(The state of the art in Central Europe)

Prof.dr. Theo Bogaerts
Subfaculty Geodesy
Delft University of Technology


A (digital) base map covering the whole area of a country is a condition for a national geographic information infrastructure. In the countries in Central Europe there are two types of national base maps. The first is the cadastral map and the second the topographic map (scale 1:10,000). The improvement of these map series is supported by the PHARE Programme of the European Union. The paper describes the state of the art in the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Hungary and Poland.


The opening up of Central and Eastern Europe after the dramatic events of 1989 has provided the greatest challenge to the European Union since its creation. Many Member States have cultural and historical ties with the region and their interest in its economic development has been intensified by the scale of the changes being undertaken there.

For this reason the European Union created the PHARE Programme which supports the development of a larger democratic family of nations within a prosperous and stable Europe. Its aim is to help the countries of Central and Eastern Europe rejoin the mainstream of European development and build closer political and economic ties with the European Union.

PHARE does this by providing grant finance to support the process of economic transformation and to strengthen newly created democratic societies. PHARE also provides grant finance to help countries with Europe Agreements integrate with the European Union.

In its five first years of operation to 1994, PHARE has made available 4,283 million ECU to 11 partner countries, making PHARE the largest assistance programme of its kind. The Multi Annual Programme of 1995-1999 has even a larger budget.

PHARE works in close co-operation with its partner countries to decide how funds are to be spent, within a framework agreed with the European Union. This ensures that PHARE funding is relevant to each government's own reform policies and priorities. Each country takes the responsibility for running its own programmes.

Almost all the countries in Central Europe have chosen to spend a considerable amount of their PHARE budgets to improve their land information systems. In practice this means a reconstruction/improvement of the cadastral systems and the topographic mapping systems. During the Communist period the cadastral systems became out-dated, because of the collectivisation of land and property. In the same time topographic maps and aerial photographs were not available for civil purposes, but were considered as classified information for military purposes. The reconstruction of these important elements in the land information systems is a tremendous task which will take many decades in the next century. Discussions on the introduction of a geographic information infrastructure are in my opinion only of academic value if the primary conditions of the availability of a good cadastral system and an up-to-date set of topographic (digital) maps are not fulfilled.

In this presentation I like to give information about my activities as consultant for the PHARE Programme with respect to the improvement of the land information sector in the countries of Central Europe. In this respect I have made several so-called Strategic Review Studies for the Land Information Systems. In order to make comparison between the different countries possible, the review studies are carried out along established lines. As a result of these Review Studies I am now involved in the preparation of Enhanced Cadastral Systems in different countries.

This paper is based on some chapters of the Review Studies with respect to cadastral mapping and topographic mapping in the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Hungary and Poland.

1.1 Base maps

A strong tool in a national infrastructure for geo-information is the availability of a map, preferably digital, covering the whole territory of the country. Even more interesting are map scales that are also available in digital form in neighbouring countries. For the countries in Central Europe there are in general two map series covering the whole country. They are the cadastral maps on scales 1:1000, 1:2000 and 1:5000 and the topographic maps on scale 1:10,000. For the improvement of the quality of those maps, the completion and the digitising support from the European Union in the framework of the PHARE Programme was at least given to four countries: Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and the Slovak Republic. Therefore this paper deals with cadastral maps and the topographic maps on the scale 1:10,000.

1.2 Cadastral maps

In principle the Cadastral System consists of registers and maps. The registers give information about the users of land and property. Due to the privatisation processes there is a transition of user registration to registration of owners. Furthermore in the registers there is information about the land parcels, buildings, ownership rights, mortgages, easements, burdens, etc. Almost all the countries are in the final stage of computerisation of the registers. At the end of 1998 we may assume that all the alphanumeric information will be available in digital form.

The four countries of Central Europe (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic and Hungary), involved in this study, have the intention to digitise the cadastral maps. This is an enormous task. Roughly estimated there are 85 million cadastral parcels presented on 260,000 cadastral maps in the countries involved. The old maps, mostly on scale 1:2880, 1:1000, 1:2000 and 1:5000, are raster scanned. All the countries are in the process of redrawing old maps, bringing them into the National Co-ordinate System, are in the beginning of vectorising the cadastral maps, etc. The old maps are sometimes in poor condition. The maps contain a lot of superfluous topographic information and a vague legal status for the majority of the parcel boundaries. In the countries land parcels and buildings can be subject of different ownership. This makes it necessary to have a separate registration of buildings and apartments. In most of the countries this registration is poor or lacking at all. In most of the countries there are two types of cadastral maps. The first type represents the old situation before the collectivisation under the Communist Regime. The second type is a much simpler map, which represents the state farms and the co-operations without individual property boundaries. The process of automation is dealing with the second type of maps. Because of its much simpler content, the figures about the progress in digitising could be easy misunderstood.

1.3 Topographic maps 1:10,000

The Military Topographic Map Services are producing topographic maps of 1:25,000, 1:50,000 and smaller scales for military purposes. Although there are some commercial activities from these services, it is unclear if these products are available in digital form on the civil market. It is more safe to concentrate on the state map series, produced by the civil national agencies co-ordinating activities in the field of geodesy and cartography. The main interest of these organisations in topographic mapping is the map at a scale of 1:10,000 with derived maps of scale 1:5000 and 1:25,000. The countries are involved in completing the maps at a scale of 1:10,000, they also have already started digitising and the establishment of a topographic database.

The total number of map sheets in the four countries involved is about 30,000 (Czech Republic: 4573 map sheets; Slovak Republic 2820 map sheets; Hungary: 4079 map sheets: Poland: about 18,000 map sheets).

2. Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic the responsibility for the cadastral system lies with the Czech Office for Surveying, Mapping and Cadastre (COSMC). This authority is also responsible for the production and maintenance of the state map series.

2.1 Cadastral Maps (Survey Information Files)

The entire territory of the Czech Republic has some 68,000 cadastral maps at various scales and in various projections, covering 13,000 cadastral units in 77 districts. The cadastral map data exist in the following forms.

  1. Graphical Cadastral Maps
    1. Historical maps dating from the last century
      These maps are available for the entire territory of the Czech Republic, however they have received only limited updating since the 1950's and they have all either been redrawn (Group A.2), or else have been superseded by numerically derived maps (Group B). These maps are regarded as of historical value, as they show the original pattern of ownership of the land units prior to collectivisation of the 1950's. The maps are typically 'island' maps, they were produced by plane table methods, they are in an applied cylindrical projection, using different meridians in different parts of the country 'Sv.Štěpán (Moravia) and 'Gusterberg' (Bohemia), and are at scales of 1:720, 1:1140 and 1:2880. It is estimated that there are more than 68,000 of these maps in existence. All have been raster scanned (black and white) and are held as TIFF files within each of the cadastral offices.
    2. Redrawn non-metric maps
      These maps were produced by redrawing the earlier series (Group A.1), and they retain the same projection, scale and accuracy. However, many were redrawn after the collectivisation of agriculture during the 1950's, and so they do not show many of the earlier property boundaries. These maps have been upgraded graphically. In some cases the scale was changed to a metric scale (1:1250 and 1:2500). In approximately 70% of the territory of the Czech Republic, they represent the principal cadastral record, and are still updated manually. It is estimated that there are more than 68,000 of these maps. All of these maps have been raster scanned in the last four years, and the raster data is available within the cadastral offices.
  2. Numerical Metric maps
    1. Numerical metric maps (S-JTSK co-ordinate system)
      These maps have been produced within the Systém Jednotné trigonometrické sítě katastrální (S-JTSK) Projection System at a scale of 1:1000 and 1:2000 using numerical survey methods.
      Where the original survey books have been preserved, the precise numerical data is available. Approximately 15% of the Czech Republic is covered with these maps.
    2. Numerical metric maps with lists of known points (S-JTSK co-ordinate system)
      These maps are similar to Group B.1, but were produced since 1976 using digital methods, and the lists of co-ordinates have been preserved (registers of points, and register of linear features). Approximately 15% of the Czech Republic is covered by these maps.
  3. Digital maps
    These represent digital cadastral maps and have been produced since 1993. The content is defined according to Decree Notice 190/1996, and the coding of the elements, their attributes, topological qualities and subdivision into layers are set by a regulation that also defines the data exchange format.

2.2 The Missing Parcels

After 1964, according to the new cadastral law, only selected titles were registered in the Land Cadastre. The land of private persons, that was used by the State or by co-operative companies, was not registered at all. Land parcels of private persons were not distinguished on cadastral maps or in written documents. Nevertheless these parcels of owners are usually accessible in historical cadastral documentation (the Land Cadastre and the Land Registry). Personal ownership of land was hidden in large parcels of the State or co-operative companies (according to previous legislation). Changes in the old historical parcels were not registered in the current Land Cadastre, but only in auxiliary files, which were not a legal part of the Land Cadastre. The Land Registry was dissolved according to the Civic Code of 1950.

The new land cadastre of that time had no legal validity and the right to the land had to be proved individually by means of the proper agreements and decisions. Nevertheless, the collection of documents of the land cadastre includes practically all the original deeds, even those concerning the large blocks of parcels.

Since 1964 new cadastral mapping has been continued, at the beginning as the Technical Economic Mapping, later as the Basic Large Scale Mapping at scales 1:1000 or 1:2000 with the accuracy characterised by m.s.e. in co-ordinates + 14 cm or + 28 cm, respectively. The new maps cover about 30% of the territory.

The main trouble of the existing cadastre is the fact that the cadastre does not content all the parcels with valid ownership relations. There are only auxiliary files (so-called simplified registers) enabling searching for that parcels represented in the maps of historical land cadastre (under the old parcel numbers). The searching in archive documents is difficult and time-consuming manual work demanding very skilled personnel. As the missing parcels are relevant obstacle for any computerisation, it is necessary to complete them into present maps, assign new parcel numbers and complete all the parcel data into the cadastral documents. Since there are some 8 million of such missing parcels, the first step should be to complete the auxiliary files with old parcel numbers into the cadastral documents at least as a temporary solution of this long-term problem.

Besides the missing ownership parcels it is necessary to complete tax information to parcels according to the mutual agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as the definition point co-ordinates to the parcels.

There are three strategies to solve the problem of the 'Missing Parcels'. The first is the restitution process via the Land Offices where restitution documents are produced. The second is the re-allotment of parcels via individual and complex land consolidation. The third is the clearing via the digitising process of the cadastral map.

2.3 The State Map Series

The production of the topographic maps and their up-dating and presentation is regulated by the Act No 200/1994 "The Act on Surveying and Modification and Amendments to some Acts relating to its Establishment". An important map in the State Map Series is the topographic map 1:10,000 (TM 10).

There are 4573 maps sheets, printed in five colours. The maps show residential areas, industrial areas, buildings, roads, water, vegetation, boundaries and contours, very often in a selection and a level of generalisation that reflects the severe restrictions of the Warsaw Pact. Nevertheless, the whole map series were about six years ago only available for official use by governmental institutes. After the political change in 1989, the topographic maps are available for all kinds of public and private purposes. The up-dating period of the TM 10 is about 8 years. Areas with a high level of mutations have an up-dating cycle of three to four years.

The production, up-dating and publication of topographic maps is based on annual planning, especially for TM 10 and TM 25. This planning is a responsibility of COSMC. The editing work for all the map sheets is carried out in the Survey Office in Prague.

The topographic up-dating of TM 10 is a responsibility of the seven regional cadastral offices. They work with aerial photographs and satellite pictures. Also in these offices the cartographic work related to the up-dating of TM 10 en TM 25 is carried out. They are supported by the Land Survey Office in Prague. This office is direct responsible for the up-dating of TM 50. The map production (printing) is carried in the Land Survey Office and two of the cadastral offices.

The State Map Series are available in analogue form, but nowadays also in digital form in raster data and partly in vector data. A database is built up with an object-oriented structure which content is achieved by digitising TM 10. This project is called ZABAGED. Also TM 50 is available in digital raster form. In general the situation with respect to topographic mapping is complicated in the Czech Republic, because not only COSMC is responsible, but also the Military Topographic Service is maintaining a topographic map series. The Government of the Czech Republic has decided that in the future only one State Map Series will be produced. This Map Series must fulfil the requirements of the civil and military purposes. In 2004 this unified State Map Series should be realised.


The ZABAGED project is based on the Conception of the Fundamental Base of Geographic Data which aims to provide geographic information covering the whole country in digital form. ZABAGED aims to use spatial elements captured from the existing civilian 1:10,000 scale base maps of the Czech Republic and attribute sets defined in co-operation with other external database administrators (e.g. water authorities, transport, etc.).

The twin aims of ZABAGED are that, by the year 2005, the ZABAGED Fundamental Base of Geographic Data will be used to:

Once complete, ZABAGED will support a comprehensive national information service which serves the potential needs of a wide range of GIS users, as well as providing the core digital information needed for the creation, maintenance and output of national sets of digital cartographic products.

The project has recognisable stages of implementation which may be considered as sub-components usually referred to as ZABAGED/1 (vector based) and ZABAGED/2 (raster based). In practise, it is possible to distinguish two further stages of the production of ZABAGED/1, which we can identify as ZABAGED/2000 and ZABAGED/2005. ZABAGED/ 2000 is an intermediate step in the eventual production of ZABAGED/2005.

This can be summarised as:

3. Slovak Republic

The production of cadastral maps and topographic maps is a responsibility of the Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre Authority together with its institutes and together with the Cadastral Departments in the regions.

During the period 1964-1992, a centralised Inventory of Real Estates was maintained upon a central computer system, which principal aim was to record land usage (not ownership). After the reforms of 1989, a plan was developed for the introduction of technical systems into the Cadastral Offices, in order to support the re-establishment of a cadastral system reflecting ownership (and not usage).

The Information System of Real Estate cadastre (ISKN) consists of:

Under Law No. 162/1995 of the National Council of the Slovak Republic and ÚGKK Decree No. 79/1996, by which the Cadastral Law is carried out, the Cadastral Information System consists of data on owners, tenants, occupiers, flats and non-residential premises, constructions on sites and related supplementary data on legal relations, delivered documents and seals, parcel centroids of real estates and space administrative units and data on codes.

The state of the Cadastral Information System's construction is as follows:
a set of descriptive information of the Cadastral Information System is established and filed on the whole territory of the Slovak Republic, namely in all 79 Cadastre Departments. In addition it is kept also in the Geodetic and Cartography Institute in Bratislava (GKÚ).

Table 1 shows that before the collectivisation of rural areas in 1948 more than 9.0 million of original lots have been registered in the rural area in the Real Estate Cadastre. The task is to enter the LV ownership relations (ownership certificates) to these lots during the next four years. The register of ownership relations to original real estates is established for 2.086 million of lots to 1.7.1996, which represent 28%.

Registration in register C means a registration with a defined location. Register E holds the registration of real property where the location is not defined. Such parcels can be transferred and mortgaged, but the registration is not complete. From Table 1 we can learn that only 600,000 parcels from the 9,600,000 are located. It is a tremendous and almost impossible task for the Cadastre to reconstruct the properties. A specific problem in the Slovak Republic is that due to uncertainties in the inheritance laws in the Hungarian Empire all those parcels have many co-owners. A number of 100 co-owners of a small parcel is not unusual. Attempts are made to improve the situation via land consolidation and the creation of temporarily land use parcels. This task is divided between the Authority and the Ministry of Agriculture. In the new administrative structure of the Slovak Republic every district has a Cadastre Department and a Agriculture and Forestry Department. Based on governmental regulations the Authority is responsible for 40% of the consolidations, whereas the Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for 60%.

Number of parcels in the Slovak Republic in 1948 Number of parcels in the Slovak Republic as per 1.7.1996 Number of parcels from (1) entered on LV in register C as per 1.7.1996 Number of parcels from (1) entered on LV in register E as per 1.7.1996 %

(3) + (4)

from (1)




(4) 5


SR = 12,000,000


3 069 000

(2 086 000)


i = 2,400,000


2 469 000



e = 9,600,000


600 000

2 086 000


table 1

The work on land consolidation is carried out by private firms. The process of land consolidation is not a very successful operation. Not only because of technical and financial difficulties, but also because the lack of enthusiasm of co-owners of small parcels. Most of the time the result of consolidation is one small parcel instead of a few very small parcels. This problem is discussed many times in the Slovak Parliament, but in the constitution the rights on real property are recognised. In principle it does not matter if a property is a hectare or half of a square metre. This results in an almost unsolvable problem for the Slovak Cadastre.

3.1 Cadastral Maps

The entire territory of the Slovak Republic is covered with cadastral maps at various scales and in various projections, covering 3524 cadastral units in 79 districts. The estimated number of active cadastral map sheets is 47,613.

More detailed information is given in Figure 1, in which the outer circle represents the total territory of the Slovak Republic.

See for an explanation of the different types of cadastral maps the description of the cadastral maps in the Czech Republic (paragraph 2.1). Do not forget that the two countries were united till 1991 in one country, Czecho-Slovakia. Therefore the cadastral system (and its problems) are in principle the same in both countries.

Figure 1 Different cadastral maps in the Slovak Republic.

3.2 The GIS Basic Database (ZB GIS)

ZB GIS contains, under Law No. 215/1995 of the National Council of the Slovak Republic on Geodesy and Cartography, the data of the content of the Basic Map (ZM) of the Slovak Republic on scale 1:10,000, namely: planimetry, altimetry, lettering (settlements, industrial, agricultural, social and cultural objects, traffic system, waters, vegetation, water surface, boundaries and reliefs) and a geographic network of rectangular plane co-ordinates and points of detailed horizontal and vertical controls.

ZM 10 consists of 2,820 map sheets and its content is, by means of separate printing forms, stratified into 5 topics. That means that 14,110 printing forms are to be scanned.

The Geodetic and Cartographic Institute creates and operates ZB GIS-Raster (ZB GIS-R). The creation of ZB GIS-R is carried out under the Methodical Guide for the creation of fundamental databases for geographic information systems in raster form.

The creation of ZB GIS-R is carried out by scanning the following separate printing forms - basic layers:

After transformation of the scanned sets into the national system (S-JTSK) and final control, the sets are filed in an economical format (e.g. CIT) on optical disks or on compact disks (CD-ROM).

As a digital product from the Slovak Republic's territory ZB GIS-R will serve as:

At present 50% of the territory of the Slovak Republic is processed.

The Basis Map 1:10,000 (ZM 10) was made by re-ambulation of the topographic map 1:10,000, which was published by the Central Administration of Geodesy and Cartography in the S-42 co-ordinate system. Aerial survey was used as a basic method of the re-ambulation. For the first time the ZM10 was published in the period 1969-1986, covering the whole territory of the Slovak Republic. Since 1981 systematic updating of a map series with differentiated publishing cycle has been started in dependence of the significance of the project territory (region). In updating the content within the framework of the ZM10 updating current aerial photographs are primarily used as a main source of information on the changes in the territory concerned.

Since 1992 the ZM10 has been issued in one version only, containing the cartographic network and the network of rectangular plane co-ordinates and points of horizontal and vertical control (up to 1991 marked as so-called 'secret version').

Unchanged edition is made only exceptionally. The condition of updating is given in graphic representation.

4. Hungary

The production of cadastral maps and topographic maps is a responsibility of the Department of Lands and Mapping. The mapping activities are carried out in the institute FÄMI, together with the cadastral offices in the districts.

4.1 Cadastral Maps

There are an estimated 60,000 cadastral maps at a variety of scales (varying from 1:1000 - 1:4000) and in different projection systems. The maps are maintained by the district land offices (by law) and copies are provided to other users. The maps vary in their completeness and currency of content. It is estimated that 4 % of the maps are already digitised.

Digital map information also exists from the 1980s in Budapest and the quality of this data has been studied by a Swiss aid project. In the urban areas there are different demands for digital large-scale spatial data compared to those rural authorities located on the Great Plain. It is necessity to have accurate data concerning the exact status of the cadastral mapping on a national basis. A priority basis has to be established for deciding which maps are to be computerised first, as land registration purposes alone will not justify the investment.

The result of the compensation programme was the production of a digital database produced according to the Compensation Acts. This was transferred to the district land offices. From this information they can produce digital maps. A further activity is that the new compensation parcels have to be set out in the field according to the law.

Figure 2

The main problem for the cadastre is that in the Compensation Programme the owners did not got efficient land parcels, but more parcel slices, sometimes very small. The setting out of these parcels is a tremendous job. To improve the situation via land consolidation will take many decades.

The Digital Base Map Standard, Conceptual Model (Version 5.1) is a Hungarian standard proposal at this moment and was submitted to the Hungarian Standardisation Office. The aim of this standard is to describe the conceptual model of digital base maps. These maps should be the basis of different mapping activities in Hungary to form unified frames for land surveying purposes or for the establishment of spatial information systems.

At the level of conceptual model the standard defines the different types of objects, which create the content of digital base maps. Furthermore it describes the content and relationship features of geometric characteristics, data quality, and the method and principles of establishing the hierarchy of these objects. Also a comprehensive description on meta data is given.

The Digital Base Map (DAT - according to the Hungarian acronym) belongs to the so-called Unified National Map System (EOTR). It is compatible with the former 1:1000 - 1:4000 scale base maps in terms of Information Technology, content and data quality. In the DAT database objects are grouped in hierarchy of object class, object group and object type. Furthermore the Digital Base Map Standard regulates geometry, relationships, data quality, data protection, data consistency, etc.

4.2 Topographic (Digital) Maps on scale 1:10,000

For a lot of civilian purposes a country needs topographic maps on scale 1:10,000 and 1:25,000. In Hungary these map series are not completed. In Figure 3 the area is given where maps 1:10,000 are completed recently.

Figure 3 Completion of the topographic map sheets 1:10,000.

FÄMI has the intention to carry out the following projects in the near future:

5. Poland

The production of cadastral maps and topographic maps is a responsibility of the Head Office of Geodesy and Cartography. Through this office, the Surveyor General of Poland can perform his task. He co-operates in matters of land registration in rural areas with the Ministry of Agriculture.

5.1 Aerial Photographs

Within the PHARE Programme PL 9206 substantial support was given to the aerial photography of Poland. On short notice the whole territory of Poland is or will be covered with aerial photographs on photo scale 1:26,000. In a pilot area in P»ock a pilot study has been carried out to investigate if the photographs on this scale can be used for cadastral mapping of rural areas on map scale 1:5000. The results of this study look positive. Furthermore in selected Polish cities aerial photography has been carried out on photo scale 1:5000. In general the photo scale 1:26,000 will be used for the production of topographic maps on scale 1:10,000, whereas the photo scale 1:5000 can be used for the production of cadastral maps on larger scales.

With respect to the aerial photography it has to be taken into consideration that only those cities are photographed that made a request for it. Therefore there are no pictures taken from some important Polish cities. Furthermore, most of the cities have requested aerial photographs for some 20% outside the built-up areas.

5.2 Cadastral Maps

The cadastral system (registers and maps) consists of the Land and Mortgage Registers (perpetual books) and the Land and Building Registers. The first is kept in local courts under supervision of the Ministry of Justice. The second is kept in cadastral offices in the districts.

With respect to the Land and Mortgage Registers we have now the following data available. The number of cadastral land parcels is about 29 million of which about 80% is privatised. There are 4.5 million buildings and about 10.8 million apartments of which 61% is individually owned. A very rough estimation is that about 35 million properties are individually owned. Because the number of registrations in the perpetual books is about 10,500,000 a rough estimation is that about 30% of the properties is registered. For a complete registration it is necessary to make a careful planning of the time and capacity required for this purpose.

With respect to the quality of the information a research has been carried out in the pilot area of Pabianice in the voivodship şodz. Although it is difficult to extend the results of this research for the whole of Poland, it is certainly wise to suppose that there are many differences between the legal situation and the factual situation. This statement is illustrated by the map shown in Figure 4, where for a part of the City of Warsaw the legal boundaries of the plots are compared with the real situation. In the figure the dotted lines are the legal boundaries. These differences can cause problems in selling real estate, in mortgaging, in property tax, etc.

Figure 4 Differences between the graphic information of the Land and Mortgage Registers and the Land and Buildings Registers in Warsaw.

In rural areas, which includes about 65% of the number of municipalities in Poland, the digitising of the registers is almost finished. With respect to the cadastral map the estimation is that about 11% of the area is now available in digital form. Almost the whole of Poland (91%) is covered with cadastral maps. For a considerable part of the country, around 40%, the so-called supplementary maps were utilised as cadastre maps, or a simplified field survey was performed with the use of photo maps, which resulted in a lack of geodetic data to define boundary point co-ordinates. For this part it is almost impossible to transfer the maps into digital ones. In the 'Characterisation of the Existing Land and Buildings Registry System' in Poland the following fundamental deficiencies in the present Land and Buildings Registers can be distinguished:

  1. the lopsided character of the registry documentation within the subjective and objective ranges;
  2. the vague legal status for the majority of lot boundaries;
  3. the lack of data on buildings significant from the aspect of tax assessment;
  4. a low degree of registry data reliability;
  5. the organisational and technological separation of the descriptive and cartographic part of registry documentation;
  6. the lack of territorial uniformity regarding the manner of managing the land and building register; the appearance of 'local peculiarities';
  7. the overload of a portion of the descriptive registry documentation with fragmentary surface area of lots, assembled solely in view of the needs of the taxation system;
  8. the absence of uniform, organisationally substantiated, procedures to discipline the manner of notifying and periods of introducing changes to registry data.

5.3 Topographic maps 1:10,000

The most important products that can be derived from the aerial photographs, produced within the PHARE Project, are topographic maps and orthophoto maps on scale 1:10,000.

Three types of maps on scale 1:10,000 are distinguished in Poland.
1st Category  -  urban areas;
2nd Category  -  not very densified built-up areas;
3rd Category  -  rural areas and forests, with not much topographic details.

Poland has a surface of about 312,000 km2. The area covered by one map is about 19 km2. A number of 18,000 map sheets is necessary to cover the whole territory of Poland with maps on scale 1:10,000. The maps on the boundaries of Poland, area each covering only a part of the Polish territory. The number is divided as follows:
1st Category  -  1,950 map sheet:
2nd Category  -  4,350 map sheet;
3rd Category  -  11,700 map sheet.

Because the budget of the Surveyor General can only be partly spent on topographic mapping on scale 1:10,000 the strategy is as follows:

6. Concluding Remarks

Although the 260,000 cadastral map sheets are covering the whole territory of the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Hungary and Poland, they cannot be considered for the time being as a tool for the geographic information infrastructure for the following reasons:

there are many changes on the maps, due to the privatisation, restitution and compensation programmes.

The best basis for a geographic information infrastructure are the 30,000 topographic map sheets 1:10,000. In most countries there are map series on scale 1:25,000 and 1:5,000 derived from the 1:10,000.

The base map must fulfil certain requirements with respect to:

Author's address:
Prof.dr. Theo Bogaerts
Subfaculty Geodesy
Delft University of Technology
Thijsseweg 11
2629 JA Delft
The Netherlands
Tel. +31-15-278 2553
Fax +31-15-278 2745