Galileo satellites for better cadastral land surveys

News - 09 October 2019 - Communications BK

Researchers received a H2020 grant to further improve the availability of the Galileo system and to integrate land surveys in the cadastral workflow. With this new European Global Satellite Navigation System, cadastral measurements can be conducted real-time in the field. This possibility for on-field boundary determination makes conducting cadastral surveys becomes more efficient.

Researcher Edward Verbree explains: “Every system has its own accuracy. For most applications, a few meters in accuracy is perfectly agreeable. For cadastral applications however, every centimetre counts. With this new system, we can easily achieve centimetres accuracy and measure quickly, too. That means the system can actually be used in the field to provide correct and fast data.”

Europe’s Global Satellite Navigation System (GNSS), dubbed Galileo, provides improved positioning and timing information with positive implications for many European services and users. For example, Galileo allows users to determine their exact position with higher accuracy than what is offered by other available systems such as GPS. With a development period of over twenty years and a € 22.2 billion estimated investment, Galileo is one of Europe’s largest projects.

The research project ‘Galileo improved services for cadastral augmentation development on-field validation’ (GISCAD-OV) received a € 3.4 million European Commission H2020 grant to overcome current limitations within the system. In doing so, the project paves the way for the exploitation of further opportunities in cadastral land surveying. The new high accuracy services for Galileo create up to five-centimetre accuracies, with quick measurement times of two to five minutes. This allows for correct and fast measurements in the field, making the improved system an excellent tool for land surveying. The provided information can be used by the Cadastral sector for, amongst others, parcel subdivision, boundary determination, boundary reconstruction, new building insertions on maps, and updates of coordinate reference systems. Boundary determination and reconstruction for example are used to settle disputes, or in case of disaster recoveries after an earthquake or tsunami.

The TU Delft portion of the research focusses on standardisation and regulation of encoding survey data and cadastral workflow. Researchers Peter van Oosterom and Edward Verbree aim to integrate the existing Land Administration Domain Model (LADM, ISO standard 19152) within the project. This data model aligns land administration design with technological developments, providing a standardised global vocabulary for land administration. By combining LADM with the improved Galileo services, cadastral land surveying cannot only be significantly improved, but also becomes available for free or at low cost throughout Europe. The reduced costs and the democratisation of the connected hard- and software will improve the service as a whole.

The GISCAD-OV project is conducted by a consortium of fourteen partners, including TU Delft: Geoweb, Exagone, Instituto Geografico Nacional, Sogei, University of Padova, Geo++, Novatel, York University, Geoflex, Telespazio, VÚGTK, CLGE, and Roma Tre University. The H2020 project will be conducted over the next three years, with a total budget of € 3.4 million. It is the first H2020 SPACE project in which TU Delft participates.