Is the land sector prepared  for the data revolution? [LANDac Conference Parallel Session] | Land Portal
Language of the event: 

Thursday, June 30

9:30 am - 11:00 am CEST

Hybrid format

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The “Data Revolution” has been ongoing for about sixty years now. Halina (1966) already considered the question of whether this constituted a “revolution” or was “data evolution”. Similar discussions continue over the decades including more recently MacFeely (2020) who states instead that the “Data Revolution” is in fact a series of revolutions.

Data problems such as limited access to information by those who need it and the lack of effective search and retrieval methods have been contemplated since the 1960’s. Data has a major impact on the changing character of social, economic and political processes.

While much progress has been made in opening up data in order to address these problems in some sectors, such as banking, limited progress has been made in the field of land governance. The Land Portal argues that the data revolution in the land sector still has a long way to go and has developed a number of resources in support.

​​Numerous case studies have shown that open data (including spatial data),  can have major positive impacts, including in developing countries. Land data, when well-governed and available for use by a wide range of actors, can be a path to public good.

 The Land Portal promotes the open sharing of structured data and information on land issues both globally and in individual countries. Among other resources, we produce the State of Land Data (SOLI) series in collaboration with local research institutions and the Open Up Guide to support the release of structured land related data.

The SOLI series aims to build an in-depth map of the land data ecosystem within a particular country. Researchers describe the available information across six categories of land data drawn from the Open Up guide. They assess what types of institutions have made the datasets available and assess each dataset against ten open data principles including its online availability, whether access is free or carries a fee, the quality of metadata and the standards used. 

The discussion seeks to explore how the land sector may with the help of resources such as the Open Up Guide and SOLI fully embrace this revolution!


  1. Alex Mudabeti, Namibia Statistics Agency and Co-Chair of UN Expert Group on the Integration of Statistical and Geospatial Information. He is currently tasked with the establishment of the Namibia Spatial Data Infrastructure as per the Statistics Act No. 9 of 2011. He is also responsible for developing GIS capacity for statistical data collection at NSA and the National Statistical System in Namibia. 

  2. Menare Royal Mabakeng is a Lecturer on Land Administration in the Department of Architecture and Spatial Sciences at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).  She has worked with civil society for 8 years as a Technical support to communities in urban informal settlements, focusing on participatory  data collection for improved tenure security. She co-leads OpenStreetMap project focusing on data for tenure security through partnerships  with the Namibia Housing Action Group and Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia.  She holds a Masters in Geo-information Science for Earth Observation specializing in Land Administration from University of Twente- Faculty (ITC). 

  3. Mark Napier, Principal researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrical Research. He is based in Pretoria and has 30 years’ experience in research and policy development for human settlements and urban land in South and southern Africa.

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