Land Management
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ISO Standard for Land Administration Approved

The 'Land Administration Domain Model' (LADM) was approved as an official International ISO Standard on 1 November 2012. The proposal for this standard was submitted to ISO almost five years ago by FIG, which has called the approval a milestone in the development of land administration systems.



75% of the people-to-land relationships worldwide are not documented. This concerns about 4.5 billion cases. With a growing population, this situation results in land disputes, land grabbing and neglecting of rights of local people. There is an urgent need worldwide for proper land administration systems and standards in land information. In the developed world, standards are needed for information exchange; see for example the INSPIRE development in the European Union. Standards are also needed in land administration, both for initial data acquisition and for data maintenance and information exchange.


Experience learns that it is not an easy task to design and set up a land administration. In many countries, modelling expertise is lacking when setting up land administration systems. It should be noted that those systems contain high volumes of data.


The LADM is a common standard for the land administration domain. It will stimulate the development of software applications and will accelerate the implementation of proper land administration systems that will support sustainable development. The LADM covers basic information-related components of land administration (including those over water and land, and elements above and below the surface of the earth).


The standard provides an abstract, conceptual model with four packages related to:

1. parties (people and organisations);
2. basic administrative units, rights, responsibilities, and restrictions (ownership rights);
3. spatial units (parcels, and the legal space of buildings and utility networks);
4. spatial sources (surveying), and spatial representations (geometry and topology);

LADM defines terminology for land administration, based on various national and international systems that is as simple as possible in order to be useful in practice. The terminology allows a shared description of different formal or informal practices and procedures in various jurisdictions; The standard further provides a basis for national and regional profiles; and enables the combining of land administration information from different sources in a co herent manner.


LADM can integrate different forms of tenure, e.g. formal and customary types of tenure, or even informal tenure or overlapping claims on land.

There is already recognition and support by FAO, UN HABITAT and several countries. LADM based software developments have already been started in several places. There is of course no interference with (national) land administration laws that would have any legal implications. The LADM has been accepted by a unanimous vote from the participating ISO TC211 members.

Source: FIG
Supplier: Federation Internationale des Géomètres (FIG)

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