geographical information systems related Blog post | Land Portal
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geographical information systems

An information system for capturing, storing, integrating, analyzing and displaying geospatial data.

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Open data and metadata
25 July 2023
Authors: 
Mr. Neil Sorensen
Mr. Charl-Thom Bayer
Ms. Laura Meggiolaro
Global

A new publication titled "The Role of Metadata and Open Data in the Innovation Cycle of Land Administration" puts the spotlight on this dynamic domain. This publication offers valuable insights into the significance of open data and structured metadata, and how they can revolutionize land administration processes worldwide. By delving into the core principles of open data and metadata, this publication offers a comprehensive understanding of how these tools can be leveraged to foster innovation and drive positive change in the land governance sector.

Tracking the State of Land Information
5 July 2023
Authors: 
Mr. Charl-Thom Bayer
Africa
Global

https://landportal.org/event/2023/02/landac-conference-2023 At the Land Portal Foundation, we advocate for open land data and recognize the importance of land data in driving progress in support of sustainable development. We aim to engage stakeholders and develop supportive measures to advocate for the increased accessibility of land information and support capacity building in this regard. The current challenge we face is the inaccessibility of poorly managed land data, often limited to localized sources and overshadowed by information from large organizations. We emphasize the need to make information more available and accessible at the country level.

State of Land Information in Africa
4 July 2023
Africa
Liberia
Senegal

The State of Land Data: Transforming Africa Into a Powerhouse of the Future" took place on June 22 and featured five speakers. The event was organized by a team of organizations including the Land Portal Foundation, NELGA, GIZ and German Cooperation.  

 An abstract painting about Enhancing Access to Land Data
31 May 2023
Authors: 
Mr. Charl-Thom Bayer
Global

En tant que défenseur des données foncières ouvertes, la Fondation Land Portal vise à améliorer l'accès aux données foncières, à engager les parties prenantes et à soutenir les actions qui favorisent l'ouverture des données. J'ai récemment eu l'occasion de présenter l'indice SOLIndex (State of Land Information index) et de parler du guide Open Up lors de la réunion des partenaires du Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) à Nairobi, et de montrer comment ces outils jouent un rôle essentiel dans l'amélioration de l'accès à l'information foncière.

 An abstract painting about Enhancing Access to Land Data
31 May 2023
Authors: 
Mr. Charl-Thom Bayer
Global

As an advocate for open land data, the Land Portal Foundation aims to improve access to land data, engage stakeholders, and support actions that promote data openness. I recently had the opportunity to introduce the State of Land Information Index (SOLIndex) and talk about the Open Up Guide at the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) Partners’ Meeting in Nairobi and show how these tools play a vital role in improving access to land information.

Land Governance Data Fragmentation
16 May 2023
Authors: 
Ms. Laura Meggiolaro
Global

The Land Portal Foundation, as a non-profit organization operating at the intersection of the open data and land governance communities, has been privileged over the past 5-8 years to be in a position to observe some interesting trends affecting the land governance data landscape. 

Open data, SDGs and land governance
2 May 2023
Authors: 
Ms. Laura Meggiolaro
Global

The issue of land tenure and governance is one of the most complex and multifaceted challenges that face policymakers and practitioners in the development field. This is especially true when it comes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as there are more than a dozen land-related indicators housed over five SDG goals, with data maintained by different custodian agencies.

Georeferenced Map in India
13 September 2021
Authors: 
Mr. Pranab Choudhury
Dr. Prasad Pathak
India

How much land matters to each of us as citizens, students and faculties, and how much we know about them? Is it too complex to ignore, something that matters to us as property, identity or even as a stratum of lives and base of development, to a handful of bureaucrats, lawyers or surveyors? 

Here is a student internship, jointly designed by FLAME University, Pune and a land think tank – Centre for Land Governance, that shows why land matters more now and if and how students can also familiarise themselves and analyze land issues that are important to their lives and that of others.

During the initial interaction, all the girl students, who had joined the internship, were intrigued by a question specifically asked to them, “How many of you are aware of your or your mother’s name in your family land records?”. This question made them think of women's land rights and narrate their stories around that, which were not much different from the patriarchal rural India. The students slowly started realising the importance of land records in the context of enshrined legal equality. 

Land as a discipline critically resonates with environmental studies, economics, law, sociology, anthropology and political science as well as to applied disciplines like public policy, business management or geospatial technology etc. However, it is hardly studied and occasionally researched in Universities, B-Schools and technology institutes. That remains a fact, despite the challenges these institutions face in getting land for their own utilization and others having issues for their own properties. 

Not one student was even aware of what a land record looks like. Yash, a 4th year student majoring Public Policy said, “maybe we have seen it but not sure what it includes”. Many of them studied Geographic Information Systems (GIS) but they were never aware how that has been used in India’s land record digitisation program and if their skills make them read these records better?

Land is continued to be looked at as a complex and contested space that the common man should avoid engaging with, even when its importance as a crucible of development and asset for economic growth is on rise. Academic engagements can also flow with the current. Generating information and evidence that make policy, practice and interaction with land easier, less contested and more rewarding are rare and hardly pursued in universities.

However, with a week’s training, the students were able to learn the basics of land governance. Once they started accessing and interpreting digital land records, interesting observations came flowing in.  For Rahul, a 4th year student with Economics as a major, it was fun to explore terms like “Khewat, Khasra, Khatauni, Khata and Khatiyan and to understand which is a subunit of what and which is a synonym?” For example, Esha, a 4th year Environmental Studies student noted to her dismay that “Women landowners are rare, and when they exist, they are hardly the only owner of the land”. She kept wondering why women always owned much less land than men and also made their own property jointly with men. Aditi, another student, observed “even in a village occupied by Gond, a dominant tribe of Central India, the women landowners’ scenario does not change.” She spent time separating female landowners, by reading and comparing each name, as no gender column was there in the on-line land record portal.

Through this internship, the concept of presumptive titling, prevalent in India, was also discussed and understood by the students and faculty members. Under this system, legacy records like historical transactions viz old survey records or inheritance records also count as evidence and the onus remains on the owner to prove the ownership. Traditionally, various documents related to land records are created and maintained by different departments e.g. The Revenue department deals with tax and mutation, whereas the registration office deals with sale deed registration and transfer of ownership, while land records and survey departments create and deal with the maps. Many times such offices do not even communicate with each other to keep the records updated. Ground verification process suffers from weak human resources. While comparing the textual (RoR) with spatial (cadastral maps)  records and with on ground (google earth images) situations, students could observe such differences. They could realize how and why such discrepancies and disputes accompany land records.

As competitive demand and financial options around land grow and ‘ease of doing business’ require easy and fast land transactions and dispute resolution, moving towards a conclusive titling system is voiced by the government. In 2008, the Department Land Resources, Government of India, started implementation of “National Land Records Modernization Programme” (NLRMP) to computerize the records and develop transparent data. Later, it got revamped under “Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme” (DILRMP). The objectives of the programme were (i) to have a single window to access both, spatial and non-spatial data, (ii) make the data as true to the ground reality as possible – real time updating, (iii) to implement “curtain” principle where records of the title are true depiction of the reality and mutations are automated and (iv) title insurance.  In their pursuit to understand and analyse DILRMP progress in different states, they not only did get impressed with the quantum of work  done and their online availability, but also had challenging experience around access and incongruity.

For the internship work, the students looked at intra-state district-wise progress of DILRMP implementation in seven states around computerization of land records, digitisation of cadastral maps and resurvey in DIRLRMP website while taking care to check the claims by visiting respective state land record sites, where they are actually available. For a 3rd year student of Environmental studies, Pranaay it was a tough time in accessing usable information from state sites. “We faced difficulty in getting geospatial information and contacting the government officials also did not help as they were unaware of this kind of information”, he says while exploring the cadastral map. Faculties and guides from both institutions, had to extend their imaginations to help students in getting access to and retrieve right information. 

A common finding was that despite good progress of computerisation of textual records, the spatial or mapping component have remained a challenge. For example, Manya and Devanshi, also Environmental Studies students, noticed that “there are no geographic coordinates present on the Bhunaksha site” for maps of villages for Bihar. Esha and Karishma, found some RoR links returning blank pdf files in the state of Chhattisgarh, which was found to be having accessible websites with easy interfaces. Being students from Pune, Sayali and Aditi, were surprised to see Amaravati district doing well where has Satara remained at the bottom, in Maharashtra, in terms of a computerisation  index they developed combining progress and comparing the digitisation parameters reported in DILRMP vs that is available in state sites. 

As they went through relevant government websites such as Bhulekh, Bhunaksha, Bhumanchitra, Bhuvan Panchayat, Census and PMKisan etc. to access textual, spatial records, village maps and demographic, land use and direct benefit transfer to farmers’ data, it was both a learning experience as also a game of patience for them. Pranaay and Rahul had to keep spending hours struggling to get useful information from Jamabandi site for Haryana, while for Esha and Karishma working on Chhattisgarh it was a cake walk. Thriptha, a 4th year student now said “I was not aware of so many Government Departments, their rich data availability and about the land records before joining the internship.”   

These datasets were used  by Interns to analyse the land ownership, distribution and land record matching status at village level. Exploring village specific data from Census and matching with land record data, they could see how caste, gender and class relations impact land ownership and landlessness. Sayali could understand the importance why digital land portals should provide caste and sex-segregated data around land ownership. In a village, with very few land owning farmers, she was surprised to find many PMKisan beneficiaries.

In spite of their harrowing experience many of them appreciated the digitization initiative to map and document such a large country. However, almost all of them were disturbed to witness the gender and caste inequity in terms of land ownership as well as land concentration with a few households in almost all villages. 

As student researchers now they have many insights and opinions on digital land records, e-governance, technology-society interaction and more importantly how government works? Yash, Pranaay and Rahul are now in a position to suggest technological improvements in the government websites that can help seamless access. The cherry on the icing was when Prof Narayanan from Azim Premji  said “students have carried out a good preliminary research at such a granular level. No university in the country has been engaged in this critical area which is tightly linked with the future economy. Congratulations to the team!”

 

 

Land governance and climate change
5 July 2021
Authors: 
Mr. Charl-Thom Bayer
Uganda
Central Asia
Kazakhstan
Global

The COVID-19 crisis exacerbated land governance challenges, including addressing failures in land governance systems, a lack of transparency, systemic corruption, and lack of accessibility to data. It undermines development progress on global food security and has driven people into poverty, while governments take license to develop indigenous and community lands and thus fuel the climate crisis.

The Payoffs of Open Climate Data
9 March 2021
Authors: 
Delfina Grinspan
Global

In the aftermath of the 6.5 magnitude earthquake in Aceh, Indonesia, in 2016, disaster managers were able to able to identify which communities were at greatest risk due to rapid access to data. They used the open source InaSAFE platform to access real-time hazard data and modeled population data mapped down to the village level. This was made possible by the collaborative use of “open” data — data that is free to use, open license, and in machine readable formats — between scientists, local and national governments and communities.

Global Data Barometer
2 March 2021
Authors: 
Fiona Chawana
Global

We’re delighted to share the draft of our Land Governance module for a public review stage (until 15th March 2020). We are inviting feedback on our selection of indicators, and our draft research guidance, as we explore how the Global Data Barometer can track governance, availability and use of data related to land governance in our upcoming survey.

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24 February 2021
Northern Africa

It is widely understood that effective use of land, the sustainable production of food and development are linked. Yet, creating effective policy, which takes into account broader notions such as economic prosperity and social justice, especially in the context of competing claims to land use and title, still presents significant challenges. The difficulties are compounded by the fragmented nature of information resources about land.

Blogs

Events

Organizations

African Open Data logo.png

African Open Data and Internet Research Foundation (AODIRF)is an African based Non-Governmental organisation championing open data, ICTs, Geospatial Technology policies and Internet capacity building, supporting innovative projects and programs across the continent.

 

OUR ACTIVITIES

Belgeo est la seule revue scientifique nationale de géographie en Belgique. Au-delà des articles thématiques ou de réflexion, la revue a pour objectif de couvrir les grandes questions géographiques, les problèmes européens et mondiaux ainsi que les problèmes nationaux.  Belgeo permet également la propagation des résultats de recherches menées par des géographes belges, souvent à la jonction des approches anglo-saxonne et latine, et ouvre ses pages aux derniers développements tant en géographie humaine que physique.

Reviving Documentation of Property Rights


Cadasta Foundation is dedicated to the support, continued development and growth of the Cadasta Platform – an innovative, open source suite of tools for the collection and management of ownership, occupancy, and spatial data that meets the unique challenges of this process in much of the world.


Center for International Earth Science Information Network

CIESIN’s mission is to provide access to and enhance the use of information worldwide, advancing understanding of human interactions in the environment and serving the needs of science and public and private decision making.

MOTTO

The Dedan Kimathi University of Technology motto is: “Better Life through Technology”.

 

VISION STATEMENT

To be a Premier Technological University Excelling in Quality Education, Research, and Technology Transfer for National Development.

 

MISSION STATEMENT

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, commonly referred to as Deloitte, is a multinational professional services network.[6] Deloitte is one of the "Big Four" accounting organizations and the largest professional services network in the world by revenue and number of professionals with headquarters in London, United Kingdom.[7]

Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)

We are the global market leader in GIS, helping customers get results since 1969.

Esri was founded to help solve some of the world’s most difficult problems. We do so by supporting our users’ important work with a commitment to science, sustainability, community, education, research, and positive change.

Today, Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations, including the world’s largest cities and most national governments.

 European Space Agency logo

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA is an international organisation with 22 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

What does ESA do?

ITC is the University of Twente’s Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation.

Our mission is to develop capacity, particularly in less developed countries, and to utilize geospatial solutions to deal with national and global problems.

Our vision is that spatial solutions will play an increasingly important role in meeting many of mankind’s complex challenges (often wicked problems), such as climate change, population growth, and related claims for sufficient and secure food, water, energy, health, land and housing provision.

Forest Inform Pty Ltd provides "Land Logic Services" that combine government agencies' and stakeholders’ decision rules with accurate spatial data to resolve forest land use conflicts, integrate regional development, prepare conservation plans, and Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).

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