Cadastral Mapping Using Remote Sensing And Geographic Information System

Project and Seminar Material for Estate Management

Cadastral Mapping Using Remote Sensing And Geographic Information System


Banjiram is one of the communities resettled in the year 1980 to make room for the construction of Kiri dam to supply the Savannah Sugar Company with water for Irrigation. As part of the resettlement program, the Federal Government then, cleared and surveyed an alternative location (now New Banjiram). A cadastral survey was carried out and plots were physically delineated on the ground with beacons at the corners of each plot. Land right were orally transmitted and the evidence of such land rights has been based on the knowledge of community elders and village chiefs. With increasing population and consequent competition for land, there has been prevailing tenure insecurity with its associated conflicts and litigations over land ownership.

One of the most important documents: paper-based cadastral layout of the area containing delineated parcels has been lying the cabinet of the Adamawa state Ministry of Lands and Survey in a decaying state. This research is aimed at carrying out a cadastral mapping of Banjirm using Remote Sensing and GIS with a view to developing digital cadastral Information System which has the ability to integrate the map and the record of ownership and use. To achieve this, the cadastral layout of the study area was scanned and georeferenced in ArcGIS 10.1. Parcels were then digitally delineated (digitized) and given unique identification numbers. To obtain the textual component of the cadastre (land ownership and use information), a fieldwork was carried out to determine the existing land rights through a participatory process of adjudication. The adjudication involved visits to each parcel by a team comprising the researcher, a representative of the traditional heads and member of the Land owners union. To ease the process, a remotely-sensed imagery (Google Earth image) upon which the digitized parcels with unique numbers was overlaid was presented to land owners and witnesses (adjoining land owners) to visually identify their parcels and present their claims.

A questionnaire (adjudication form) was used to record information on land owners and their parcels. A digital camera was also used to capture the passport photograph of each land owner. After the fieldwork, a cadastral database (containing the digital record of land owners and their parcels) was then designed and built using the information gathered. Analysis and testing of the efficiency of the database was then performed and a variety of results were generated. Major findings of this research include:

  1. There were 1278 parcel with 1166 owner;
  2. About 1086 (84.977%) parcels were allocated while192 (15.023%) parcels were not allocated;
  3. There were 865 (67.762%) parcels that were developed while 413 (32.238%) parcels were not developed;
  4. Out of the 1278 parcels: 758 (31.91%) were found to be used for residential purpose; 32 (20.016%) for institutional purpose; 11 (2.431) for commercial purpose; 158 (14.2%) for agricultural purpose and 301 (31.408%) for mixed uses.

Chapter One


1.1 Background To The Study

Land is a great resource and indeed, the backbone of wealth in many communities, whether urban or rural. People have depended on land for food, shelter, employment, resource, cultural and religious needs. Land is the foundation of all human activity. The relationship of people to land is fundamental to human existence (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), 2005). Issues of land have been identified to be a cause of civil and international wars and even genocide (Bell, 2011). Conflicts over ownership, land grabs, social disharmony, reductions in yields, diminished food security, weak land markets and negative impacts on the environment are associated with regions with poor system of land information management (McLaren, 2011).

Current and reliable land information in terms of ownership, land use and value is necessary for: ensuring the security of property rights; reduction in litigation and less work for the courts; better land assessment and taxation; better information base for planning and administration; improving map production (such as base map, utility asset maps, zone maps and so on); easier transactions in land; establishing a transparent and operational land market; less corruption in land affairs and update the land information (Kabir, 2009). The cadastre is the core component of land information management (Andersson, 1986).

The International Federation of Surveyors (FIG, 1995) defines a cadastre as a parcel based and up-to-date land information system containing a record of interests in land (e.g. rights, restrictions and responsibilities). Williamson & Ting (1999) identified three forms of cadastre: the fiscal cadastre (used for generating revenue through taxation); legal or judicial cadastre (used for protecting property ownership rights) and; multi-purpose cadastre (combining both functions of the fiscal and legal cadastres as well as being used for utility management, planning, environmental management, etc.). The core component of cadastres, Cadastral information system or Land Information System is the cadastral map obtained through cadastral mapping.

Synonymous with cadastre and cadastral mapping is land registration. According to McLaughlin & Nichols (1989) land registration is process of recording legally recognized interests in land. The overall aim of land registration is building a cadastre (Jing, 2011). Crucial to land registration is adjudication.

The term adjudication was first used in 1950’s to describe systematic ascertainment of rights in land (Lawrence, 1985). Adjudication is the first stage of land registration aimed at formalizing land through the procedure of land rights identification, demarcation cadastral surveying and mapping (Dale and McLaughlin, 1999). Adjudication occurs in two cases where no earlier register information is available or where the old information becomes obsolete with very bad quality (Jing, 2011). Cadastral mapping could be described as the process and methods of building of information on land. Traditionally, cadastres and cadastral mapping systems have been manual and paper-based (Borzacchiello & Craglia, 2012). They contained a numerical/diagrammatic description (a graphical description of land parcels) and a separate list of land register (containing a list of names and rights of land holder) (Zevenbergen, 2002). Indexing schemes were used to link the map and the register.

Recent developments in the Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) and web-based GIS, internet communications, band width and transmission speeds have necessitated and made possible the development of digital cadastres and cadastral mapping systems allowing the map and the register to be integrated into one single system (a digital cadastral map (database)) (Sutherland & Nichols, 2002). With the development of Geo-information technologies (GIT) adjudication of land rights benefits greatly from the use of Remote Sensing/Photogrammetry (Jing, 2011). Remotely-sensed georeferenced orthophotos have been used for adjudication in various regions of the world (Meijs, Kapintango & Witmer (2009). Remote Sensing and Geographic information systems (GIS) have therefore become important geometric tools for building of digital cadastral systems (Albert, Edmund, Merem & Yaw, 2006). Elayachi & Semlali (2001) noted that a digital cadastral map is not a map in the traditional sense, but a map in which attributes (tabular) and map (graphic) data on cadastral unit are stored in the same database. They added that a digital cadastral map registers each parcel and its owners and describes all the spatial structures consisting of location, boundaries and contents.

While Western nations are advancing in the creation of multi-purpose cadastres that are aimed at supporting sustainable development, developing countries are only recently starting to establish more formal cadastral records for fiscal or other purpose.

In Nigerian, cadastral mapping land/registration and administration suffer from among others lack of use of appropriate technology in surveying and the mapping industry. Cadastral maps are worn out and outdated and modernization efforts are only made for urban lands and are still on pilot basis (Oboli & Akpoyoware, 2010). Only a few states including Lagos, Kano and the Federal Capital Territory have computerized land information (Bell, (2011). A greater part of land in Northern Nigeria is held under a customary system without being covered by cadastral mapping and land title registration (Usman, 2010).

Cadastral Mapping Using Remote Sensing And Geographic Information System

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