Land Administration DWG


van Oosterom, Peter (Delft University of Technology) - Group Chair

Group Charter:

Download Charter document

Group Description:

Introduction and Problem Statements

This Domain Working Group (DWG) charter defines the role for OGC activities related to land administration.  Worldwide, effective and efficient land administration is an ongoing concern, inhibiting economic growth and property tenure.  Only 40 countries around the world have mature land information systems. Of the developing nations, most have 10% or less of their land in formal systems.  In many nations, land administration systems are either non-existent or manual paper-based or semi-automated systems subject to limited public access. All of these approaches are at significant risk of data loss and failure due to disasters and lack of interoperability.  The charter members of this DWG seek to identify enabling standards and best practices to guide countries in a programmatic way to establish more cost effective, efficient and interoperable land administration capability, to upgrade current manual to semi-automated processes, and to suggest solutions that are more automated and flexible to new data sources technologies.  These challenges are faced today in countries considered as “developing” as well as those designated as Official Development Assistance (ODA)[1] recipients. 


The key to beneficial use of land administration data by all stakeholders is the ability of land administration frameworks to support the regulatory and policy environments that are often unique to individual jurisdictions and nations. 


This DWG will focus on:

1.     the examination of existing systems of land administration;

2.     preparation of best practices that enable nations to address their needs in less time, cost, and effort through standards-based implementations; and

3.     dialog on the integration of emerging information resources and/or technologies to assist nations in leapfrogging capability.

Additionally, the DWG will identify proposals for industry interoperability assessments, interoperability testbeds, pilots and experiments designed to bring together users and technology providers to test, demonstrate and validate best practices for use to guide the acquisition and implementation of sustainable, scalable and interoperable systems. 

The LandAdmin DWG cannot work in isolation.  The LandAdmin DWG will work closely with the LandInfra DWG and SWG to identify existing standardization efforts underway in the OGC that reference Land Administration concepts to to work toward interoperability with LandInfra standards. In addition to engaging OGC membership, the DWG will leverage OGC’s formal alliance partnerships and liaisons with other associations and standards development organizations (e.g. ISO/TC 211, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), OASIS, International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), and The Global Land Tool Network (GLTN)) to address interoperability issues that span the land administration community of practice, geospatial systems, and the broader IT environment.  Examples include linkages with ISO TC 211 regarding the LADM (Land Administration Domain Model, ISO 19152:2012) standard as well as those Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) responsible for IT standards related to topics such as security, web and mobile services. Further, this DWG will be open for participation by any interested organizations and individuals.

Purpose of Land Administration Working Group

This charter documents the interests of OGC members and the broader community to support improving the interoperability, effectiveness and efficiency of land administration systems through the optimized use of OGC and complementary open standards. Land Administration activities in all countries will benefit from improved interoperability, which will contribute to:

  • Reduced deployment time;
  • Lower system lifecycle costs;
  • Improved flexibility and scalability;
  • Improved choice from the IT marketplace; and
  • Improved ability to share, exchange and integrate information related to land administration. 

The LandAdmin DWG will examine the land administration process from the land survey organizations to jurisdictional levels, and with partner organizations across industry, development agencies and others, as necessary.   


Land Administration Domain Working Group Functions


Operation of an OGC Domain Working Group follows the policies and procedures of the Technical Committee.

A DWG is a subgroup of the TC composed of members of the TC and invited guests, with the specific intent of solving some particular interoperability problem or problems in a particular technology domain for recommendation to the Technical Committee.

This DWG will cover the following general functions performed by all OGC DWGs:

·       Provide a forum for discussion and documentation of interoperability requirements for a given information or user community;

·       Provide a forum to discuss and recommend document actions related to Interoperability Program Reports;

·       Develop Change Requests Proposals (CRPs) for existing OGC Standards;

·       Develop reports and recommendations with the intent seeking approval by the OGC Technical Committee for release of these documents as OGC White Papers, Discussion Papers or Best Practices Papers;

·       Prepare and deliver informational presentations and discussions about the market use of adopted OGC Standards;

§  Maintain a current, approved charter that defines the DWGs Scope of Work and estimated timeline for completion of the work;

§  Have missions and goals approved by the TC; and

§  Have voting process consistent with TC Policies and Procedures.

This DWG does not work on RFC submissions, candidate standards, or revisions to existing OGC Standards. However, a DWG can develop change requests as documented interoperability requirements for submission as work items to a SWG.

This DWG will be open to OGC members and the public by default, including member and public access to the DWG via email lists and DWG meetings – whether in person or convened by net meeting or teleconference.

Voting in this DWG is by simple majority of OGC Members present at the WG meeting, not just Voting TC Members, with the caveat that no OGC Member organization may cast more than one vote in a WG vote.



Charter Members.

The initial membership of the Land Administration DWG will be open to both OGC members as well as experts from outside of OGC. A critical aspect of the work of the LandAdmin DWG is to learn about and document the requirements from the entire community. The DWG is being chartered by the following organizational and individual members, which have strong interest, education and experience in land administration, namely:

AdV Germany

Leica Geosystems

AGI (India)






Esri Canada

Ordnance Survey, UK

FM Global

Thomson Reuters




United Nations / World Bank Group

Korea Land & Geospatial InformatiX Corporation


Lance McKee






Land Administration DWG Activities.


The LandAdmin DWG will pursue the following initial activities, with periodic reassessment of its mission based on progress in addressing key land administration issues.

1.     Examine the current land administration system landscape, with particular emphasis on the nations with significant land administration challenges; 

2.    Examination of the (future) needs within the land administration system landscape, including the following items:

  i. 3D Cadastre (and integration with 2D Cadastre);

  ii. Spatial development workflow and link to topography: CityGML, LandXML, InfraGML. LandInfra, IndoorGML. PipelineML, BIM/IFC, etc.;

  iii. LADM legal refinement;

  iv. Possible valuation/ taxation extension of the current LADM scope; and

  v. Inclusion and attention for (inter)national marine Cadastre.

3.    Identify best practices in open standards, including those of the OGC, ISO and others, in addressing key data integration, management and sharing challenges,assuring alignment with relevant external standards such as ISO 19152; 

4.     Develop outreach materials to help the technology and user community in land administration understand and align on the use of open geospatial standards for land administration;

5.     Develop an analytical framework to identify issues related to land administration;

6.     Reference and catalog existing Land Administration vocabularies;

i.     A known starting point is the Cadastre and Land Administration Thesaurus (CaLAThe);

7.     Provide input to ongoing OGC standards work and/or recommend creation of OGC Standards Working Groups, as necessary, to address the gaps in the OGC standards baseline;

i.     there are already identified requirements to coordinate with the OGC LandInfra DWG and SWG;

8.     Communicate issues with non-OGC standards to the SDOs charged with maintenance of those standards; and

9.     Identify and recommend OGC interoperability initiatives – pilots and / or experiments – to unite the technology and user communities in the testing, demonstration and validation of standards best practices and operational prototypes that:

i.     Inform organizations regarding how to request / mandate open standards in acquisitions;

ii.     Provide evidence of the value of open standards based approaches; and

Encourage industry-wide scaling of land administration capability. Business Case Land records exist in a spectrum from basic paper information to sophisticated digital cadastral systems. While standards exist to describe elements of an administrative system, there is not a consistent use of geospatial description of land records nor adequate rules for defining and describing the quality of the records. This DWG will work to provide a common vocabulary for the locational aspects of land administration databases in the context of suitability of those databases for their intended purposes.


The DWG will also be a forum for connecting suitable technology for data linkage and quality assessment.



[1] The maturity of Land Administration systems automation and associated interoperability challenges vary across an array of countries.  ODA recipient counties include least developed, low, lower middle and upper middle income nations as determined via per capita Gross National Income (GNI).    For a definition of ODA and a list of ODA Recipient Countries, see and