Remote Sensing for Land Administration

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Land administration constitutes the socio-technical systems that govern land tenure, use, value and development within a jurisdiction. The land parcel is the fundamental unit of analysis. Each parcel has identifiable boundaries, associated rights, and linked parties. Spatial information is fundamental. It represents the boundaries between land parcels and is embedded in cadastral sketches, plans, maps and databases. The boundaries are expressed in these records using mathematical or graphical descriptions. They are also expressed physically with monuments or natural features. Ideally, the recorded and physical expressions should align, however, in practice, this may not occur. This means some boundaries may be physically invisible, lacking accurate documentation, or potentially both. Emerging remote sensing tools and techniques offers great potential. Historically, the measurements used to produce recorded boundary representations were generated from ground-based surveying techniques. The approach was, and remains, entirely appropriate in many circumstances, although it can be timely, costly, and may only capture very limited contextual boundary information. Meanwhile, advances in remote sensing and photogrammetry offer improved measurement speeds, reduced costs, higher image resolutions, and enhanced sampling granularity. Applications of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), laser scanning, both airborne and terrestrial (LiDAR), radar interferometry, machine learning, and artificial intelligence techniques, all provide examples. Coupled with emergent societal challenges relating to poverty reduction, rapid urbanisation, vertical development, and complex infrastructure management, the contemporary motivation to use these new techniques is high. Fundamentally, they enable more rapid, cost-effective, and tailored approaches to 2D and 3D land data creation, analysis, and maintenance. This Special Issue hosts papers focusing on this intersection of emergent remote sensing tools and techniques, applied to domain of land administration