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LADM implementation using INTERLIS – Colombia

The INTERLIS course, seen as a language and instrument to facilitate the Land Administration Domain Model (LADM) implementation in the environment of Colombia land administration was held the third week of June 2016.

The course was held in two stages, one at a basic level / theorist with a large group of different institutions involved in the territory management, trying to understand what is INTERLIS, using developed applications, how can be used and results of its application in the land administration in countries in center /east Europe; the second day of the course is more practical with a smaller thematic specialists team, which has been involved in the LADM model construction from Colombia.

An interesting challenge, taking into account that the facilitator’s course is Michael Germann, one of the speakers at the LADM INTERLIS-based on a FIG recent event, with Jürg Kaufmann, Daniel Steudler, Christiaan Lemmen, Peter Van Oosterom and Kees de Zeeuw. And I say challenge, because this level characters often have constraints upon exhibit smoked themes to ordinary audiences in the Latin American context.


It is a conceptual schema language (Conceptual Schema Language – CSL), which fits for the models description, although it can be used for any system, it specialises in geospatial models, which includes various types of geometries. It should be noted that INTERLIS is not a software but a platform independent neutral language, which includes also a data transfer format which is directly derived from the model; INTERLIS is not a programming language, although it has its own syntax to describe accurately models, including the restrictions definition (constraints).

interlis colombia

Data transfer format is the ITF (INTERLIS-1) or derived XTF (INTERLIS-2, an XML), as already mentioned, model data using standardized rules. The strict division between modelling and transfer (model driven approach) is very interesting, because in the background gives it merits for the LADM smoke that once patterned the immediate question after is And now what rays can I do?

The INTERLIS background goes almost in 30 years, when in 1989 the swiss started to dabble in the computers use under modern methods. Although they used the computer for Cadastre since the 1970s, is through a project known as RAV (reform of the official Cadastre) to raise a proposal with a central idea based on freedom in the use of the methods for cadastral work. It is obvious that the introduction of this principle implied the need for a standalone solution platforms for description and data storage, and it was the INTERLIS-1 born in 1989. It is valuable its birth philosophy, with the ‘freedom in the use of methods’ precept, because it promotes that each municipality, department, geographic region, or institutional entity can use the tool that best suits, provided that INTERLIS sticking may have full interoperability. The pilot was at beginning of the nineties, in 1993 was published the first official cadastral model; interesting considering that in 1994 began the 2014 Cadastre initiative which was finally published in 1998.

interlisbladm interlis

Subsequent to the release of the first official cadastral model, there are first tools developments such as the Compiler for the correct syntax for models verification, Translator to pass data from one model to another, and the Checker to validate XTF data against the model; INTERLIS-2 was developed between 1998 and 2006 and for the year the Checker was published with free license. By 2007 INTERLIS became a national standard in Switzerland and by 2014 there were 160 models of national EDI, described with the standard, which, among others generated the basis for starting up new restrictions Cadastre of public law on property, the realization of the Cadastre 2014.

As a preliminary conclusion, INTERLIS is not a programming language, but rather a description and data transfer language. Although it is written in UML, has other types of data like data transfer and update which are already own.

Advantages of INTERLIS

The main advantage is the “freedom of methods”. It is important to support the Cadastre 2014concepts, especially with regard to the thematic independence management with models for issues but within a reference system; in addition to its flexibility to create data models in general, but it would have to be seen if it looks like the swiss army knife for modelling.

It is easily understandable by TI specialists as for land management subject experts. It was understood that with the syntax and rules for deriving the transfer format, can be processed and validated by computer programs.

Other advantages assume that it can be easily deployed, although after seeing the 160 pages manual… I must admit that it takes an effort to at least one week to see examples and try to build them. Of course, have a built model with an UML editor, and then generate the code for an application or physical database model is definitely get and step forward… If it is well done, of course.

The manual is in German, French and English. With the advantage that when adopted in Colombia, it has become an effort to get a version in Spanish, which by the way is in the improvement process; We hope that soon will be available for download at www.interlis.ch.

Differences among INTERLIS-1, INTERLIS-2 and other languages

The INTERLIS version 2 is object-oriented, more flexible and supports more complex classes; it is compatible with version 1 and already supports extensions, complex restrictions and transfer via XML.

Compared with other protocols and languages, INTERLIS is more accurate than the simple UML, but everything is based on this language. In addition is more specific in the geographical field by the inclusion of different types of objects (points, lines, arcs, areas and surfaces). Compared with the GML, it facilitates journaling, which is not in the LADM and for those who have tried to send WFS services using GML understand the limitation. INTERLIS is now also part of the OGR/GDAL (2.0) library and XTF files using QGIS can be displayed. Other Open Source tools allow a base data schema generation in PostgreSQL/PostGIS, data import to that schema and export to a XTF file (ili2pg). And of course there are many custodial applications from part of big ones, GEONIS for ArcGIS based on FME, GeosPro’s Geomedia, INTERLIS for AutoCAD Map3D.


As mentioned before, for the INTERLIS use there are some freeware license important applications for modeling and data validation in the standard, as it is the case of the Compiler, the UML Editor and Checker.

The INTERLIS-Compiler is used to validate the model syntax, INTERLIS Checker allows you to validate the data file compatibility regarding a descriptive model, so to use it requires a model (.ili extension) and also a file transfer (.itf o.xtf); It requires also a .cfg extension file for configuration characteristics (where the requirements are defined for minimum compliance with the model). The UML Editor runs through the umleditor.jar, allowing to edit INTERLIS schemes in visual way. By now, only it is in French and German. The GUI is something primitive compared with Visual Paradigm or Enterprise Architect, however is useful for basic aspects – and the best thing is that it generates the model code with the correct syntax.

Application Methodology

The course initially met the role that “the geomatics should not have fear to models”, which implies that you should read. On the second day, it was carried out by defining the topics; in the case of the swiss the LADM profile,

The following themes are used:

· Cadastre

· Land cover

· Control points

· Drainage networks

In the Colombian model case, it was made a banana equivalent, with the themes:

· Cadastre

· Registration

· OLand use Planning

· etc.

Then this themes were defined:

· Cadastre objects:

· Control point

· Plots (including land and building)

· Administrative boundaries

· Cadastral zoning

· Physical homogeneous zones

· Economic zones

· Etc.

interlis ladminterlis

Finally there were ordered some acutal LADM model standards; as for example, if they are going to eliminate prepositions, if classes will be plural… etc. It is suggested that the Topics can be in Plural, as the classes in singular. Thus, on the fly, the model was already in this way:

TOPIC Control_Points =

END Control_Points;

TOPIC Plots =

! Limit Point

! Plot, Building, …


TOPIC Limits=

! Management Division

! Area Limit Division


Then types, subtypes and rules are breaking down; it seems complex, but it is not. With the variant that Colombia model has its peculiarities, in two days has been possible to build the LADM INTERLIS model built in March. Definitely Latin Americans give more laps, additionally because all domains, types and subtypes; have been included in the INTERLIS model, things that may eventually be disaggregated as time passes. See how simple is this Dutch model:



!! ISO 19152 LADM country profile NL modelled with INTERLIS 2



!! revision history



!! 03.02.2014/mg: initial version

!! 17.11.2014/mg: some syntax corrections




!! (c) Swiss Land Management (www.swisslm.ch)





AT “http://www.swisslm.ch/models”

VERSION “2014-02-03” =









STRUCTURE UnknownValueType =

END UnknownValueType;

CLASS NL_SpatialUnit (ABSTRACT) EXTENDS LADM.Spatial_Unit.LA_SpatialUnit =

dimension (EXTENDED): LADM.Spatial_Unit.LA_DimensionType;

landConsolidationInterest: LIST {0..5} OF UnknownValueType;

purchasePrice: Currency;

volume (EXTENDED): LADM.Spatial_Unit.LA_VolumeValue;

END NL_SpatialUnit;



name (EXTENDED): CharacterString;

role (EXTENDED): LADM.Party.LA_PartyRoleType;

END NL_Party;

CLASS NL_AdminSourceDocument EXTENDS LADM.Administrative.LA_AdministrativeSource =

claim: Currency;

purchasePrice: Currency;

END NL_AdminSourceDocument;

CLASS NL_RRR (ABSTRACT) EXTENDS LADM.Administrative.LA_AdministrativeSource =

description: CharacterString;


CLASS NL_BAUnit EXTENDS LADM.Administrative.LA_BAUnit =

name (EXTENDED): CharacterString;



typePurchased: (other);

typeSold: (other);

END NL_RealRight;


END NL_Restriction;

CLASS NL_Mortgage EXTENDS LADM.Administrative.LA_Mortgage =

description (EXTENDED): CharacterString;

END NL_Mortgage;

CLASS NL_Parcel EXTENDS NL_SpatialUnit =

END NL_Parcel;

CLASS NL_BuildingUnit EXTENDS NL_SpatialUnit =

END NL_BuildingUnit;

CLASS NL_Network EXTENDS LADM.Spatial_Unit.LA_LegalSpaceUtiliyNetwork =

dimension (EXTENDED): LADM.Spatial_Unit.LA_DimensionType;

landConsolidationInterest: LIST {0..5} OF CharacterStringListValue;

And so as a result to search the LADM_NL END

intgerlisladm interlis

The INTERLIS internationalization in the Latin American context, seems to us an interesting challenge of the Agustin Codazzi Institute and other institutions linked to the land administration in Colombia, not only for the support itself represents the Switzerland cooperation but the Colombian institutionality specific weight in the South American context. I think a good model adoption and extension in the areas of Cadastre, link to registry property, Territorial Ordinance and the Colombian spatial data infrastructure will focus the countries eyes beyond the Southern Cone.

clip_image010_thumb.gifINTERLIS will allow a relative ease in the Land Administration Domain Model implementation (ISO 19152), at least with regard to interoperability, especially because it shortens somewhat the GML files adoption route as interchange formats, taking advantage of testing, transfer and validation tools. Just imagine the potential, considering that Colombia with its new legislation is going to start a Multipurpose Cadastre sweep, in which will be required tools for data quality control both for private companies as well as certified professionals and close to 1,100 municipalities that will gradually irreversibly enter to a powers delegation cycle by the IGAC Cadastre or local decentralized entities… for what INTERLIS is highly functional.

ladm interlisAnd ultimately, the geomatics must learn to understand models, if not so, GML, UML, LADM and these acronyms will seem topics for programmers.



ladm interlis

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