Quantifying the Overlap between Cadastral and Visual Boundaries: A Case Study from Vanuatu

Xianghuan Luo, R.M. Bennett, M. Koeva, C. Lemmen, Nathan Quadros

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Cadastres are argued as an essential tool to support land tenure security. Low cadastral coverage in developing countries creates a driver for innovative methods to expedite the mapping processes. As a human construct, the morphology of parcel boundaries is a diverse and complex topic: there are limited generalized rules for identifying, describing, and classifying them. This paper studies both the institutional and spatial aspects of cadastral boundaries, in order to provide more contemporary knowledge about the morphology of cadastral boundaries. This study inspects the relationship between topographic objects and general boundaries in the case context of Port Vila, Vanuatu. Statistical analysis reveals that under a dialectical error tolerance, large percentages of cadastral boundaries coincide with topographic objects. Specifically, in dense urban regions, road edges and building walls coincide with the majority of cadastral boundaries, with proportions of 49% and 35%, respectively. In suburban regions, the fence (25%), instead of buildings, plays an important role in marking a parcel border. The landscape is observed to have significant impact on parcel morphology. Therefore, constructing a map based on automatic or semi-automatic identification and classification of these features could significantly contribute to cadastral mapping in developing countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32
Number of pages4
JournalUrban Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2017


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