FIG Peer Review Journal


Presentation of a Software Application (Cadastre Toolbox) for Land Management and Administration Purposes Based on Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) (3328)

Volkmar Herbst and Michael Wagner (Germany)
Mr. Volkmar Herbst
GCI Dr. Schindler Geoconsult Int. GmbH
Marienbrunnenstr. 4
Corresponding author Mr. Volkmar Herbst (email: herbst[at], tel.: + 49 341 8687520)

[ abstract ] [ handouts ] [ handouts ]

Published on the web 2009-02-16
Received 2008-12-01 / Accepted 2009-02-16
This paper is one of selection of papers published for the FIG Working Week 2009 in Eilat, Israel and has undergone the FIG Peer Review Process.

FIG Working Week 2009
ISBN 978-87-90907-73-0 ISSN 2307-4086


Free / Libre Open Source Software is increasingly used in the private sector and in public administration throughout the developed countries of the world. Many software modules have been developed and for many applications the use and development of software based on the Open Source platform has proved to be economically viable. The market for GIS in countries with a low BIP is often not developed. Also the use of Open Source in these countries is mostly limited to web hosting and web applications. The prerequisite for the use of FLOSS is, however, linked with the availability of software applications which have been developed for a certain purpose. These include, amongst others, server and web applications, office applications, but also increasingly GIS applications. A cadastre toolbox based on FLOSS, which does not bind the user to a proprietary software product, could be a valuable tool to develop land administration systems in developing countries. At the same time, the user or organisation remains independent of software vendors and ITC service companies as the code can be modified by any qualified expert. This increases fair competition and will result in better implementations. Since there is almost no FLOSS application available yet in the sector of land management and administration the company GCI (Dr. Schindler - Geo Consult International GmbH & Co. KG) has started developing a solution to fill exactly that gap. The development was initiated several months ago for a cadastre project in Senegal. The data model used is an adapted version of the Core Cadastral Domain Model of the FIG. In this way the application and database can be easily customised according to the particular requirements of any other country. Much functionality has been directly implemented in the database. This includes for instance the maintenance of a history for the data. When parcels are merged or divided, the data as it was before the change automatically becomes historical and remains in the database. Thus, the cadastral situation can be reviewed for any point in time. By implementing a lot of functionality in the database on the server the user is quite independent of particular GIS desktop software (which functions as a client to the server). The solution is mainly based on the FLOSS Database Management System PostgreSQL / PostGIS. The client components can be either Open Source desktop applications such as gvSIG, QuantumGIS, etc. or a proprietary desktop GIS like ArcView / ArcGIS.
Keywords: Standards; Digital cadastre; Cadastre; Land management; Free / Libre Open Source Software; FLOSS; land administration