FIG Peer Review Journal


The cadastral parcel rejuvenated; evolving from property unit to core element in spatial data infrastructures (2602)

Martin Salzmann (Netherlands) and Julius Ernst (Austria)
Dr Martin Salzmann
PO Box 9046
7300 GH
Corresponding author Dr Martin Salzmann (email: martin.salzmann[at], tel.: +31-88-1833196)

[ abstract ] [ handouts ] [ handouts ]

Published on the web 2008-03-21
Received 2008-01-31 / Accepted 2008-03-14
This paper is one of selection of papers published for the FIG Working Week 2008 in Stockholm, Sweden and has undergone the FIG Peer Review Process.

FIG Working Week 2008
ISBN 978-87-90907-67-9 ISSN 2307-4086


Until recently the cadastral parcel has been primarily used for land registration and land planning purposes. It has been pivotal in the cadastral domain in finding information on land and providing access to rights, restrictions and use. The INSPIRE directive has defined the cadastral parcel as one of its core elements. In the Inspire-context the parcel is the smallest, land-covering spatial element basically available in all (European) countries. This gives the parcel a new lease of life. Apart from being at the basis of land administration and land management it will more and more become a basic element in spatial information management in general. Based on the excellent work of the UNECE on real property units a joint working group of Eurogeographics and the Permananent Committee on Cadastres in the European Union (PCC) has elaborated on the role of the cadastral parcel in spatial data infrastructures (SDI's) in general. The paper deals with our findings and gives a deep insight in the possible roles of the parcel. As a spatial element the parcel is not directly linked to properties, but finds its use as the smallest common geographic unit that is widely available and well updated. In this role the parcel is a locator. Its elements are related to its position, boundaries, area and its history. Given the importance of land registries and cadastres its updating is warranted. In a way the parcel has rejuvinated itself: it will continue to serve cadastres but increasingly will be the large-scale core element of SDI's. References: [1]: UNECE (2004); Guidelines on real property units and identifiers [and their importance in supporting effective national land administration and land management]; UN, Geneva. [2]: Eurogeographics and PCC (2007); The cadastal parcel in NSDI's and in Inspire.
Keywords: Geoinformation/GI; GSDI; e-Governance; Digital cadastre; Cadastre; Land management; Spatial planning