What is a Cadastre?
The cadastre of a country is its register of property titles and is usually managed by government agencies – in Australia these are often called Land Titles Offices. The information recorded includes an accurate description of the location of a parcel of land and who owns it. It may also record what the land can be used for (e.g. residential or not, national park etc) and may also show the location and shape of buildings. In some countries it also records the value of a property. In these cases the cadastre may also be used for land taxation purposes.
What is a Cadastral Plan?
The foundation block of a cadastre is the cadastral plan (or survey plan). This is produced by a registered ⁄ licensed surveyor who accurately measures and records the boundaries of each property. This occurs whenever a new land parcel is created and each new survey produces a new survey plan. Because of this each plan is static in time, i.e. it represents the shape and status of the cadastre at the time of survey.
Cadastral plans from different parts of the world, or indeed different parts of Australia, will contain different information – this is dependent on local legislation relating to the registering of cadastral plans into the local cadastre. A properly registered cadastral plan is a legal document.
How is a Cadastral Map different to a Cadastral Plan?
Cadastral maps are produced by joining together individual cadastral plans. A cadastral map is a general land administrative tool which has no real legislative basis (as a cadastral plan does). It is often created on demand and therefore not necessarily up–to–date. These maps are used by a broad range of people (public and professional) for all manner of things including real estate sales, valuation, Land Title Office management of the cadastre, planning etc.
Cadastral mapping is one of the best known forms of mapping, because it is the mapping that shows all of the land parcels in relation to one another and to the adjoining roads. It is also one of the most ancient forms of mapping – for example ancient Egyptians are known to have developed cadastral records so that land ownership could be re–established after the annual flooding of the Nile River.