Land Information Systems

A Land Information System (LIS) is a "tool for legal, administrative and economic decision making, and an aid for planning and development which consists of a database containing spatially referenced land related data for a defined area and of procedures and techniques for the systematic collection, updating, processing and distribution of that data".

Elements of land registration and land reform are intrinsic to newtown development, urban planning, communications corridors and agricultural and rural development. The use of IT-based data collation solutions in projects in the UK and worldwide have illustrated the importance of information gathering and retrieval to improve the decision making capability.

LIS, particularly in land resources and development related projects that have a land reform and land registration requirement, are becoming daily tools for planner in Europe and North America. As the pressures for land increase in developing countries and traditional tenure systems are eroded, abandoned or undermined, the need for a formal system becomes insistent. Many Land, Survey/Cadastral and Local Government/Housing agencies in developing countries have recognised this and are gradually embarking on the lengthy process of judicial, tenure and socio-economic reforms which create the appropriate formal environment.

The multi-disciplinary nature of GISL Limited is a significant advantage in developing solutions to the real issues facing many planners in the area of land reform and registration. Frequently, especially in the UK and Europe, much data is already available, although it is often in need of extensive updating and validation before it can be processed or analysed. However, traditionally these data are held in what is termed "multi-purpose cadastre"; this generally related specifically to records based on a proprietary land parcel and might include:

land parcel definition

land tenure

land use

buildings and infrastructure

population and census data

administrative information

LIS, on the other hand, may contain additional and useful information. The input of physical information such as soils, hydrogeology and rainfall and human or socio-economic information such as rateable value, communications and utilities results in a system that offers planners and decision makers the ability to inventory, monitor and plan more efficiently and cost-effectively. Such an holistic approach supports the management of both data and the human and physical resource at all administrative levels.

The implementation of LIS results in decreased land disputes, increased revenue generation through traditional avenues such as tax and rates but also in new areas such as up-to-date map production and publication, improved responsiveness to public enquiry and cost savings in comparison to existing procedures.