What is Cadastral Survey? | History of Cadastral Survey | Why is Cadastral Surveying Important?
What is Cadastral Survey?
Cadastral surveying is a land surveying field concerned with land ownership regulations and the delineation of property boundaries.
It entails interpreting and advising on border locations, land ownership status, property rights, limits, and interests, as well as documenting such information for use on plans, maps, and other documents.
It also includes the physical demarcation of property borders as well as the determination of dimensions, areas, and certain rights connected with properties, whether on land, sea or determined by natural or manmade characteristics.
Cadastral surveys are often undertaken to split the land into portions for ownership under a land title, as well as to re-establish boundaries of previously surveyed properties to ascertain the actual extent of ownership or to ease the transfer of the property title.
History of cadastral survey
Cadastral surveying is thought that it all begun in Ancient Egypt, and there is evidence from tombs from that time period indicating the registration of land to offer proof of ownership.
At the period, a basic form of cadastral surveying was used to establish the borders of tilled land.
The first official surveys were carried out by the British government in the 19th century; these were mostly intended to establish the extent of ownership of property, with a few legal purposes such as establishing claims on an area where historic events took place.
In the mid-19th century, both private firms and associations, such as the Royal Institute of British Surveyors (RIBS), were formed for promoting and developing cadastral surveying.
During the first quarter of 1900, there was a great increase in the use of cadastral surveying to delineate property borders and boundaries.
This was mainly due to new legislation and administrative reforms relating to property control, surveying, and land revenue.
There was also a growth in the use of cadastral surveying for commercial purposes such as land speculation, estate management, agriculture, etc.
The origin of cadastral surveying is traced back to the ancient Roman Empire, whereas a part of commercial and tax activities, land area for agricultural purposes was measured by surveyors.
Later in the thirteenth century, land surveying was applied in southern China during the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368).
In the early days, lands were measured using a rod and compass for their irregular shapes and sizes; these were drawn on rice paper to record topography and boundaries.
The survey markers had to be set manually by staking out the corners with stakes or stones.
By the end of the fifteenth century, these practices encompassed measuring and documenting the size of fields for tax purposes and drawing maps for civil and military purposes.
What is the purpose of cadastral surveying?
Cadastral surveying is the process of determining the owners’ right to land and thereby establishing boundaries of property ownership.
It also involves documenting and organizing the data collected through surveys so that this information can be used in different ways, such as recording data on plans and maps (public domain), reports, journals, tables of contents, etc.
The primary purpose of cadastral surveying is to compute the area and land boundaries for property ownership claims.
It is also the physical determination of the actual location of property boundaries for legal purposes, and for use after the property tax on land and houses.
Cadastral surveying is also responsible for determining how ownership of an area is divided between various parties and owners, such as who owns the subsoil, who owns the water rights underneath a piece of land (riverbeds, etc.), and even who owns a certain plot of land in a certain way.
Why is cadastral surveying important?
To determine the extent of lands and properties for ownership, cadastral surveyors are responsible for examining existing documents such as deeds, titles, leases, agreements, contracts, and other official documents.
They will also carry out surveys in relation to the maps and plans that have already been drafted.
After determining the extent of an area, owners will be able to establish their claims as well as gain legal rights over their property in order to utilize them.
Cadastral surveys are also important as they determine the boundary of a piece of land or property, so it can be used after a land title has been issued.
Cadastral surveys are related to taxation and land titling.
They were mainly intended for delimiting the size, shape, and boundaries of a piece (Vastu) and its ownership. This was done so that data on the ownership status, area, distance from the sea coast and topography can be used to determine its value.
Cadastral surveys were also able to determine boundaries for property tax purposes.
Cadastral surveys are especially useful for landowners in land titles where they can use it as evidence of their rights over their property and claim them in court cases.
In colonial times, government officials were encouraged to seek cadastral survey information related to their land titles in order to issue land titles.
Types of cadastral survey
Cadastral surveys are divided into three types depending on the purpose, scale, and purpose of undertaking a survey.
The type of survey will determine the methods used for surveying and to what extent the data collected will be used.
The type of cadastral survey is directly related to the extent that it is conducted, with some essential differences between them:
General cadastre – involves mapping in approximate scale and at a medium location, where topographic surveys are not required.
Legal cadastre – involves mapping at a medium scale, where topographic surveys are required.
Exclusive cadastre – involves mapping at a high-scale.
To achieve these three types of survey, there are different types of surveys that can be used, with some common methods used in all surveys:
Topographic map (topo) – used by government bodies and private firms for land title purposes; it is drawn by either hand or computer and is drawn at a relatively large scale to record boundaries.
Duties and role of a cadastral surveyor
Cadastral surveyors have a special role in the property matter where they have to gather and process accurate, complete, and relevant information on all land areas and their ownership status.
This information is then used by the government to establish land titles.
Tasks of a cadastral surveyor
The tasks of a cadastral surveyor are divided into two categories – land titling and surveying.
The tasks for surveying may be divided into three sub-zones: surveying, drafting, and fixing surveys.
Surveying involves drawing maps, producing surveys and recording data to determine the extent of land ownership. Surveys are then given a cadastral survey number by a surveyor as proof that the data collected is of high quality and accurate.
Drafting involves preparing cadastral documents such as boundaries, official plans, maps, and legal documents that determine who owns land and how it is divided. Surveys are then fixed to the cadastral documents in order to become a permanent record of land ownership.
Cadastral surveyors are also required to prepare topographic maps for government purposes. These surveys are done at different scales depending on the need for detail.
This information is then analyzed by clients in order to determine a property’s market value.
Duties and roles of a cadastral surveyor can be summarized below:
- Map the acquired information while ensuring that they are correct, accurate, and appropriate.
- Establish the exact boundary of property by measuring and planning the area according to private agreements or local laws of the state.
- Assess surface boundaries (land boundaries) by visiting, determining, and recording information on all boundaries using descriptions provided, cadastral survey plans/maps, and other documents for verification purposes.
- Establish ownership of land and establish legal rights of ownership in court cases.
- Provide required land title plans to clients and legal authorities.
- Provides information on the extent and boundaries of the property, including topography, vegetation cover, aquatic features, streams, roughness classifications, and slope classifications.
- Measuring density and making adjustments to the map by adding changes such as new roads, monuments, buildings and topographic features.
- Integrate cadastral information with other information (e.g., environment, mineral deposits, etc.) to identify areas of much worth from lands that are less valuable or that have special characteristics.
- Provide information to government agencies (e.g., municipalities, regional governments, etc.) for public use and adoption in their governing processes.
- Maintain constant checking for accuracy of data at all times.
- Provide cadastral surveying solutions through the use of land cadastral surveying software, data capture and related services using computer technology to more efficiently and effectively perform work duties as a cadastral surveyor.
How Cadastral Survey is done?
There are three steps involved in the process of cadastral survey:
1. Setting up the map
The first step is setting up a scale map. The scale is established by adding a unit of length (meter) to the length of the boundary or field to be surveyed. For example, if it contains no boundary, then kilometer can be used as a unit. This is not necessary if it contains several boundaries with well-defined lines.
The scale of the map is determined by the needs of the client and established in agreement with the client. This can be a scale as large as 1: 20 000 or smaller, depending on the scale used in private surveying. For example, a private surveyor can decide to plan an estate that has an area of 10 hectares with a 1: 50,000 scale while a government surveyor needs more precise information.
2. Creating a map
The next step is to create a map of the area. The mapping is prepared by hand or using computer technology. The boundary information must be precise and referred to an established source.
The boundary information can be modified later in the process, but it is easier to change reported positions than missing or false data points. It also helps to identify errors and correct them early in the process.
3. Drawing boundaries
The last step involves drawing boundaries and recording all changes to existing boundaries through new measurements.
During this stage, boundary markers (e.g., corners or monuments) are used to determine the exact location of each boundary corner.
Cadastral Survey FAQs
1. What is Cadastral Survey?
Cadastral survey is the process of acquiring, recording, and organizing data to prepare accurate, high-quality, and technically correct cadastral maps.
This process is used in the survey and recording of land boundaries and ownership, as well as in other areas such as establishment of legal rights of ownership.
2. In civil engineering, what is the cadastral survey?
Cadastral surveys are used to restore original land borders by searching for land titles or deeds, surveying ground markers, and any other public or private document that would corroborate the information acquired.
3. What are cadastral lines?
Cadastral lines are depicted through the use of modern technology to expedite the process of detecting errors in the survey.
Cadastral lines are created by defining a series of dots on the ground, with each dot representing a point on the cadastral map.
4. What is a cadastral map?
A cadastral map is used in order to show land ownership and boundaries, as well as other important information such as buildings and other visible topographic features. This type of map usually shows:
5. What is the cadastral database?
A cadastral database is a computer database of property and real estate information so that it can be used as a reference in planning and zoning matters, such as urban planning, construction and zoning.
6. What are the main goals of the Cadastral Survey?
The main goals of the cadastral survey process are:
– to determine the exact location of all physical features on the map
– to identify all levels of ownership, title, and tenure
– to reveal the boundaries between landowners
– to ensure the accuracy of property boundaries and registration data
7. What information is collected during the cadastral survey?
Cadastral surveyors collect information such as boundary corners, boundary lines, buildings or tree lines, or any other object that may be visible at a distance; ancient monuments, as well as records related to ownership rights and other uses of land.
8. What are boundary lines?
Boundary lines are usually drawn in order to show the exact location of each point or corner of an area, whether it is an urban area or a rural one.
9. What is the difference between cadastral and legal land surveys?
Land surveyors use this type of data in preparation of parcels within a survey area that may belong to a private owner, municipality or government entity. The cadastral survey can only be used to determine the ownership of land.
10. What is the difference between land ownership and property rights?
Landownership describes the right of real property, while property rights define a set of legal restrictions on its use.
For example, land may be owned by a private individual or government agency, while other entities such as government agencies may have the deed to the land or an interest in it.
11. What is a legal description?
A legal description is a written opportunity to describe the property in question. Legal descriptions can be of any type, such as a deed, bill of sale, and so on.
12. What is topography?
Topography refers to the physical features of a landmass that are used for determining boundaries and ownership. Aspects such as trees and hedges may show where the boundary lines should be drawn.
13. What do I need to do a cadastral survey?
Before beginning a cadastral survey, you must acquire the following:
- Permission from the landowner.
- An access agreement from the various landowners involved.
- The agreement of all landowners to provide access to or have their property surveyed.
- A detailed map or sketch showing all of the boundaries including the location of all boundary markers, if any, and other permanent topographic features that need to be considered in the cadastral survey process (e.g., roads, buildings).
- Complete ownership records for each parcel being surveyed (e.g. land titles, leases, contracts for sale, and so on).
14. What are the main steps of a cadastral survey?
The main steps in the cadastral survey process are:
- Data analysis and acquisition: Cadastral data analysis involves the compilation of all records needed to conduct a complete and accurate cadastral survey.
- Field work: This refers to locating boundary markers and boundaries through measurement methods (i.e. surveyors’ instruments, such as distance and level tools) at various locations.
- Mapping: After measuring boundaries, a cadastral map is prepared by determining the precise location of boundary corners, line intersections, and property corners; along with the positioning of boundary markers.
The boundary markers found within the survey area are marked on the map to determine the exact location of all boundary corners in relation to each other.
Note that this is a process of ascertaining all boundaries as precisely as possible through precise measurements and fieldwork.