School of Surveying and Spatial Information Systems


The University of New South Wales


Cadastre 2014 ­ Promises and Pitfalls for New South Wales


By Darren Burns


Supervised by Assoc. Prof. A.H.W.Kearsley


Edited by J. M. Rüeger


October 2003  


Cadastre 2014


In 1994, the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) commissioned Working Group 7.1 to create a vision of the requirements of cadastral system in twenty years time.  The resulting document, published in 1998, was “Cadastre 2014, A Vision for a Future Cadastral System” by the Swiss surveyors Jürg Kauffman and Daniel Steudler.  Among the information presented in Cadastre 2014 were six statements for consideration when reforming a jurisdictions’ cadastre.  These statements are as follows:



These statements must be considered for any reform of the New South Wales cadastre, to provide the basis of a future land information system.  This land administration system will make land management and administration simpler in the future.




Benchmarking is a process that allows comparisons to be made between an organisation's performance and a standard.   Cadastral systems can use Cadastre 2014 as a benchmarking standard, or can use the cadastral systems of other jurisdictions to benchmark across an industry.  The cadastral systems of Belarus, New Zealand and the Australian Capital Territory provide opportunities for benchmarking the New South Wales system via three separate methods.  The recently introduced cadastre of Belarus was implemented using the visions of Cadastre 2014, and may be considered as benchmarking against a standard.  Proposed reform processes in New South Wales can be benchmarked against the recent reform undertaken in New Zealand.  The multipurpose cadastre of the Australian Capital Territory provides an opportunity for benchmarking the detests of a future New South Wales cadastre. Benchmarking allows informed decisions on planning and processes to be made, based on the experience of others.  By observing the advantages, problems and issues of other cadastres, a future cadastre in New South Wales can be implemented, in a form most suitable to users, avoiding the difficulties identified by the study of other cadastral systems.


Multipurpose Cadastre


The existing New South Wales cadastre provides a mechanism for searching for survey plans, certificates of title and geodetic control network marks.  A future cadastre needs to perform these functions, plus provide the basis for a system that supports land management and administration decisions.  This may best be realised in a multilayered Geographic Information System (GIS), known as a Digital Cadastral Database (DCDB).  Each layer of the DCDB represents a single dates and is linked to all others, allowing querying of multiple layers to provide information on land, customised to users requirements.  Figure 1 shows an example of possible detests for a multipurpose cadastre. Figure shows the layers of the implemented cadastre of the Canton of Zürich, Switzerland.



Figure 1: Sample Detests for a Multipurpose Cadastre (Kaufmann, 2001)




Figure 2: The Land Information System of the Canton of Zürich, Switzerland (Kaufmann, 2001)


Coordinating the Cadastre


Cadastre 2014 implies that a cadastre, that is accurate to surveying standards, is knead to meet the potential requirements of users in the future.  The current New South Wales DCDB is only graphically accurate, due to the method of data capture, which relied primarily on the digitisation of paper cadastral maps of various scales.  As such, the coordinates of a lot corner in the DCDB are estimated as being accurate to within a few metres in urban areas, and twenty to one hundred metres in rural areas.  To reform the New South Wales DCDB to the requirements of future users, a method of coordinate adjustment is required that improves these accuracies to a few centimetres.  There is also a drive to use coordinates to define lot corners, brought about by the ease of obtaining accurate coordinates from modern satellite positioning systems.


Proposal for Cadastral Reform in New South Wales


Any cadastral reform in New South Wales should be undertaken with the visions of Cadastre 2014 in mind.  The system should be implemented in a multilayered DCDB, featuring detests on the geodetic control network, land parcels, land ownership, dealings, street addresses, utility assets such as electrical cables and drainage lines, land use and zoning, road centrelines and kerbs, local government areas, flood prone areas and waterways.  The system would be created in such a way that further detests can be added, providing a more complete representation of land.  The cadastre of the Australian Capital Territory provides a template for such detests.  This multipurpose cadastre would provide information for making land management decisions at a single location.  The data would come from a number of organisations, including Land and Property Information NSW, Roads and Traffic Authority, local government authorities and councils, utility corporations, and professional surveyors and lawyers, requiring the public and private sectors to work closely together.  The resulting DCDB would be a model, rather than a map, and would show a more complete representation of land.  By incorporating textual attributes to graphic detests, the separation between maps and registers would be removed.


The reformed New Zealand cadastre, Landonline, and the process used to create it, provide templates for the automation of data addition, and adjustment of coordinates required to move towards Cadastre 2014 in New South Wales.  New Zealand’s use of small blocks of about 100 to 200 lots reduces the coordinate adjustment process into manageable steps, and is suggested for the coordination process in New South Wales. At present, the adjustment of coordinates should focus on generating the most accurate coordinates for a point possible.  The completion of this adjustment will give a better indication of the feasibility of using coordinates to define lot corners.  When the adjustment is completed, further reform can be undertaken to determine the legal and regulatory requirements of converting to a cadastre, where coordinates define the boundary. The proposed reform does not completely achieve the visions of Cadastre 2014, but creates a cadastre in New South Wales that provides for land management and administration purposes, and can be updated to accommodate further detests.  The reformed New South Wales cadastre should be a system that makes the visions of Cadastre 2014 achievable in the future.




Kaufmann, J. and Steudler, D. (1998) Cadastre 2014 ­ A Vision for a Future Cadastral System, FIG, 51 pages.



Further Information

For more information, please contact:


Assoc. Prof. A. H. W. Kearsley




School of Surveying and Spatial Information Systems

University of New South Wales




Phone: +61-2-9385-4188

Fax: +61-2-9313-7493



Mr. D. G. Burns