, big or small. With growth of population and rapid industrialisation, demand for land is on the rise with increasing encroachments on public land or even those belonging to individuals. It becomes imperative in such a scenario that the state and individual owners of land both know with certainty and accuracy the boundaries and extent of their property. The Survey and Settlement department of Government of Goa is the custodian of the legal land records in the state and is responsible for preservation, updating and dissemination to public and other government agencies on demand. Goa maintains land records in the form of Record of Rights, which contain the ownership and land use detail, and plane table (PT) sheets, which contain the geometry of every land parcel. The challenges in changing and modernising the business process of survey department,

Screenshot of Dharnaksh


which is the custodian of legal records that are anywhere from 10 to 50 years old, were not ordinary. The initiative was not just to computerise information, but to change the way records were managed and delivered to stakeholders, leading to accurate and secure storage, faster delivery and easy and quick updation processes. Land Records Information System (LRIS) as basis for e-governance The state government undertook the ambitious project Land Records Information System, which involved 100% computerisation of maps and Record of Rights of the state, business process automation for the survey department and dissemination of information through a Web GIS portal. The initiative, called Dharnaksh (www. makes land records available anywhere, anytime at the click of a mouse. The state government has recognised that LRIS/GIS shall become the basis for all developmental planning activities by different government departments and made the survey department the nodal agency for all computerisation of cadastral records and updating the same through revisional survey. Th is effort is aimed at leading to e-governance. Unlike some states in India which are only addressing computerisation of textual records, i.e., Record of Rights, the state of Goa realised that RoR forms only a fraction of requirement for governance. The real foundation for e-governance is a map-based networked information system that has all base maps and grows over a period

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of time to allow attachment of layers and layers of graphical and alphanumeric domain specific data. Maps are not just for use by the survey department, but every government department needs them for their day-to-day activity. The survey department acts as a nodal agency for all maps maintenance as far as legal records are concerned. However, other government departments such the Public Works Department, Municipal Corporations, Forest, Irrigation, Mining etc will get hooked onto the same network in future and add their own spatial data layers on these maps. The idea being promoted is of sharing data on a network, with some layers of data belonging to and under maintenance of each department, but others are also free to use it. Also, this project paves the way to solve one of the major problems plaguing various states in India, namely, vexatious land disputes due to multiple or malafide transactions on land. The online land information system makes it easy for any interested agency or party to verify the extent, land use and title of any land parcel in the State. Building e-infrastructure Infrastructure is the foundation of any successful project. A project of the nature of LRIS required not only physical infrastructure but also e-Infrastructure like • Computer hardware • Networking encompassing all the talukas • Computerisation of RoR for the entire state • Computerisation of base maps for entire state Data security has been ensured through encryption and biometric device security provided by the VISION MapMaker software, which is an Indian GIS product. Data is shared by everyone, but updated only on authentication of fi ngerprints of the authority concerned. As on date, Goa has computer facilities at all talukas and major cities which are networked and run both the land information system, making digital map data available across the state and also run the NIC-developed Record of Rights data management application, which allows citizens to apply for certified copies of RoR or for online mutation from across the state. Now, the Land Records Department has taken a step

forward to put all the data available from a Webbased GIS, making it possible to view and obtain land records in Goa from anywhere in the World. Goa is now the only state in India that has: • 100% computerisation of maps and RoR • Facilities for online updation of maps • Has integrated maps with RoR • Provides land conversion/partition and land acquisition details along with map • Has completed 100% resurvey in the state • Access to computerised land records anywhere/everywhere With this initiative, Goa has become the fi rst state in the country to make information available to public and other interested agencies online and achieve the goals of e(ffective)governance, namely, • Modernisation of business process • Transparency of information • Improved services to public • Efficiency of departmental operations What Dharnaksh has achieved? Dharnaksh and the statewide Land Records Information System have changed the way the survey department functions. Now any person from anywhere in the world can login and view any map or land parcel extract online using any Internet-enabled system and obtain a certified copy on payment. Within six months of opening to public access, Dharnaksh has over 2000 registered users, over 20,000 site hits and over 25,000 land parcel details have been viewed online. The department now carries out all its business processes like issue of certified copies, processing applications for mutation (subdivision, change of ownership etc), land acquisition and conversion (change of land use) online on a statewide network, with centralised and synchronised databases. Dharnaksh and LRIS are a major leap for the survey department of Goa in e-governance and application of Geospatial IT for the benefit of the society.

Goa fact file • One of the top tourist destinations in India • 3 million tourists every year • Area: 361,113 hectares • Population: 1.5 million • Subdivisions: 12 administrative divisions • Villages: 421 • Cities: 4 • Land divisions: 800,000 • Forest: 34% • Settlement + Industrial:

11% • Agricultural: 55% • Coastline: 105 km

R. Mihir Vardhan, Director of Settlement and Land Records, Goa, India

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Land & Property Information Management | 3D

Building on the third dimension As urbanisation prompts land administrators to look into the third dimension, an Australian university takes up a research project to incorporate 3D property information into land administration systems


ore than half the world’s 7 billion people live in cities today. As urbanisation continues like never before, managing the growth of our existing cities and optimising the design of the future ones is critical for core city management applications such as urban planning, emergency response, asset management, navigation and intelligent transport systems. Traditionally land and property information, which includes geometric, visual and legal data for each property unit, has been two-dimensional, based on 2D land parcels. However, over the past decade, urbanisation, high-rise apartments and the advent of complex building structures has prompted land administrators to incorporate the third dimension into the land development cycle, with the aim of enabling effective management and registration of 3D rights, restrictions and responsibilities. To look into the challenges and the way forward towards a 3D land and 3D Land property management system, the and property Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructures information and Land Administration (CSDILA) management of the Melbourne University has undertaken a research project, ‘Land and Property InformaLegal Physical tion in 3D’. The research is World World supported by the Australian Research Council in close collaboration Building Ownership dimensions, with government derights, Fig 1: 3D Land & property spatial location, restrictions partments, surveying information management height, and facade & dimensions companies, architecresponsibilities roof data tural fi rms, body corpo-


rate and the Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ICSM). The project also involves extensive international collaboration with a number of practitioners and researchers from countries around the world. The core of this research lies in the culmination of the legal and physical components of our cities in a 3D environment (as illustrated in Figure 1) to enable a more complete and effective land and property information registration system, which will in turn help our governing bodies better manage our societies and future cities. Incorporating a 3D land and property information system becomes imperative since 2D survey plans are no longer able to represent the reality of inter-related titles and land uses with their complexities. Multiple page 2D plans cannot be easily understood or visualised outside the domain of the highly specialised professional surveyors. Additionally, 3D architectural drawings do not deliver legal authority in land and property registration. Modelling the 3D legal world and linking this to the physical world could facilitate a 3D land development process. Objectives and methods Specific objectives of the project are to deliver (a) an improved understanding of the problems and issues associated with incorporating 3D property information into land administration systems; (b) a specification of the technical, policy, legal and institutional aspects of a 3D property information and representation system; (c) a 3D data model and database management system; (d) a visualisation model for 3D information in land registration; and (e)

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a prototype 3D property information and building visualisation system. Following an initial research scoping exercise, with a wide range of stakeholders and practitioners, the project has been classified into work packages. Major developments & on-going research The major outcomes from the fi rst year of the project include the development of a 3D data model and visualisation prototype system which forms the fi rst stage of a 3D land and property information platform. 3D data modelling The project has extensively investigated data modelling for 3D land and property information and proposed a 3D cadastral data model (3DCDM) that provides a practical framework to model layered legal objects of survey plans and their physical counterparts using architectural and engineering plans. The data model is based on the requirements of 3D cadastre and provides a resilient starting point for developing a 3D cadastral database. The requirements of the 3D cadastre was gathered from the second International Workshop on 3D Cadastres, held in Delft, The Netherlands, and from a number of surveys conducted by the members of the ICSM as well as from discussions at a collaborative research workshop on ‘Land and Property Management in 3D’ held at the University of Melbourne, Australia. The 3DCDM consists of seven packages which collectively model both legal and physical entities of land and property information. As existing cadastral data models are defined purely as legal models, the 3DCSDM advances current systems by integrating the ‘real world’, or physical counterparts, inside the model. The inclusion of a representation of the actual construction of a building surpasses the representation of only the ownership boundaries by also including the physical information of a building which could greatly benefit applications such as real estate management. Further research is required to validate the model and examine approaches to implemen-

Project work packages

tation. Also, it is required to consider the role of building information modelling (BIM) and IFC in 3D cadastral data modelling. Th is would enable utilisation of the concept and terminologies of the existing related standards such as Land Administration Domain Model (LADM) to categorise the level of requirements (general and specific requirements). 3D data visualisation Visualisations of current land and property information systems are generally paper based and in digital documents (PDF). Ownership boundaries are commonly drawn on floor plans with cross-sections or isometric diagrams used to represent the 3D property rights. Th is project proposes a set of requirements for interactive 3D cadastral visualisation systems. Similar to the data model, the visualisation system represents not only the physical objects, but also their legal counterparts. The results of the research form a prototype Web-based 3D visualisation system developed using WebGL. The prototype consists of an integration of different layers which enables different semantically rich visualisations based on the application requirements. There are options for 2D paper plans as well as fully interactive 3D virtual environments.

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Land & Property Information Management | 3D

aim for a complete and detailed interactive model of buildings that integrates both indoor mapping with photorealistic, accurate building reconstructions.

Checking on the UAV before test flights

Based on client-server architecture, the system uses PostgreSQL which is an opensource database to store 3D models in an XML based format. Using the Google Earth API, the platform provides a ‘city view’ with georeferencing functionality. A ‘building view’ enables detailed visualisation of individual buildings. 3D data sourcing Over the past decade, significant developments in 3D data acquisition techniques, visualisation, image processing algorithms and computer power, as well as trends such as volunteered geographic information (VGI) and BIM have facilitated the creation of 3D models of buildings and cities around the world. The application of these models for 3D land and property registration gives rise to unique opportunities and novel research challenges. The aim of this part of the research is to assess the advancements in data sourcing by examining 3D acquisition methods, visualisation platforms, image processing algorithms and future trends with a focus on improving current practice in land and property information registration. An integral part is to investigate the integration of 3D data from a number of sources, including close-range photogrammetry, aerial imagery, mobile mapping and UAVs together with architectural and survey plans. The results


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Institutional challenges The implementation and transition to a 3D land and property information system is not simply a technical challenge. A crucial aspect is to examine the institutional structures around the current land development process to determine how, and where, 3D systems could be most critically adopted. An empirical understanding of the institutional influences and their mechanisms is likely to lead to the use of 3D digital building information technologies, ultimately facilitating productivity of the land development process for urban landscapes and complex building structures. Future direction The completion of the fi rst year of research has seen a number of notable achievements, including the development of a 3D cadastral data model and 3D visualisation prototype system, which form the foundation of the project. Over the next few months, the research team will investigate 3D data sourcing methods with a particular focus on UAVs. The research team will also conduct a widespread survey to clearly defi ne requirements for 3D visualisation gathering data from key players in the land development lifecycle, including surveyors, land developers, architects, government and the private sector. Integration with BIM is also integral to this project. Abbas Rajabifard, Ian Williamson, Ida Jazayeri, Mohsen Kalantari, Centre for SDIs and Land Administration, Melbourne School of Engineering, University of Melbourne, Australia (The authors would like to acknowledge and thank the Australian Research Council Linkage Program, project partner organisations and members of the 3D research team at the Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructures and Land Administration, the University of Melbourne.)

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Land Administration Domain Model

Standards for new approaches The new Land Administration Domain Model (LADM) has evolved as an ISO-recognised standard to provide a formal language for describing traditional land administration methods, spot the similarities and differences, and provide a way forward


and administration provides documentation on people to land relationships. It is an instrument for the implementation of land policies — part of the governmental policy on environmental sustainability, economic development, disaster management, social justice and equity and political stability. Land administration provides legal security (protection of all land rights), access to credit

(collateral for mortgage or micro credit), spatial planning, land tax and resource management (mining, forestry, and nature). A look at the land administration systems worldwide, will reveal that these systems are largely the same in principle: they are all based on the relationships between people and land, and linked by (ownership or use) rights. The two main functions of every land administration (including

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Land Administration Domain Model

cadastre and/or land registry) are: • keeping the contents of these relationships up-to-date; and: • providing information from the (national) registers. These functions are implemented in different ways in different countries — responsibilities in land administration are distributed over (many) organisations and processes are often not really transparent, resulting in not-upto-date, incomplete and non-reliable land administration. Standards are needed in land administration, both for initial data acquisition and for data maintenance. And previous experiences have shown that it is not an easy task to design and set up a land administration. Many countries still lack the modelling expertise to set up land administration systems. Establishing a common standard for the land administration domain was originally an initiative of the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), which submitted a new working item proposal in 2008 to the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO). Now, Land Administration Domain Model (LADM) is a formal International Standard, known as ISO 19152. The fi nal motion to turn the LADM into an international standard was passed unanimously on November 1, 2012 and ISO 19152 was formally published on December 1, 2012. LADM facilitates the development of software applications which accelerates the development and implementation of proper land administration in support to sustainable development. The international standard is a breakthrough in the development of such a system and it has already gained recognition and support from the FIG, the Food and Ag-

LADM facilitates development of software applications which accelerates the implementation of proper land administration for sustainable development


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riculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat), the European Commission’s INSPIRE and several countries. The standard supports not only traditional land administration systems, but also enables combination with unconventional approaches, such as crowd sourcing. If guided by surveyors, such approach may accelerate the collection of a fit-for-purpose land dataset. Fit-for-purpose means that the data content, acquisition approach and data quality may vary for different areas depending on the needs and requirements. Within the LADM, a range of descriptions for the key concepts is available from informal to formal, and from lesser to higher detailed ones. LADM supports UN Habitat’s continuum of land rights. There is also a continuum of accuracy, land recordations, types of spatial units and parties involved, and data acquisition approaches. Th is facilitates a flexible, step-by-step approach in the development of a land administration based on the needs, priorities and requirements of users and society. Th is can be combined in a natural way with organisational development with a proper alignment to ICT development. As LADM is a model of the whole domain, the cooperation and coordination of organisations responsible for parts of the domain (such as valuers) is made transparent and mutual processes can easily be tuned. Th is makes the concept a basis for strategic development in land administration. It is important to see that existing approaches in land administration do not recognise many of the existing land rights and are often in support of specific groups and do not cover the entire population. Customary and informal land rights are often not protected. The same is valid for women’s access to land. Further, largescale land acquisition often results in formal titles combined with evictions of the people living in those areas. A complete global overview of all existing people-to-land relationships is urgently needed. For avoidance of evictions there is no need to relate

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this to the time-consuming formal boundary measurements. The LADM covers basic information-related components of land administration; the standard provides an abstract, conceptual model with three packages related to: • Parties as people and organisations. Th is can be tribes or groups or groups of groups; • Basic administrative units, rights, responsibilities, and restrictions (ownership rights); this may concern a property or customary area over a set of spatial units. All possible relationships between people and land can be included in a land administration system. This may concern real rights, personal rights, informal and customary rights. Real rights are rights over or in respect of spatial units (e.g. ownership, or usufruct). Personal rights are rights that parties have (e.g. use rights). Representation of restrictions and responsibilities are included in the domain model. It should be noted that (claimed) rights may be overlapping or may be in disagreement. Such situations should be represented on cadastral maps. • Spatial units such as parcels and the legal space of buildings, utility networks, and other constructions. Representation in the system can be point-, line-, polygon- or volume-based. The package also includes sub-packages for spatial sources (surveying), and spatial representations (geometry and topology). Th is can, for example, be drawn as boundaries on top of an image or a set of observations from a survey device. A range of parties, rights, responsibilities, restrictions, basic administrative units and spatial units can be used in the LADM context. Th is allows for many approaches under the same standardised data umbrella, resulting in maintainance and gradual quality improvements based on versioned objects when needed. As land administration deals with huge amounts of data which are of dynamic nature requiring a continuous maintenance process, the role of ICT is relevant. Without the availability of information systems, it will be difficult to guarantee good performance with respect to meeting

The purpose of the LADM is not to replace existing systems, but rather to provide a formal language for describing them, so that their similarities and differences can be better understood changing customer demands. Organisations are now increasingly confronted with rapid developments in technology (crowd sourcing, GNNSbased data acquisition devices with good options for attribute collection, data storage via Internet services, geospatial databases, open systems, and GIS), as well with a growing demand for new services and a market pull (fast data acquisition of legal and geometric data, avoidance of land grabbing, recognition of traditional land use rights, e-governance, sustainable development, electronic conveyance, and the integration of public data and systems). Modelling is a basic tool, facilitating appropriate system development and re-engineering and, in addition, it forms the basis for meaningful communication between different systems. This also enables the implementation of distributed solutions. The purpose of LADM is not to replace the existing systems, but rather to provide a formal language for describing them, so that their similarities and differences can be better understood. This is a descriptive standard, not a prescriptive standard. Dr Christiaan Lemmen, Cadastre, Land Registry and Mapping Agency, The Netherlands Prof Dr Peter van Oosterom, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands Prof. Ir. Paul van der Molen, UNU School of Land Administration Studies, University of Twente, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC)

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Land Management | Interview

We seek to make our land information model an integrated base of information There are many countries which have started initiatives in property management but they do not have the size and diversity of Brazil, says Carlos Guedes, President, National Institute for Agrarian Colonization, Brazil can compare in terms of coverage... for instance, we have joined the textual and the cartographic records, and our coverage is much higher than countries like Germany and France. Th is demonstrates the rigor and complexity of our initiative. We aim to not only expand the mapping information of our entire basic textual records, but also integrate land registry information with others such as environmental records. Brazil recently approved a new Forestry General Law which is expected to create a rural environmental registry. We plan to connect these two with the real estate registry, which will be done under the supervision of the judiciary in our country. The real challenge then is to integrate these three different cadastres with the taxation department.

What are the main challenges faced by the National Institute for Agrarian Colonization (INCRA) in the process of land administration? One of our biggest challenges is the size of Brazil. A number of countries have started initiatives in property management but they do not have the size of our country. Besides, we have at least five completely different biomes, and each regional reality and environment must be properly observed. If we


Earlier this year, INCRA announced some changes in the land management system with the implementation of a new automated system for land certification. How is this system faring? The entire land certification process will be automated by June. The fi rst step in this direction was the development of a land management system, which will host online the survey measurements made by geological professionals. Th is is a significant advancement in the history of INCRA in property certification. Already the INCRA webpage gives access to all the ‘legally ok’ properties. Only a few countries in the world offer such public information. In the second half of the year, we will come up

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with more such innovations as we make the land management system fully operational. Th is will also allow us to provide services to farmers, generate knowledge about the Brazilian agrarian sector, and ultimately direct public policies. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, which is pushing a debate on rural governance and governance of land, had recently cited Brazil as one of the most advanced countries in terms of adherence to its voluntary guidelines. INCRA has partnerships with the Army and environment ministry. There could also be a partnership with the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics for the use of its maps. How have these cross-department partnerships helped? We have a long-standing partnership with the Brazilian Army, which has helped us in land certification. The certification process is a basic requirement for any owner to make any kind of movement in the dominion of property registries and we can greatly speed up this service through our partnership with the Brazilian Army. We have also begun to forge partnerships with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, which has developed a management platform that works with agricultural elements such as bovine traceability and animal quality conditions, especially on the rebound of exports, and we are connecting that with land information. Also, our partnership with the Ministry of Environment will help in the development of the Rural Environmental Registry. The idea is to give environmental regulation work access to INCRA’s National Rural Registration so that the procedure is simplified and brings quality information to environment agencies. INCRA is strictly following the guidelines of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (INDE) developed by the Brazilian government to speed up the integration effort of base information.

We do not want to create an isolated information model on land registration. We plan to integrate land registry information with others such as environmental records How is the work progressing on developing a management platform for agricultural georeferencing of rural properties? The Ministry of Agriculture can give fi ner details on that. But what is unique about this partnership is that INCRA is riding with the Ministry of Agriculture and it will be possible to join the elements of agricultural management platform with the issue of land ownership information . How much progress has been made on the multipurpose cadastre project which will be in partnership with the Ministry of Cities? In Brazil, the Ministry of Agrarian Development is responsible for rural land planning, and the Ministry of Cities for urban land planning. The goal is to integrate these two efforts. Brazil has evolved from a perspective in which the municipal masterplans and the zoning of all projects have been incorporating different dimensions of development — social, economic, environmental — and these cadastres will help in improving the implementation of public policies. By combining the rural and urban outlook, we hope to offer an integrated foundation to municipalities and states that can then be a one-stop address for these different dimensions. Therefore, the task that lies with us today is to fundamentally evolve the rural information-based textual and cartographic records, and create a new environment.

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Standards | OGC

Has OGC Lost its Way? Geoservices REST API, an implementation specification by Esri which was to come up for voting for adoption at OGC, has created uproar in the geospatial community. Even though Esri has now withdrawn the specification from voting, questions remain over OGC’s role and vision



n May 8, an email landed on my computer with the subject line ‘Is the OGC losing its way?’ Attached to this email was a letter from the OGC Interoperability Movement Team Leaders, a group comprising concerned OGC members but not endorsed by OGC, sent to all the OGC Technical Committee members that stated in the preamble that “an important OGC event deserves your immediate attention. Th is note is in reference to a vote that is taking place at OGC on a proposed specification named ‘OGC GeoServices REST API’. If approved, it will have costly, far reaching, negative impacts on interoperability, and significantly tarnish the OGC’s reputation as a champion of interoperability”. Subsequently the Open Source Geospatial Foundation, OSGeo which has a MoU with OGC, issued an open letter signed by 134 professionals which went on to state, “We, the undersigned, have concerns that approving the ‘Geoservices REST API’ as an OGC standard, will have detrimental impacts on interoperability within the spatial industry. We strongly urge that the proposed ‘Geoservices REST API’, as it stands in May 2013, be rejected as an OGC standard”. (This letter can be viewed at Geoservices REST API is an implementation specification developed by Esri and submitted to OGC by Esri Inc, Interactive Instruments GmbH, Oracle USA and 52°North. The draft standard document states in the preface that: • The “Esri GeoServices REST Specification Version 1.0” was originally developed by Esri to provide interoperability


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between ArcGIS Server and the broader information technology community. The Esri specification had been widely implemented by Esri users and business partners over four years. In 2010, it was released as a non-proprietary open specification and has been implemented by developers outside of the Esri user community. • In 2011, Esri has offered the GeoServices REST API for consideration to become an OGC standard. An OGC Standards Working Group has been formed to document the specification in conformance with the modular specification policy of the OGC and to address comments received from the OGC membership and during the public review. Th is candidate standard is designed to be implemented without the use of Esri products. (The full draft standard can be downloaded from standards/requests/89) REST stands for Representational State Transfer, a software architecture that enables quick and easy access to Web services. It also provides a uniform interface which separates clients from servers. Thus clients do not need to know the inner details of servers and servers do not need to worry about client-user interfaces. Servers can scale up as needed and both servers and clients can be developed independently without affecting the services provided the REST interface is not disturbed. Th is is also known as loose coupling or coarse-grained architecture. Without going into further details, it is easy to see that in the geospatial world, REST is the way to go for Web services like CSW, WMS, WFS, WCS, etc. What is the issue? The issue is that OGC already has standards for these services, so what is their relation to the proposed Geoservices REST API? Unfortunately the draft specification merely maps the proposed specifications to the existing specifications and does not

address the issue of interlinking the two such that they are interoperable. Two statements in the document 12062r1 ‘GeoServices REST API — relationship with the OGC baseline’ are worrying. • The fi rst is: “While it would be possible to develop new versions of the OGC Web Services standards using a consistent framework and with support for JSON representations and a RESTful ‘binding’, this will likely take significant time due to the unresolved REST-related discussion items, the current organisation of OGC SWGs based on the individual standards and the fragmentation into separate standards.’ Standards should not be adopted on the basis of shortage of time, particularly when there are unresolved issues. • The second is: “A key difference between the GeoServices REST API and the OGC and ISO 19100 standards is that the underlying data model is firmly based on the data model of an underlying database that supports SQL and Simple Feature for SQL (SF-SQL). The OGC standards on the other hand in general use models that are based on the capabilities of UML or XML Schema.” Why has it to be an ‘underlying database’ that supports SQL; why not an SQL database itself which follows SF-SQL? The XML schema used to define GML schema is in no way a data model but a model for data representation and transport. The OGC supported data model is the Simple Feature model for SQL. It also states that the current version will be backward compatible to all existing Geoservices REST API implementations. Since such implementations are primarily based on the Esri ArcGIS server technology this is seen to give Esri and its partners an unfair advantage in the marketplace. Further it adopts JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) as the data interface format and all future versions which may be proposed by other vendors has to have request parameters and JSON representations which are compatible

Many believe that Esri, by offering its existing implementation as an open specification, can steal a march on the competition and always remain ahead by offering its enhancements as improvements on the adopted standard

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Standards | OGC

The fine print Two statements in the draft are worrying. They are: • While it would be possible to develop new versions of the OGC Web Services standards using a consistent framework and with support for JSON representations and a RESTful ‘binding’, this will likely take significant time due to the unresolved REST-related discussion items, the current organisation of OGC SWGs based on the individual standards and the fragmentation into separate standards. Critics’ take: Standards should not be adopted on the basis of shortage of time, particularly when there are unresolved issues. • A key difference between the GeoServices REST API and the OGC and ISO 19100 standards is that the underlying data model is firmly based on the data model of an underlying database that supports SQL and Simple Feature for SQL (SF-SQL). The OGC standards on the other hand in general use models that are based on the capabilities of UML or XML Schema. Critics’ take: The XML schema used to define GML schema is in no way a data model but a model for data representation and transport.


to previous versions. However, OGC clarifies that backward compatibility is not essential. It depends on what the members consensus. In any case, where does this leave the OGC Simple Features Specification and GML? There are other technical limitations like the HTTP methods PUT and DELETE are not used and POST is limited to those supported by HTML “due to limited support for HTTP in existing web client frameworks”. What limitations and why assume that these limitations will not be overcome in the future? The undercurrents According to an informed source, Esri has put up this proposal ‘in good faith’ but others have jumped the gun. The market realities also have a large role to play in this. Most governments like the US, UK and India stress open systems to encourage competition among vendors so that the customers get a good deal. It is a view amongst many that Esri, by offering its existing implementation as an open specification, can steal a march on the competition and always remain ahead by offering its enhancements as improvements on the adopted standard. Vendors who currently offer OGC-compliant Web services will then have to face a double challenge. They will have to create new services as per the draft specifications and get them certified by OGC. They will also have to explain to the customers the difference between their offerings of Geoservices REST API and vanilla W*S. Most customers do not understand OGC compliance certification and think it is like ISO or SEI CMMI. OGC tests commercial products for compliance of only OGC Web services (W*S) standards and GML Schema and is particularly pernickety about how products are labelled. Just ‘OGC certified’ is not enough; the certification label must specify the specific service and service version and the term ‘compliant’ can only be used if the specific vendor software version has undergone the OGC compliance testing successfully; otherwise the correct terminology is ‘implementing’.

To add to this confusion, since OGC does not test for Simple Feature compliance, this feature can only be ‘implementing’ and not ‘compliant’. However, OGC now also offers GML Schema compliance testing and a slew of other tests for compliance will follow. Explaining all this to customers is tiresome and will become more so with the new specification for REST API if it is adopted as is. Perhaps realising all these issues, Esri has withdrawn the specification from voting for adoption. It continues with the SWG for further discussions and hopefully, amendments to overcome these issues. To be fair to Esri it should be noted that their offering of their shapefile as an open implementation has greatly helped the geospatial community. Similarly, the KML encoding standard developed by Google has been accepted by OGC as one of their standards. Even in the present case, the Geoservices REST API addresses a need for an integrated suite of services using simple data encodings. Though partial in its implementation, it does push OGC to move in this direction. In fact, many developers have been working on REST for W*S implementations and there is a version of JSON termed GeoJSON which shows that this is the way the industry would like to move. GeoJSON’s data model is based on ISO 19107 and is also consistent with GML and KML. Though OGC asserts that there is a plan to provide a GeoJSON encoding pattern for the next version of the candidate standard, all this exposes the weakness of OGC in spearheading such moves. OGC specifications are widely referred in the GSDI SDI Cook Book but some accuse OGC of not pushing for standards for an Open SDI and waiting passively for any three members to form a SWG on whatever issue that takes their fancy. But according to OGC, the matter does not end there. The GeoREST Services and all other SWG charters are subject to review and approval by the OGC Technical Committee. Further, all draft SWG Charters are publicly announced and available for public review and comment. Th is does not explain why OGC does

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not push for an open SDI focussing on identified issues and their solutions. However, OGC points out that a number of key OGC initiatives are the result of staff facilitating the process and encouraging members to bring candidate standards into the OGC or to start new standards initiatives that are well aligned with current market and business trends. Examples are numerous, such as the new Point Of Interest work, Internet of Th ings standards activities, liaison work with the Augmented Reality community and so forth. So what is in store for the geospatial users? Some feel that adoption of the Geoservices REST API as a standard would benefit the geospatial community. They feel that waiting for a ‘good’ RESTful API standard to evolve would take at least two years by which time the technology would have moved on. The same fact is used by those who oppose the adoption to point out that the proposed draft standard is based on existing technology. There is a published document ( whitepapers/pdfs/geoservices-rest-spec. pdf) already available and therefore there is no need to have this adopted by OGC merely for interoperability with Esri implementation. To meet the challenges of the future, it does not make sense to adopt what is already a well-established engineering document. OGC standards need to look beyond the immediate and address the foundations of SDIs between nations. Th is role is measured in decades and not years therefore OGC need to start with a new design that can be supported over the next two decades. However, OGC feels that this criticism is unfair as it has a vision for the future of SDI which is well articulated in its recent blogs and presentations. In closing, standard confl icts are not new, and results can be startling. In the 1980s, there was a huge confl ict between Sony’s Betamax and JVC’s VHS in the

field of home video tape recorders. VHS emerged the winner because it offered a lower cost and longer recording times. In the case of digital video recording also there were two standards — MMCD and SD — supported by different groups of manufacturers. In the 1990s, both groups approached IBM for help on fi le formats. Keeping the Betamax-VHS confl ict in mind IBM convened a technical working group which rejected both formats and through a process of compromise came out with the DVD specification which holds to this day. Is there a lesson in this? Another organisation which is deep into standards development is the IEEE. A study of the process of developing IEEE standards is worth considering. Among other aspects, the standards undergo extensive testing and the balloting process requires 75% return with 75% approval by the balloting group which consists of persons who are members of the IEEE-SA and are interested in the standard. Th is is defi nitely an improvement of the OGC balloting method of 50% plus one. Given the contentious issues besetting the Geoservices REST API specification, OGC may like to look into some of these aspects as well. It should be pointed out that many OGC standards do undergo testing prior to release as a standard. Using candidate standards in Interoperability Experiments, OGC testbeds, and so forth insures some level of maturity of the standard before it is approved. However OGC concedes that they can improve in this area and are always looking for ways to improve the quality of their standards. OGC has not lost its way but is at a crossroad and members need to help it along to fi nd the best route to a bright future. The key has to be collaboration and compromise and enlightened leadership. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are that of author and Geospatial World does not necessarily subscribe to the sentiments expressed.

Prof. Arup Dasgupta, Managing Editor

There is no need to have this standard adopted by OGC merely for interoperability with Esri implementation. OGC needs to look beyond the immediate and address the foundations of SDIs between nations

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‘Geospatial data is a public good, so it ought to be available freely and easily’

A passionate advocate of free and open data, Barbara Ryan, Secretariat Director, Group on Earth Observations, talks about GEO’s mission and how it is looking at the members and participating organisations to bridge the distance between data and actual users What are the key objectives for the Group on Earth Observations ? The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) has four main objectives: improve and coordinate observation systems; advance broad open data policies and practices; foster increased use of earth observation (EO) data; and build capacity. GEO also addresses nine Societal Benefit Areas (SBAs): agriculture, biodiversity, climate, disasters, ecosystems, energy, health, water, and weather. GEO works towards integration of EO systems in addressing these SBAs. Today, we have 90 Member States (governments) and 67 Participating Organisations, including United Nations’ organisations, professional societies, and other in-


ternational organisations with an EO mandate or interest. GEO is a voluntary partnership, building on both financial contributions to the GEO Trust Fund as well as in-kind programmatic contributions to the GEO work plan. Our intent is to leverage existing EO systems that were often designed for one purpose by using the observations obtained from these systems in other application areas. Take for instance the network that was put in place for weather forecasting. We are now using the data that was collected primarily for weather observations in other sectors like climate, energy and agriculture. We are striving to create these linkages and synergies across all relevant observation ystems — space-based and in situ. Are private EO companies part of GEO? Since its establishment in 2005, GEO has recognised the value of engaging the private sector in the development and utilisation of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) — the end product or manifestation of our

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efforts. As a result, there have been many in-kind contributions throughout the GEO Work Plan, and across the SBAs that have been made by the private sector. Members of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) have contributed greatly to the development of the GEOSS Common Infrastructure. The private sector has also been involved in work associated with the Energy SBA. At the GEO-IX Plenary held in November 2012 in Brazil, GEO Members decided to formally broaden stakeholder engagement by including the commercial sector, foundations and development banks. This decision now lays the groundwork for framing a more robust private sector engagement strategy in GEO. An example of how this could unfold is the development of a marketplace for private-sector vendors who create value-added products and services using EO data from GEOSS. While the GEO governance structure is likely to remain intergovernmental, the role that the private sector can play in bringing EO data, information and services to environmental decision making and also the public at large is substantial. How is GEO helping to establish linkages between data users and remote sensing agencies represented in GEO? There are several approaches being used. From a purely remote sensing or space-based observations perspective, we turn to an organisation called CEOS — the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites. In 2007-2008, CEOS made a strategic decision to align its programme of study with the GEO Work Plan and to assume responsibilities as the space coordination arm of GEO. CEOS now actively coordinates the activities of countries with space agencies in order to optimise contributions to the GEO Work Plan. Bringing data to users, whether it is remotely sensed data, or in-situ, including ocean-based, ground-based or airborne data, is in sync with GEO’s original objective of fostering increased use of EO data for informed public policy decisions in the nine SBAs. In and of itself, EO data is of little economic value, yet public policy officials need analyses and recommendations that are derived from it.

It is therefore the value-added products, models, other analysis tools and services that create the true and substantial economic value associated with earth observation. GEO Members and Participating Organisations contribute activities along this entire value chain, and we look to them to bridge the gaps between EO data and actual users. It is now time, however, to expand the participation so that more organisations can help bridge these gaps. Given that there is a data deluge but not many applications today, is GEO looking at creating its own mechanisms in trying to develop applications? All the projects in the GEO work plan facilitate the coming together of governments and Participating Organisations, whether it is for open access to EO data and information, or encouraging the International Charter for Space and Major Disasters to broaden its policy for universal access to the Charter for all GEO Members. There are two special projects to which I would like to draw your attention. One is an initiative endorsed by the G20 Agricultural Ministers for Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM). Working with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), governments and the European Commission, experts are designing a programme to improve crop forecasts using EO data. As with the improvement of weather forecasts over time, forecasting food prices can also improve through more accurate crop estimates and more effective drought management strategies or any such event that has an impact on agricultural production. Both in–situ and satellite observations have key roles to play in this effort. Another project is the Global Forest Observation Initiative or GFOI where satellite imagery and in-situ measurements are being used in several prototypes or national demonstrators in selected areas of the world to develop, test and harmonise methodologies for more accurate forest assessments. These are only two examples, and there are many more in each of the other SBAs. Having

You can’t just hand over data to public policy officials and tell them to use it! You need to have models, analysis tools and services in that value chain

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said this, much remains to be done. There are still specific challenges and gaps that need to be addressed. Among these are inadequate access to data, particularly in the developing world; technical infrastructure shortcomings; gaps in both spatial and temporal datasets and inadequate data integration and interoperability. GEO Members and Participating Organisations are committed to addressing these challenges, but would certainly welcome other partners and creative approaches given the sheer magnitude of the effort.

With the policy change for Landsat data, more than 186 countries have access to this data. Can you imagine if there is a similar data policy for all government satellites?


There are a lot of restrictions on the free trade of satellite imagery. Do you think satellite imagery needs to be treated like a commodity in order to ensure that the value of earth observation reaches everyone? What role can GEO play in this? I am not an economist, and I may not fully understand all the implications of trade policy, but I know that satellite imagery, if made more globally available, would create more economic value than is being created today from the sale of raw data alone. My experience shows that geospatial data is primarily a public good, and therefore should be made widely available. It is largely the taxpayers’ money that is involved in putting EO satellites and the associated infrastructure in place, and therefore all taxpayers should benefit from these initial investments. The data derived from these satellites can and should be distributed via the Internet at no or little cost. With the policy change for Landsat data, more than 186 countries now have access to this data — and that’s only one satellite. Can you imagine if there were similar data policies for all government EO satellites? The uptake, usage and development of value-added products and services would no longer be artificially constrained by access limitations to data. These changes if implemented globally, would offer more economic return. Is there any initiative by GEO to encourage member states to have an open policy? A lot of countries have restrictions on satellite data. One of GEO’s primary objectives is to advance broad open data policies and practices. The economic value is not so much in the data itself

but in the downstream use of the data. I actually think the same principles would apply to the data stream from private sector satellites. It will take longer but I believe this point will ultimately be reached — that is, people will want (and pay more for) the value-added information products, applications and services than the data itself. Is GEO looking at forging any bilateral and multilateral agreements, or creating an environment where data can be easily accessed among countries or within a region? GEO’s structure of 90 Member States and 67 Participating Organisations automatically creates an environment for multilateral discussions, and the GEO Data Sharing Working Group is no exception. This working group also studies licensing agreements where copyrights can be maintained even if the data is distributed freely. GEO also undertakes targeted dialogues negotiations. One such example is with the UN Convention on Biodiversity (CBD). We have a bilateral agreement with CBD to examine how biodiversity and ecosystem data available through GEOSS can better address their strategic targets and needs. Is GEO actively working with Rio +20 on climate change as well? We participated in the Rio +20 Convention at a number of technical side events. A statement released at the convention acknowledged the work of GEO and encouraged its parties to work with us, and advance the sustainable development goals. There are spatial data infrastructures at various levels — national, regional and international levels. Is GEO also trying to build synergies with these SDIs at various levels? At the international level, we are strengthening linkages with the GGIM (Global Geospatial Information Management) initiative of the UN and the GSDI (Global Spatial Data Infrastructure) effort. At the regional level, we have AfriGEOSS initiative which is bringing the international efforts of GEO to Africa. Regardless of your scale of interest, the goals and objectives of GEO, which call for more integration of EO data, information and services, can be applied.

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Conference Report | Geospatial World Forum 2013

Geospatial rendezvous O

ver 1,000 people from 80 countries across the seas congregated at Rotterdam, The Netherlands, to take part in Geospatial Media and Communications’ mega event, Geospatial World Forum 2013. The four-day event brought together experts from various government organisations, industry, academia and users on a single platform to discuss, plan and evolve strategies for the geospatial industry. Adding a touch of sparkle to the gala event, an award function was organised to recognise outstanding professionals and organisations who have taken the industry several notches high. Based on the theme, ‘Monetising Geospatial Value and Practices’, the geospatial rendezvous aimed at enriching the geospatial ecosystem with discussions on the vast gamut of technology, application and policy framework from across the world. With so many plenary discussions, seminars, workshops, panel discussions, dialogue and exchange forums, delegates had a tough time deciding which ones to attend. Setting the tone for the conference, Drs Th A.J. Burmanje (Dorine), Chair, Executive Board, Cadastre, Land Registry and Mapping Agency, The Netherlands, discussed how the growing economic crisis is promoting acceptance of geospatial technology as an enabling tool. The chief guest on the occasion, Alhaji A.B. Inusah Fuseini, Ghana’s Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, said geospatial technology was crucial for economic and social development and poverty eradication in the developing world. Giving example from his country, he said Ghana’s rapid growth has led to rapid urbanisation in the recent years and this cannot happen in isolation. The conference also highlighted that calculating return on investment is very important for industry managers to adopt geospatial technology, who often tend to shy away owing to significant upfront investments and lack of knowledge. Chris Gibson, Senior Vice President, Trimble, argued that some benefits of geospatial data and technology cannot be calculated in terms of money. Barbara Ryan, Director, Group on Earth Observations (GEO) secretariat,


Clockwise from top: Drs Tha A.J. Burmanje with Ghana’s Minister for Land Resources Alhaji A.B.I Fuseini; Topcon CEO Raymond O’Connor; HP’s V-P Ramon Pastor ; Autodesk V-P Amar Hanspal and GEO Secretariat Director Barbara Ryan

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explained that the economic value of geospatial data does not lie in data itself, but in its use in downstream application areas. The stage was abuzz with users and industries, from all the four corners, deliberating how GIS has become an inherent part of their workflows. “The landscape and business direction of the geospatial market is changing but are we changing along with it?” With this question Ray O’Connor, President and CEO, Topcon Positioning Systems, set the stage for the debate. The business direction of geospatial industry is towards construction automation and we have to turn this process into reality, he added. In a similar vein, Amar Hanspal, Vice President, IPG product Group, Autodesk said, “The future of geospatial is design technology. There is a growing need for the current generation of GIS to evolve.” Captivating the audiences with his presentation on ‘trends in commercial satellite imagery’, Stephen Wood, Vice President, Analytics Centre, DigitalGlobe, said from being seen as a spy satellite company, DigitalGlobe (and other commercial satellite companies across the world) have come a long way where they are constantly monitoring the changes on the earth’s surface — be it human rights violations for Amnesty International or conflicts in Sudan for the Sat Sentinel project. Mark Reichardt, President and CEO, Open Geospatial Consortium, explained how standards save time and reduce costs, as it applies a uniform process to all data before it goes into the system. The exhibition hall displaying cutting-edge technologies was chock-a-block with who’s who of the geospatial world and user industries from a wide spectrum of countries.

Clockwise from top: The Holland pavillion which won the Best Pavillion Award at the exhibition; Hexagon CEO Ola Rollen; Trimble V-P Channel Development Peter Large; a plenary session at the Geospatial World Forum in Rotterdam; Bentley Systems Senior V-P Ted Lambo; MapStory Foundation Founder Christopher Tucker with Ingrid Vandan Berghe, Director General, National Geographic Institute, Belgium; and DigitalGlobe V-P Stephen Wood

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Conference Report | Geospatial World Forum 2013

Geospatial World

Leadership Awards



1 4




7 68


1. Geospatial Content Company: OpenStreetMap 2. Business Leader of the Year: Raymond O’Connor, President & CEO, Topcon 3. Geospatial Entrepreneur: Melker Schorling, Chairman of the Board, Hexagon AB 4. Strategic Merger: DigitalGlobe-GeoEye 5. Geospatial Technology Company: Trimble Navigation 6. National Mapping Organisation: NASG China 7. Lifetime Achievement: Professor Gottfried Konecny, IPI, Hannover, Germany 8. Geospatial Business Hub: The City of Hyderabad, India 9. Geospatial Solutions Company: Critigen Juliana Rotich from Usahidi, Kenya, was awarded Geospatial Ambassador of the Year; she couldn’t attend the ceremony

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Geospatial World

Policy Awards






1. SDI: Coordinating Agency for Federal Geographical Information, Switzerland 2. Technology and Knowledge Transfer: NASA (Earth Science DivisionApplied Sciences Programme, USA 3. Geospatial Information Law: Indonesia Geospatial Information Agency 4. Database Standards: AGIV, Belgium 5. 3D Standards: Kadaster and Geonovum, The Netherlands 6. Image Data Management and Processing: Rasdaman GmbH, Germany 7. Sensors: Visual Intelligence LLP, USA 8. Surveying: RIEGL LMS Gmbh, Austria


Geospatial World

Innovation Awards 6



8 Geospatial World | May 2013

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Conference Report | Geospatial World Forum 2013

Geospatial World

Excellence Awards 1

3 2



6 7 70

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1. Environment Protection, Monitoring and Management: Australian National Water Commission and Sinclair Knight Merz, Australia 2. Water Resources Management: Azersu OJSC and Odakent Ltd, Azerbaijan 3. Land Management: Shenzhen Municipal Commission of Urban Planning and Land Resources, China 4. Transportation Management: Land Transport Authority, Singapore 5. City Planning and Land Management: Al Ain Municipality, UAE 6. Disaster Management and Mitigation: Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and Previstar 7. Agriculture: Ministry of Agriculture, Russian Federation and Sovzond Company 8. Urban Planning: Norrkopings Kommun, Sweden, and Agency9 9. Visitor Information Systems: Saudi Authority for Tourism and Antiquities, Saudi Arabia 10. Land Records management: Directorate of Settlement and Land Records, Goa, India and Goa Electronics 11. Utility Services: Epcor Water Services, Canada

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Our built environment needs better spatial communication


round the world, few institutions have a greater unmet need for crosscommunity communication than those involved with the built environment. The communities include not only architecture, engineering and construction, who are struggling to improve construction efficiencies, but also facilities management, appraisal, finance, urban planning, insurance, and emergency response. Other key stakeholders include government departments responsible for things such as ownership certification, land use regulation, coastal zones, airports, archaeological surveys, transportation, and electricity and water and sewer connections. Further, with the advent of smart buildings and smart cities, built environment information systems support the work of those who provide energy, broadband, and new types of spatial information such as 3D urban models, points of information (PoIs), mobile navigation services and location marketing services. Cultural diversity and the large number of different institutions and stakeholder groups involved in the built environment make agreeing on common spatial communication standards a difficult task, yet we are beginning to see progress, because so much is at stake.

OGC’s alliance partners Over the years, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has been building a network of “alliance partner” organisations, 72

many of whom are standards development organizations (SDOs) in market domains related to the built environment. Cross-domain discussions among alliance partners yield many creative possibilities for the integration of computer aided design (CAD) and geospatial capabilities through open standards. SDO member organisations which provide technical representation in the technical committees and working groups of both the OGC and these other SDOs drive progress toward standards and standards-related best practices that solve the built environment’s cross-community communication requirements.

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— Computer graphics, image processing and environmental presentation ISO Technical Committee 204 — Intelligent transport systems ISO Technical Committee 211 (ISO TC/211) — Geographic information/ Geomatics Open Standards Consortium for Real Estate (OSCRE) Mortgage Information Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) US National Institute for Building Standards (NIBS) — BuildingSMART Alliance

Governments work with SDOs to drive progress

Ultimately, everyone benefits from standards work. A recent German DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V.) Study showed that interoperability has a greater positive impact on national economy than patents or licences. Governments recognise that smart cities attract smart people and smart investment, and they are turning to SDOs for advice. Well-informed government organisations can spur progress by setting an example. The Netherlands, for example, a low-lying coastal country threatened by climate change, has provided an open platform for inputting and outCross-community communication about the built environment requires technical interoperability between geospatial applications putting high-resolution and CAD/BIM applications elevation data, and also The following SDOs are OGC’s some of the other alliance partners: • IEEE Technical Committee 9 (Sensor Web) • ISO IEC JTC 1/SC 24/WG 8

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Multiple SDOs must work together to create the built environment information technology standards framework

3D building information encoded in the OGC City Geography Markup Language (CityGML) Encoding Standard. Germany, too, has made major progress in adopting OGC’s CityGML and buildingSMART International’s BIM standard (Industry Foundation Class (IFC) — the key standard for managing the detail and lifecycle of a building. The OGC, BuildingSMART International (bSI), ISO TC 211 and ISO TC 59/SC 13 (Organisation of information about construction works) are discussing various harmonisation approaches. A ‘Civil Summit’ held in Waltham, Massachusetts (USA) and Abu Dhabi earlier this year was organised cooperatively by bSi and OGC.

Relevant activities in the OGC The OGC 3DIM Domain Working Group (DWG) works with the OGC CityGML Standards Working Group (SWG) and other groups to facilitate the definition and development of interface and encoding standards that enable software solutions that allow infrastructure owners, builders, emergency responders, community planners, and the traveling public to

better manage and navigate complex built environments. The OGC IndoorGML SWG is developing an application schema of OGC GML and progressing the document to the state of an adopted OGC standard. The goal is to establish a common schema framework for indoor navigation applications. The OGC Energy and Utilities DWG addresses spatial information integration requirements of organisations engaged in planning, delivery, operations, reliability and ongoing management of electric, gas, oil and water services throughout the world. OGC members have recently created a Land Development SWG to first look into harmonising LandXML with OGC standards, but it will also look into other Civil, Survey or Land Development topics. The Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) DWG and the Sensor Web for the Internet of Things (IoT) SWG have an important role to play in smart buildings and smart cities. OGC members have proposed an OGC POI SWG to produce a draft encoding standard for POI data. Places of

Interest (POIs) can be defined as those places that serve a public function. The OGC Augmented Reality Markup Language (ARML) 2.0 SWG works to provide an extensible standards framework for augmented reality applications. LiDAR is an increasingly important source of information in the built environment. Some OGC members are investigating how they can serve point cloud information through services that implement OGC Web service standards

Participate! The boundaries between communities of the built environment are dissolving as their communication requirements are addressed in technical standards. If your organisation is active in any of these communities, we invite you to get involved in the OGC and in our partner organisations. You can help shape the standards that are shaping the information-rich built environment of tomorrow. Mark Reichardt, President and CEO, Open Geospatial Consortium Geospatial World | June 2013

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