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6 aspects to be considered in the cadastre – registry integration

TRANSLATION NOTES: Please read some comments at the end of this post.

Making the Cadastre and the Real Estate Registry to work jointly is currently one of the most interesting challenges of the property rights systems modernization process.

The problem tends to be the same, even going beyond our Hispanic context. On one hand the idealism of believing that it is so easy, then the institutional quaternary structures pessimism.In the end, who loses is the citizen that only wants that his transaction will be carry out quickly and safely. The truth is that for this there isn’t a magic recipe, although it is a matter of common sense, practice shows us that this is the least common sense among those involved in a transaction processing chain.

Humans are short of memory after a button is failing,and it is a shame that the success’ glory take poets instead of systems professionals for having style, without boasting, but as simple knowledge democratization culture. Sure others have done with less mistakes, but here I show some basic aspects of how we did in a Central America country, with some references to 2014 Cadastre statements, from which emerged the ISO 19152 standard.

1. the definition and system construction is spinal.

The credit system is not strange, since we live in an age of technological advancement and re-engineering within the obvious. Of course we are not only talking about the tool, but the full environment that includes the business definition, linked actors, legal support, the technical methods modeling, lifting processes, simplification of those that are related to the territorial management and the technological tool life cycle.

Without a proper business model definition, almost any system fails. Because the tool is only the vehicle.

In our study case, the flow was as follows, clarifying that these are not sequential steps, but almost in parallel, mostly held in a time of two years:

It was developed a platform that was ready for Registry, both immovable property such as Cadastre, seen as another record. This is the Records Unified System (SURE), that after 11 years, continues to operate, after four government transitions – included a State coup – qualified human resources rotation, arbitrary decisions and everything to which we are accustomed in developing countries. It was supervised in a district registration with an area of 160,000 plots; currently it operates in 16 of the 24 constituencies and the main reason why it was not removed on a political whim was because it was the users working tool in Registration and Cadastre- since it was created-.

In this system design rose, in first instance and recklessly, Registration and Cadastre processes which could come in the new legislation.

Cadastre domain model was the Core Cadastre Domain Model CCDM, which in 2003 was just a rear abstract to 2014 Cadastre that literally was a poem.This was perhaps one of the reasons why the system attained awards and a very favourable opinion in the FIG Workshop in Czechoslovakia.


The above graph shows the Royal Folio formation in the Records Unified System, with the inclusion of Transactions that is a weakness not modeled in ISO 19152. In its time it didn’t have those names, as the CCDM was hardly a proposal; but certainly the logic. The CCDM today is ISO 19152, known as LADM.

Although the technological tool is the most visible at the show results time, this involved an analysis and existing processes systematization, which has its own history. Complex, because the procedures application differs from one to another registrar; also because when it comes to automation, what does not work on paper won’t work in mechanized system. And without diminishing that in some contexts, it is preferable to be dictator that conciliator; there are some who are literally forced to make changes with a battery of changes not easy to digest.

It was also necessary to make a great legislative work in which it was easier to create a new law than reformed the existing one. The Registration relied on the Supreme Court, the Presidency Secretary Cadastre and the National Geographic Institute of a Public Works Department. It was necessary to create new mechanisms for the legalization, to give a simple example, the expropriation in urban areas where there is conflict in history and where people are paying to different owners. The law allowed to expropriate in the name of the State, in order to create a trust where people continued to pay, received his title and former owners went to court to fight their case. Once resolved, the money of the trust will be from the one who won the trial.

While two years did not adjust to make all things, when it became the new Government was impossible to go back. Tools were mechanized so that it would be almost impossible to do the job without using the system.

2. The registration technique change of Personal Folio to Real Folio

About this there are entire books, confusion and perversions depending on who defends his stance on this. In the study case, Royal Folio technique already existed in law but was not implemented as such, so the main decision was to gradually stop using Personal Folio.

As a general culture, the technical difference between the two lies in the form of archive documents that support the property rights.

Personal Folio technique, keeps the index on the headlines, not on the object, so that seat-ID obeys to a transaction. While it is very disputed, heritage that our parents inherited from our ancestors owe to this technique the legal warranty, not because it was the best, but because well applied by people accustomed to doing things in order, worked very well following the filing logical steps, entry in the daily volume, marginalization, control distribution, confrontation and qualification. The difficulties were in the fact that for a presentation, it was necessary to consult background in other volumes, so that a high volume of daily transactions generated an extremely slow response time; without forgetting that the registral balance was impossible in cases not involving total individualization, homonyms control was crazy and cases such as not individualized housing estates, pro-individed and community property occupied a little more than Public Faith. It also must be clarified, that Royal Folio is not due to most modern processes; both techniques poorly applied lead to the same mistakes. Again: if it doesn’t work on paper, does not work in the machining system, if it didn’t work in the previous system, is almost certain that it will not work in the new one.

cadastre register

Royal Folio technique, in contrast, indexes the properties under unique identifier registration, in which are referred assessments, holders, improvements, adjoining, and other features of the property. This is made in extracted way, referring to folios, contrary to Personal Folio where was transcribed as it was the document and the tract is in the alienation. In ISO 19152 standard, the property is the Administrative Unit (BA_unit), and can operate in Personal Folio or Royal Folio. Of course, a property in Royal Folio is almost the equivalent of a Cadastre plot and will facilitate the bonding process.

3. The cadastre processes standardization.

The cadastre modernization stage was not necessarily pleasant, especially because it generated a conflict between the old guard technicians, who had enough usable knowledge, with new ones who know technology but were unaware of many cadastre legal bases. Right or wrong, we specialize in errors, and the gain was much greater.

A Cadastre problem is that it hopes to keep as a specialized island that is easily outdated, because of not being integrated to the transactional process. Who wouldn’t want that the cadastre tapestry will be respected for all sale, transfer, appraisal, planning use and procedures operations within the new roles framework.


It was necessary to make changes and document, because being honest many things were spoken by the ancient aliens but were not documented. We are sure that these are surpassed aspects by many countries, but I tell this story to be honest in our case study, where the Cadastre is still a complex challenge. Among the aspects I better recall:  

The surveying of the continuous topology; of parcels and public use goods such as streets, rivers, lakes, etc. The first ones were assigned with a registry key and its respective cadastral tab; while the assets for public use were also assigned with a registry key and its administrative folio. This is necessary, since the property seats, as being dismembering, require the full existence of entry and exit areas; as well as control for future invasions to the registered public goods.

Cadastre 2014: The cadastre 2014 will indicate the full legal territory status, including public law and restrictions.

 Data separation by legislative specialization. The maps before the modernization were really works of art, within them, besides the plots were legal nature sites, protected areas, geographical landmarks, risk areas,etc. These were separated as independent maps, making that parcel maps would be seen quite simplistic, but with the purpose to facilitate the digitization and automation of topological processes.

This also generated some conflict, as the Cadastre seemed like the “everything maker”. Although it was completely unable to formalize its roles, in which there were existing responsible institutions within its branches. Unify the National Geographical Institute with the National Cadastre was not a wise step, not because this can not be, but because the environment was not ripe so as to take IGN to a guidance body role for cartography; in those days the IDE concept was so abstract that it seemed to be taking away powers to the “great maker of maps“.

Cadastre 2014: The manual cadastre will be a thing of the past.

 Surveying flows were separated from the update ones. By sweeping were rose plots and tabs, so that once digitized, linking tab-map were applied in a mechanized way and subsequently done the creation of Geoparcel (Spatial_unit) + implementation of legal and administrative effects (Restrictions + Responsibilities + Rights).


The graph is very particular for massive processes. It does not include the other end of the operation, however more or less sums up the logic of Royal Folio formation with its connection to the cadastre plots.

Once created the Tab-Map pairing, public view was expected, after which the field tab was moved to cadastral tab so that any change will take place via cadastral maintenance request. This was remained in condition to be carried out at the interested party request, of its own motion or at registered users request (municipal technicians or surveyors). Right now the process has already a trust formed, with bases ready for the delegation to a private operator that not only will operate the Cadastre but also make the Registration and updating of the System.

Cadastre 2014 will be highly privatized. The public and the private sector will work together.

The forensic graph, today adapted to LADM acronyms shows how it has had formed the processes under a systemic approach, so that the initial steps only were of modeling, but that could be automated under a continuous operation approach.


Cadastre 2014: The cadastral maps shall be part of the past. Long life to modeling!

As you will have already noticed, I’m being simplistic and brief by the limitations of the readers’ patience on the Internet. But many of the things we did were wrong. Ironic, but one of the aspects that was left out was the tax subject, thinking of such legislative separation, prioritizing too much on the legal. Although regulatory competition in the tax remained in the noone hands, we continue it with the municipalities from its legislation, to avoid methods that distort the methods that Cadastre had already modeled. This of course, made municipal systems by their side build their own cadastre modules which, until today, struggled to reconcile.

The suffering by not including the tax still hurts economically; basic principle of technological sustainability: if it does not produce money, will die. Today that it is being transferred to an operator, simple daily consultation statistics do show that it could begin to generate much more money some time ago, but at least won the demand conformation.

Linking Land Registry with Cadastre is the most easy step to make it sustainable… of course, if it were easy. But it is better than wanting to make it sustainable on its own.

Cadastre 2014 shall recover the costs.

4. The Registry Registration – Cadastral Parcel linkage.

After processes were machined as a maquila(*), the record flow was quite simple:

Scanning, cleaning and index of volumes, in order to get the book in digital as a product, with the implicit tract in mechanization so as to avoid the books’ continue creation. Except for Powers/Judgments and other issues that continued to operate in Personal Folio.

 Excerpted from active seats and registration creation. With this, it had a sort of ” digital folio or real folio in training”, which itself is a real folio (by the applied technique), but according to the Honduras law particular aspirations, and the system robustness, a Real Folio must be linked to Cadastre.


By cadastre, the mass surveying led to cabinet printed maps with photo-interpreted delineation or total station files, and field sheets. In cabinet you digitized, linked and created geoparcels using mechanized tools at that time with VBA for Microstation Geographics. In the graphic appears a subsequent step which was really just a technology evolution because in 2003 the spatial cartridge was not implemented, but maps were linked by their centroid under arc-node scheme, however the entire update process was transactional. Later became spatial database migration and desktop management with BentleyMap. Currently it is developing a plugin for Qgis.

Cadastre 2014: The separation between maps and records will be abolished.

Once existing BA_Unit inputs (Royal Folio enrolment) and Spatial_Unit, another process in maquila did the link job. They did review from the registry tab, where had raised the benchmark for Personal Folio, comparing location aspects, owners, area, history and other herbs to create the link.

The following image shows the legal reality linked to physical reality. Despite that it is an example of urbanized area, the process is not so simple for different reasons. In the best of cases it was achieved to link up to a 51% (Urban and Rural average), the remaining bonding will be done by transactional demand and through the certification processes whose goal in this country is…particular.


The Unified Records System, once created the link shows the two realities, with alerts of possible irregularity. So a registration without link to Cadastre only shows the high alert of “Not being georeferenced according to law“. Also the effects that restrict the use, domain or estate occupation, although these two themes are a pending matter… for another article, because institutional weakness is an issue that we, technologists, do not always understand.


For the linking process was necessary – something late I admit – define criteria for automated- alert or a maintenance mechanism, such that bonding was not prevented by 18 irregular appearances, including:

· One to Many plots relationship and registrations,

· Rights difference in extra-registral transmission documents,

· Difference of areas for apparent invasion of the public area,

· Differences by mutation in registration or subsequent cadastre to scanning registry,

· Background not excerpted,

· Horizontal property,

· Proindiviso building,

· Owners names or holders duplicity difference,

· etc, etc, etc.

For this, a widely used technique was applied for the technologies sustainability: assign it to who it more hurts. When the user view alerts, search how to solve them; total, is one of the registry principles:advertising.

Everything was fine, until it is linked to Cadastre.

5. Cadastre and Registry data will never be the same.

The link pass for some time politically attributable” was stopped and to date is one of the complex challenges in the obligatory nature of the law, so that all presentation must require bonding to the land registry. This aspect is somewhat complex, both for being too lenient but also for being so demanding as the Pope. Then some guidelines, which are mostly processes to standardize.

 Cadastre and Registration area will never be the same. To do so, it was used a tolerance formula, which considers measuring method, the urban/rural status depending on their size, in this case the maximum scale used in previous surveying, such as that shown in the following image. As maximum tolerance 6% was considered, and as you can see, using a formula like this, area descends from 6% to 1% to the extent that the venue size grows.


The formula has been inserted as a stored procedure in the database, such that is displayed in the system in a dynamic way. If the documentary area is not within that range, then the system raises an alert by difference of area.

A land registry and a topographic record are not the same. If the state is going to be measured five times, its coordinates will be different each time (within a tolerance). These means, that if its coordinates are within that margin, it is not necessary to change the land cadastre; for that the LADM considers the registration of measuring registry, Survey_classes as a relation between the Source_document and the Spatial_unit.

· It is not possible to insist that the surrounding of the notarial protocol must appear as names of persons; although the principle is that it must be explicit, we understand it is applied when we need to consult a map, but if the map viewer is so clear that it doesn’t take specialty, then, the adjoining may be land registry keys. Sounds simple, but making lawyers understand this takes time; we hope this will be resolved with the registry bill.

It is not possible to start a process, without professionals certification in surveying is well regulated, measurement methods, tolerances, files presentation formats and cohabitation procedures between the data raised with different precisions. If when measuring a state is evidenced the need to re-measure throughout an area, because it is poorly raised, or because method’s difference, for this the LADM considered the Point_parcel, so you can avoid the Armageddon judgment – which is currently looming.

The legal background is a reference, is not infallible. It was necessary to let in the law, the cadastral survey will be based on the physical situation, and if in the event that there is difference between the documentary and cadastral area, and they have not changed the adjoining situation, there is no evidence of claims or adjacent to public areas, will prevail the cadastral area. How easy sounds, but enforce the existing scriptures should be changed is another story; since by law I must admit the registered right and not I declare irregular what agreed under previous terms, only because my parameters changed.

It is necessary to define methods of debugging information that will facilitate the information regularity establishment. If a legal person is the Banco Davivienda, but appears with different names for each branch in the notarial protocols, a consolidation process is required. Similarly, if a property was surveyed by different ways, but it is the same, it doesn’t take a state fusion but a consolidation. But both aspects must be legal.

The biggest challenges will always be the human resources, in this sector generally resistant to change and with a trend that things should be just in a way. There is another that reinvent themselves and allow safeguards. Rotation for political purposes can be helpful, although it must be prevented that will be the greatest threat. To the extent that it may take legal handle, outsource is a venial sin, provided it is free more complex interests.

6. Finally:

As I said at the beginning, the subject of this article does not seek to launch magic recipes. Especially because the institutional reality in each country is very complex, not by technical or legal aspects, but rather by power positions and their authorities lack of vision. However, the example shows that it is possible to make interesting things in third world countries, if we take advantage of glory moments to tie the irreversible aspects. Other countries have with less crazy, others having better institutional conditions struggle for real integration.

The land registry is based on common sense. Property right transactions exist since man discovered agriculture, and realized that could create human settlements.


The graph shows a passage from our religious literature, where terms seem taken from an exchange of registry jurisprudence, with travel expenses paid to the past, in precious metal coins quantified in balance – what a great idea for any today official -. No one doubted the certainty of property or the value of the right inscribed in the”open transport“. Of course, that if we wanted to link the cadastre and the register on that date, we would have the same problems and same consulting work for herbs smokers like us.

yooooIn the Honduran case, currently in view of the new version of the system, the modeled processes are almost as important as aspects not reached, because the business is the same, the environment mutate in the least, processes do change. In the technological innovation world we live in, between the time I started writing the article and the date which by chance you came to read it, there is a new technologies boom offering to solve the Registry-Cadastre problem and three new consultants offering their services. We must remember that the technologies are only an input; the balance between the pressure between the technological supply and modernization demand is the standard.

Integrate the registration and cadastre is a chapter that we must begin. If only it theorizes, and never starts, it will be science fiction. Good or bad, once it starts, it occupies more art than science to bring it to reality. But the process is so kindly, that takes just a couple of people who have the horizon clear, because the solution to all cases is in the existing human resource, who are specialists in their own fields: Registration, Cadastre, Land Use planning, Automation, systematization and… something inspirational marijuana. 

It comes new challenges. The other half of the article, is around the corner.  


(*) maquila: Portion of grain, flour or oil corresponding to the miller by the grinding.

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