The relevance of GIS for land administration and management


    Land is the habitat of man and its wide use is crucial for the economic, social, and environmental advancement of all countries. Although it is part of man’s natural heritage, access to land is controlled by ownership patterns. Land is partitioned for administrative and economic purposes, and it is used and transformed in myriad ways.

    Population growth, technological and social hazards; and environmental degradation have all to be taken into greater account today by policy makers, resource planners, and administrators who make decisions about land. They need more detailed land information than has been traditionally available. Although the printed map is still useful, computerized systems offer improved ways of acquiring, storing, processing and retrieving such information.

    Manual record keeping in land administration has been in use by most land related departments in most developing nations. Most cities and their surroundings have been expanding rapidly with the increasing rate of urbanization. With this rapid expansion, manual record-keeping has become inefficient, time consuming and prone to abuses; which warrants the need for a better system of land administration and management practices.

    Advancement in land administration

    Though computerization of cadastral information has been on for over 40 years now in more advanced countries, in developing nations, it is in the last decade that greater emphasis and more serious moves towards the establishment of fully digitized cadastral systems became noticeable. This has become a worldwide trend. It is recognized that digital cadastral systems must be tailored to facilitate an effective land administration and thereby, more generally, promote economic development, social cohesion and sustainable development.

    Relevance of GIS

    Lately, Geographic Information System (GIS) has become effective tool for natural resources management all over the world. For a sustainable land use plan, land administration requires more and more data integration, multi-disciplinary and complex analysis, and need faster or more precise information. Certainly, Geographic Information System (GIS), which has a strong capacity in data integration analysis and visualization; thus, becoming a platform for land administration. Geographic Information System (GIS) which is a computer system for capturing, storing, querying, analyzing, and displaying geographically referenced data; are effective tools that facilitate mapping of the land resources, which is useful in varied monitoring and assessment capacities.

    GIS as already shown above is a system and method of integrating information based upon geo-referenced data; that enables the study of complex world problems.

    • It provides easy and quick access to many layers of geographic data (e.g., land ownership, land use, plot sizes, beacons, administrative boundaries, right of way, contours and engineering infrastructure). This ability to integrate data enables administrators, professionals in various disciplines, and citizens to understand, analyze, and visualize spatial relationships.
    • GIS helps identify and eliminate errors in data and parcel boundaries. By having a complete inventory of a city’s land.
    • GIS allows the government to increase its revenue base from land resources.
    • It also allows for the development of mapping standards to maintain the data’s integrity.
    • GIS makes public access to data possible, which can contribute to the data’s overall accuracy. Information regarding development and zoning policies can be more easily disseminated. Impacts of changes in zoning laws are more readily identified and understood. Urban land management presents several challenges to government and administrators. The vast amount of data is often daunting. Accuracy is essential both in data collection and maintenance; GIS tool makes that possible.
    • GIS provides solutions for effective management and assistance for land planning. Geo-databases combine spatial data with land use information. Data can be used across different agencies, adding another layer of information for other planning efforts.
    • A central GIS reduce duplications in the data and errors with multiple datasets. GIS data gives city planners access to a variety of information. Historical data overlaid with current land use data illustrates the impact of development within a community. Areas of greatest environmental pressure can be identified. Data is more readily shared between different agencies.
    • Creation of master geo-databases provides other agencies such as natural resource departments with additional tools for their planning efforts. Sharing of data allows planners, land administrators and managers to dispense with the notion that development is done in isolation of the surrounding environment.
    • GIS provides city planners, city managers and land administrators with opportunities for more effective management of land parcel data as well as the environment.         

    With the many capabilities of GIS few of which are enumerated above, it will be correct to conclude that, with the growing nature and rapid development, and the ever changing demands for land, GIS appears to be the best tool available for effective land administration and efficient parcel management. This will help to ensure accuracy in records as related to land such as ownership rights, transfer of ownership, land use activities, etc.

Recent Articles

  • Eight techniques to facilitate learning new languages

    Posted Jun 8

    The more languages you speak, the broader your opportunities. Apart from your native or immediate languages, mastering some major global languages can avail you with exclusive global opportunities. These languages, I call them ‘language of opportunities,’ a...

  • Why you should not deny your children their mother tongue

    Posted Jun 8

    "It's okay to be proud of your good English. But don't be proud of being poor at your mother tongue. Only the scum of the earth do that." ― Manasa Rao Cambridge Dictionary defines mother tongue as the first language someone learns when he/she is a b...

  • The injustice in our justice system: A personal narration of a Nigerian lawyer

    Posted May 30

    How does it feel to see your entire life flash before your eyes and then at the last moment, when all hope is lost, something happens that changes the course of the universe and the next minute you open your eyes, you can see clearly again with no danger lurking anywher...

  • The dearth of investigative journalism in Nigeria: An analysis

    Posted May 25

    When we think of ‘investigative journalism’, more often than not, we picture an over-zealous, stubborn journalist who ducks behind trees and hedges to dig up the unsavoury details of intricate plots that can topple governments. Yet is investigative journali...

View All

Random Articles

  • Seven key techniques to facilitate learning

    Posted June 23, 2017

    Learning does not have to be, and it isn't, a tug of war. It is fun! Or what can be more fun than getting to know new things which previously you know nothing about? More so, learning comes with numerous advantages:  It makes one knowledgeable and skillful. Lea...

  • Should dress code be enforced on Nigerian campuses?

    Posted October 24, 2016

    Dress Code by definition is a set of rules specifying the correct manner of dress while on the premises of an institution or specifying what manner of dress is prohibited.  It is a written, and more often, unwritten rules with regard to clothing. Over the past few ...

  • Some factors influencing news objectivity in journalism

    Posted November 15, 2018

    Journalism is a profession that prides itself on dealing with hard facts, esteeming truth and uncovering conspiracies for the good of the public. We (journalists) are like detectives, but only cooler (even the movies seem to attest to that). To wield truth as a weapon ...

  • The other side of hard work and why you might want to change your approach to work

    Posted August 29, 2018

    It is a common belief that Hard work is the only honest means of achieving success; a direct opposite of all the dishonest shortcuts that people partake in to reach their goals in life. Indeed there's some kind of honour attached to this mentality and to those who live ...

View All