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- FINAL RESEARCH PROPOSAL UTILISATION OF MOBILE TECHNOLOGY FOR FIELD DATA

MANAGEMENT IN LAND ADMINISTRATION

by
Jaco de Kock
1382640
Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree
Masters in Geographical Information Systems
in the
FACULTY OF EARTH AND LIFE SCIENCES
at the
VRIJE UNIVERSITEIT AMSTERDAM
Study leader:
Prof.dr. H. Scholten

March 2003
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The emphasis for fieldworkers has moved from


measurement to the management of data.
The greatest impact on land administration has
come from information-handling rather than from
surveying
P. Dale, 1999

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.

INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................................1
1.1.

MOBILE DATA MANAGEMENT IN THE FIELDWORK CONTEXT......................................2

1.2.

MOBILE DATA MANAGEMENT IN A LAND ADMINISTRATION CONTEXT.........................2

1.3.

PROBLEM STATEMENT.................................................................................................2

1.4.

RESEARCH GOALS AND OBJECTIVES..........................................................................3

1.5.
RESEARCH QUESTION.................................................................................................4
1.5.1.
Sub Questions.........................................................................................................4

2.

3.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY....................................................................5


2.1.

TYPE OF STUDY...........................................................................................................5

2.2.

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY............................................................................................5

2.3.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY...................................................................5

2.4.

STRUCTURE OF THE THESIS.......................................................................................6

2.5.

PROJECT TIMELINE......................................................................................................7

REFERENCES....................................................................................................................8

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UTILISATION OF MOBILE TECHNOLOGY FOR FIELD DATA


MANAGEMENT IN LAND ADMINISTRATION

1. INTRODUCTION
Developments in mobile technology and communication and the location-based services (LBS) sector offer
new options to realise fast and cost effective field data management in the areas of land management and more
specifically land administration.
To reduce the time needed to acquire data in the field by hand, returning to the office, processing the data
and eventually return to the field to do the indispensable measurement adjustments for optimal results, the
improvements in wireless technology and the LBS sector are beneficial. Data acquired in the field by a mobile
fieldworker is transmitted to a remote system immediately using GSM or wireless LAN technologies. On the
remote system, the data will be processed and the results will be sent back to the fieldworker in the same way.
Depending on the capabilities of the remote system, the mobile fieldworker is able to integrate the knowledge
obtained by the processed data into this current field operation instantly.
Data management will play a future role for future utilization of wireless technologies. The data, their
collection and updating will be limitations for many possible applications. There exist big amount of potential
applications and research in this field.
This project comprises an investigation into the utilization of mobile technology / mobile GIS for field data
management in land administration. It reviews the use of wireless technology and Geographic Information
Systems, in order to improve the quality of data management - land related information in land administration - in
the field. It focuses on making processed data available to fieldworkers in the field.
The project consists of the following components:

Introduce and describe the use of mobile technology for data management in the field: Modern mobile
technology and GIS techniques are combined in a complete revised updating methodology leading to a
fully digital processing and management of the data.

Location based services in land administration fieldwork: Using new telecommunication technologies
(e.g. GSM, GPRS and GPS) in combination with mobile devices (Personal Digital Assistant, Handheld),
fieldworkers of land data and information will be supported in their daily work by receiving information in
combination to the actual location via GPS or GSM.

Customising IntelliWhere OnDemand for wireless learning in land administration: Mobile technology can
form part of the environment that mediates learning. By compiling a fieldwork procedure collecting and

managing data in the field it is possible to educate/assist the fieldworker in the use of mobile GIS for
wireless fieldwork.

Case study: Evaluating the use of mobile GIS in field data management and applying it to land
administration in Hungary

Value of the study: Improve the quality of data management in the field and facilitates the development
of wireless learning via mobile devices

Future research: Describe the use of mobile multimedia as new data collection and management
techniques. This includes the use of voice input/recognition and digital imagery in the field.

The use of new mobile technologies in combination with mobile mapping devices offer new opportunities for
the provision of high quality databases and their management in the field.

1.1.

MOBILE DATA MANAGEMENT IN THE FIELDWORK CONTEXT


Data management is one of the four core components when working with geographical data. It includes

those functions needed to store and retrieve data from the database. The methods used to implement these
functions affect how efficiently the system performs all operations with the data (Aronoff, 1989).
Many wireless applications also need data connection with geographical information systems. Wireless
technology offer new tools for data management, mainly for data collection and data updating in the field.
Therefore data management can be more effective and also secure using wireless connection.

1.2.

MOBILE DATA MANAGEMENT IN A LAND ADMINISTRATION CONTEXT

Land administration is more than just a data capture, storage, retrieval and display system but to be
managed. The data that are recorded about land and property are not only a valuable resource in their own right;
they are also something to which value can be added. Mobile technologies allow this fact to be recognised and
exploited.
Modern portable pen computers (handhelds and PDAs) allow updating of (cadastral) maps during the field
session and make geometric quality management possible in the field, so that detected errors can be
investigated and rectified right on the spot. Data communication facilitates the transmission of work files of maps
from the field to the office in order to establish an efficient work process.

1.3.

PROBLEM STATEMENT
The most time consuming and expensive task in building a modern land administration system is the

collection of new data and the conversion of old records into digital form. Data capture is not just a technical
survey operation since there must be agreement on the ground as to what is being measured, who owns the
land and where the boundaries lie. Although technology can help to speed up some of the processes of creating

and updating a cadastral system, it is essential that land-owners are consulted and are confident in the results of
any data acquisition programme.
The key issue is to get neighbours to agree on the ground as to who owns what land. Every boundary
must be identified correctly and whereas a synoptic view may meet the needs of general land administrators,
remote sensing techniques do not normally satisfy the requirements of land-owners or development control
officers.
The crucial issue then becomes one of maintenance and the need of cost effective ways of keeping the
data up to date, carrying out subdivisions or retracing old property boundaries.
On the determination side of the land administration process, the fast moving property market and public
administration together with the fast developing IT world, have developed the need for more efficient and
effective ways of data management, especially in the field. Land administrators need to manage the captured
and revised data with the aid of wireless/mobile devices. It has to facilitate data management functions by
means of download and uploading data to and from the device respectively.
Overall, new field working technologies have re-awakened the debate about appropriate standards of
precision in measurement and how these standards should evolve over time, but the emphasis for fieldworkers
has moved from measurement to the management of data in the field.

1.4.

RESEARCH GOALS AND OBJECTIVES


There is a growing need for mobile data management systems, which are able to store, manipulate,

retrieve, most importantly , manage the large quantities of geo-referenced data that are available today. Should
land administrators decide to incorporate mobile technology as a tool for mobile data management in the field, it
will have to add value to the overall strategic and operational management approach.
In view of the problem statement and research questions, the study will interpret the questions asked and
motivate the benefits of using mobile devices in a land administration environment. The goals and objectives
formulated are to:

Explain and describe the theory behind wireless technology, location-based services (LBS), land
administration, and field data management.

Optimise field data management in land administration by using mobile technologies and LBS

Improve the quality of data management in the field

Effective and efficient data transfer from the server station to the fieldworker and back

Facilitate the development of wireless education in land administration

Customise mobile GIS software (IntelliWhere OnDemand) for faster and effective data capturing and
management in the field

Describe the use of mobile multimedia as new data collection techniques in the field as a future research

1.5. RESEARCH QUESTION


Looking at the problem from a GIS perspective to support the data management process, it is possible to
formulate the following research question:
How can land administration data best be managed in the field using mobile technology and locationbased services?

1.5.1. Sub Questions

How can LBS support data management in the field?

How is data managed in land administration?

How can mobile technology together with LBS improve the quality of field data management?

What field data management procedures in land administration exists?

Is it possible to customise mobile software (like IntelliWhere OnDemand) for data management in the
field?

2. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY


2.1. TYPE OF STUDY
This study is designed as an exploratory investigation into the utilisation of mobile technology and
mobile GIS techniques for field data management in a land administration. This implies that no hypothesis for the
study will be defined. The study will be supported by a case study.

2.2. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY


The project will investigate and evaluate the use of mobile technology and location-based services for
field data management in land administration and to facilitate the development of wireless learning in the field. It
evaluates whether this new technology can be used for the specific purpose. The value added to land
administration in Hungary will also be explored.

2.3. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY


This research will involve doing a case study on only one study site in Hungary. I will consult with the
Prof. Dr. Bela Marcus, director of the College of Geoinformatics, University of West Hungary. This study is
particularly useful because I as researcher and also the land administrators lack a clear idea of the outcome and
impact of new technology used in the study. Through the exploration one can develop concepts more clearly,
develop operational definitions and improve the final research methodology (Cooper & Schindler, 2001).
The study will also include a data collection and data analysis phase. This research is designed to take
in account whether there is a demand for a mobile data management in land administration fieldwork and can
the new system function independently; will it be a value-added process? When designing a strategy framework
and customising the survey process on the mobile devices, I have to consider the before mentioned criteria.

The research methodology that will be used comprises of the following steps:

Abstract

Introduction
o

Problem Statement

Goals and Objectives

Research Questions

Theoretical overview

Case study

Value of the project

Critical assessment and evaluation

Conclusion

Recommendations

2.4. STRUCTURE OF THE THESIS

Introduction
Research
Methodology

World of mobile
and wireless
technology

GIS in Land
Administration
Data Management
in the field

Location-based
Services
IntelliWhere and
GeoMedia Pro

Mobile field data


management in
Land
Administration
Case Study

Critical
Assessment and
Evaluation

Value of the
project

Conclusion

Future Research:
Mobile Multimedia
Conclusion

2.5. PROJECT TIMELINE


The thesis has to be submitted within a certain project timeline. As a rough guide the project will be divided into
the following timeframes:

Literature review

5 weeks

Customisation of IntelliWhere OnDemand

4 weeks

Case study

5 weeks

Data collection

Data analysis

Recommendations

1 week

Final dissertation report

2 weeks

Presentation to the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

2 days

3. REFERENCES