Land administration domain model is an ISO standard now

Christiaan Lemmen, Peter van Oosterom, Harry Uitermark, Kees de Zeeuw

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A group of land administration professionals initiated the development of a data model that facilitates the quick and efficient set-up of land registrations. Just like social issues benefit from proper land administration, land administration systems themselves benefit from proper data standards. In many countries the responsibilities and tasks in land administration are distributed among different organisations. Sometimes those organisations deal with different administrative territories. All of which may have subdivisions again: central, regional and local responsibilities, with either public or private roles. As a result, the governance and quality aspects of the data sets vary. Land administrations worldwide are often incomplete, data are not up-to-date and not fit for purpose. At the same time, new Land Administration Systems (LASs) are being developed all over the world again and again. Sometimes countries even have more than one IT-system for land administration. The wheel keeps being re-invented. This has a huge impact on the continuity and effect of LASs. Internationally, the wish emerged for a widely accepted data model (domain) standard, making use of the knowledge already existing worldwide. This wish was supported by UNHABITAT, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the UN and the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG). This data model should be able to function as the core of any land administration system. The standard should be flexible, widely applicable and function as a gathering point of a state-of-the-art international knowledge base on this theme. This common standard has now been designed and is currently proposed for implementation. It is called the Land Administration Domain Model, in short: LADM. It is available since December 1st 2012 as a formal International Standard, published as ISO 19152:2012. This paper analyses the impact of the standard with regard to the development of (and information exchange) between Land Administration Systems. Real impact is already visible in open source software development for land administration. The continuum of land rights is supported. There is also a continuum of accuracy, of land recordation’s, of types of spatial units, of types of parties involved, and of data acquisition approaches. All this is supported in LADM – allowing for a flexible, step by step approach in the development of a Land Administration based on the needs, priorities and requirements of users and society. This can be combined in a natural way with organisational development with a proper alignment to ICT development. This makes the concept of LADM a basis for strategic development in land administration.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event14th Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty 2013: Moving towards transparent Land Governance: Evidence-based next Steps - Washington, United States
Duration: 8 Apr 201312 Apr 2013
Conference number: 14


Conference14th Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty 2013
CountryUnited States


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    Lemmen, C., van Oosterom, P., Uitermark, H., & de Zeeuw, K. (2013). Land administration domain model is an ISO standard now. Paper presented at 14th Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty 2013, Washington, United States.