Cadastral Coordinates: A Case Study

UNSW School of Surveying and Geospatial Engineering

Conclusion

Cadastral models have numerous benefits to the way surveying is evolving. LandXML can provide an easy way to update a model with fresh observations every time a deposited plan is created. There is also an abundance of surveys which will never make it to a deposited plan but their observations of parcel dimensions are just as important in terms of a complete cadastral model. By offering some form on incentive these files can be found and with little effort converted into LandXML files. Once in this format the parcel dimensions can be taken along with any intuitive information about the way the land has evolved and compiled into cadastral model. This will ensure land areas where there is greater activity have greater accuracy of model. Once an entire area has been effectively modelled then each parcel corner could legally be defined by a coordinate. This will can solve problems around boundary re-location and boundary disputes arising because there will be a definite unambiguous location of each parcel corner.

Cadastral surveying is by no means a perfect science rather it is open to interpretation and intuition. Because of this no cadastral model can ever produce the exact same results in terms of parcel corner location as a surveyor. The benefit comes because each surveyor has their own interpretations so having a programme that can produce an accurate model will differ slightly in results but also prove effective because it can process many factors simultaneously.

Shifting to a coordinated cadastre is a huge challenge for a state the size and population as New South Wales. An idea as radical as this will meet strong opposition and it will take many years before implementation is possible. The Northern Territory has implemented a cadastral coordinated database with some success so there is precedence for this process but perhaps not on this magnitude. A cadastral model is a dynamic DCDB; always changing as new data is included in the model. However as there is much redundancy coordinates defining parcel corners will never change by a significant amount.

As more and more of our systems go online and become computerised then so to should the cadastral system. The first reason is that computers deal with absolute coordinates so it is logic for a cadastral system to also switch to absolute coordinates. The second reason is that this is a unique moment for surveyors to keep control of the system they have played such a large part of since the formation of the colony and direct cadastral surveying in a direction that will ensure their involvement for many years.

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