Problems in manual systems
Spatial Analysis Applications
- Land records maintained on paper/ cloth are in a very bad shape as they can be anywhere from 10 years to 150 years old.
- Duplication on similar media is cumbersome and will result in similar problems of maintenance after a few years.
- Updation to boundaries or title information by manual process is highly time-consuming and any error will get propagated to the village maps.
- Cross verification is required over records for a large period of time to ensure absence of inconsistencies after updation.
- Retrieval for redressal of any dispute is time consuming due to the large bulk of information.
- Every retrieval/use has an associated risk of further physical damage the old records.
Maps are a powerful medium for planning, analysis and monitoring of execution of large projects, Satellite images, Cadastral Maps, Political Boundaries, Contours, Networks and Spatial Analysis are handled on a day-to-day basis by decision-makers in numerous organizations.
The data of cadastral survey forms the basis for generation of any accurate high-level map. Spatial analysis applications are of two types:
- Micro level planning and development
Micro level planning generally involves ground study and evaluation of data of a specific area of interest. For e.g., Rural Development Schemes, Irrigation, Ground Water Development, Urban Planning, Mining etc. require a study of maps and data pertaining to small zones.
- Macro level planning and development
Macro level planning generally involves study and evaluation of data of a large geographic zone. For e.g., Statewide policies, Excise, Fiscal Analysis etc. are macro level applications.
Spatial Analysis Applications, especially in micro level, are a natural progression from Land Management applications, as the maps are directly used or derived from cadastral survey data and the land profile and usage information is available in land registers.
LIS - Technologies
CAD based systems
Of the available technologies for creating a Land Information System, CAD based software are the most cumbersome and unviable solutions. The reason being that with their powerful drafting features, they may be able to replicate the field geometry or village maps, but analysis cannot be carried out on them. Further, they can only be used for digitization process and they do not recognize traditional survey information like Field Measurement Tables, Traverse etc. nor do they recognize discrete survey objects like G-Line/Baseline, Offset Lines, Triangulation Line, Survey Symbols etc.
GIS based systems
GIS based systems are a step better than CAD based software, in the sense that they can also be used for maintaining and analyzing databases. Truly speaking, GIS is a tool that can be effectively used for spatial analysis applications. However, it by itself cannot act as an LIS, as survey methods and data are not understood in GIS software. At best a customized version may be created, but the following disadvantages would accrue:
2.3. True LIS
- The learning overhead for Survey Staff would be enormous due to complex nature of most GIS software.
- It is not a domain specific application
- System and run-time overheads would be high due to a lot of features which are not used in the context of Survey and Land Records.
- State to state variations in Survey and Land Management methods cannot be handled a G.I.S. software unless it has source code level support from the developers (which is not available for most GIS that are imported) for customization.
To judge a technology as a true LIS, certain parameters have to be checked. Some of these include:
- Whether the software is a domain-specific application
- Whether standard survey methods adopted in various states is catered to by the software
- Whether all the tabular and graphical data in a traditional land record are faithfully stored, analyzed and reported.
- Whether software supports creation of a total cadastral record for the village
- Whether the output of the software can be used for spatial analysis applications
- Whether local languages are supported both in textual annotations and databases
To put it briefly, a true LIS should speak Surveyors language, accept available records with minimal or no readjustment for computerization, and be capable of both micro and macro level analysis.