Remote sensing for property valuation: A data source comparison in support of fair land taxation in Rwanda

M.N. Koeva*, Oscar Gasuku, M. Lengoiboni, Kwabena Assiama, Rohan Bennett, Jossam Potel, J. Zevenbergen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
158 Downloads (Pure)


Remotely sensed data is increasingly applied across many domains, including fit-for-purpose land administration (FFPLA), where the focus is on fast, affordable, and accurate property information collection. Property valuation, as one of the main functions of land administration systems, is influenced by locational, physical, legal, and economic factors. Despite the importance of property valuation to economic development, there are often no standardized rules or strict data requirements for property valuation for taxation in developing contexts, such as Rwanda. This study aims at assessing different remote sensing data in support of developing a new approach for property valuation for taxation in Rwanda; one that aligns with the FFPLA philosophy. Three different remote sensing technologies, (i) aerial images acquired with a digital camera, (ii) WorldView2 satellite images, and (iii) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) images obtained with a DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus quadcopter, are compared and analyzed in terms of their fitness to fulfil the requirements for valuation for taxation purposes. Quantitative and qualitative methods are applied for the comparative analysis. Prior to the field visit, the fundamental concepts of property valuation for taxation and remote sensing were reviewed. In the field, reference data using high precision GNSS (Leica) was collected and used for quantitative assessment. Primary data was further collected via semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. The results show that UAVs have the highest potential for collecting data to support property valuation for taxation. The main reasons are the prime need for accurate-enough and up-to-date information. The comparison of the different remote sensing techniques and the provided new approach can support land valuers and professionals in the field in bottom-up activities following the FFPLA principles and maintaining the temporal quality of data needed for fair taxation
Original languageEnglish
Article number3563
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalRemote sensing
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2021


  • Property valuation
  • Remote sensing
  • UAV
  • Taxation
  • Land
  • Rwanda
  • UT-Gold-D


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