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January 26, 2016
Survey Reveals Benefits of Integrating Land Information

Information about land use and ownership restrictions is easier to find and use when combined with national cadastres, a survey by EuroGeographics has shown.

The Association, which represents national mapping, cadastral and land registry authorities from the whole of geographical Europe, asked its members if public-law restrictions were documented and if they could be overlaid with their land ownership records.

The results showed that 22 countries – out of 25 countries replying to the survey – not only documented public-law restrictions, but also integrated them in their cadastral systems. Of these, 16 provided open access to the data via an online service with buyers, sellers, planners, architects, public authorities and financial organisations among the users benefitting from this single source of land information. A further four respondents said the information was available to the parties involved in the registration process.

“In most countries, people who own land cannot simply use it as they wish, but must comply with specific regulations,” says Dr Daniel Steudler, Chair of EuroGeographics Cadastre and Land Registry Knowledge Exchange Network which conducted the research.

“These public-law restrictions are often enforced by different agencies and, in the past, this has meant collecting all the relevant information from each separate organisation – a complex and time-consuming process.”

“By integrating the data and making it quickly and easily available through a single point of contact, our members are helping to increase market transparency and efficiency as well as the degree of legal certainty in the real estate sector.”

The survey also found:

• The top five public-law restrictions cited by members were environmental protection, groundwater protection, land use zones, protection orders for areas of cultural importance and public infrastructure corridors, for example utility networks.

• 10 countries reported more than 10 national public-law restrictions with five having 50 or more.

• Sweden was the first respondent to fully integrate its public-law restrictions into its cadastre with full coverage achieved in 1995.

EuroGeographics’ Knowledge Exchange Networks provide an open forum for members and invited experts. Each focuses on an area of particular interest for national mapping, cadastral and land registry authorities.

More than half of EuroGeographics’ members focus on property rights and registration. Changing technology means that Cadastre is becoming ever more dynamic as a result of crowd sourcing and real-time reporting. The Cadastre and Land Registry Knowledge Exchange Network provides a valuable forum for sharing best practice as well as reflecting these emerging trends.

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