Converting Raw Data to Knowledge



DCDB Conversion - Automating A Central Land Survey Digital Mapping Database

We see a future with a central electronic geodetic survey and mapping database - a wider database model - accessible to surveyors anywhere, that they may establish a database at the commencement of any survey job. As well, upon completion of that job, we  see a facility to add data to the established database of any survey job and, most importantly, an ability to contribute to improving the spatial quality of the database for the benefit of all surveyors anywhere.

Centralised database system for automated geodetic ePlan conversion, using electronic survey-accurate, digital cadastre database technology



Geodata Australia (GA) provides an integrated range of stand-alone tools for digital survey workflows and cadastral database management outcomes for GIS Land Administration. Those tools include:


  • Survey Computations;

  • Creation and editing a survey database generating a GIS cadastral database;

  • A database storage functionality that can utilise most industry standard database solutions to manage a seamless state or national cadastre across many geodetic zones;

  • A solution to manage a dynamic geodetic environment;

  • Providing and enabling a fit-for-purpose cadastral system with focus on societal needs, such as providing security of tenure and efficient management by Statutory Authorities & others of land use and governance.


GA also offers tools for cadastral transactions that automate XML survey plan file processing and examination as being implemented in NSW and the Northern Territory. GA tools operate with an uncomplicated data structure. Cadastral outcomes are all variations or permutations of spatial and administrative data and all the data needed for those permutations is stored in a single readable project XML data file that is accessed by all GA tools.



Developed by Geodata Australia 


Survey Database Management Tool with Co-Ordinated GIS Cadastral Outcomes 


GeoCadastre®, utilised by ESRI since 2007, is a unique, survey-based process originally developed by us in 1992, to create and manage a numerical cadastral database (NCDB) which can provide spatial precision to GIS cadastral layers. The process has been separately licensed as the cadastral management engine within the ESRI database environment where it has been enhanced with considerable GIS functionality. GeoCadastre has retained its basic functionality to minimise complexity with a product development focus on survey data examination and validation.


Using survey rules and rigour (data verification) when applicable, the GeoCadastre® (GC) process replicates and automates the workflows and intuitive decisions made by surveyors to define cadastral boundaries. Existing survey cogo outcomes identify the local relationship between adjoining surveys whereas the GC solution can spatially manage a database of thousands of surveys.


The process accommodates all types of survey data (traverse, GPS, digitised maps etc.) and good and bad spatial accuracy through the weighting functionality. The data structure provides future management efficiencies and survey rigour to generate the highest accuracies when required or ease of management when not. Importantly, the spatial precision is stored as an attribute of a parcel.

Cadastral data overlays providing spatial precision for GIS land administraion systems using GeoCadastre to produce a GIS land administration system with survey accuracy
  GeoCadastre® Features:


  • A rigorous “least squares” technique to weight the accuracy of the survey measurement data and adjust the parcel network to geodetic control points;

  • Generates “survey accurate” coordinates as attributes of points in the parcel network;

  • Links the cadastre to GPS;

  • Facilitates the management of a dynamic geodetic reference system;

  • Creates and exports the cadastral dataset in file structures suitable for object oriented databases;

  • Provides the framework for complete digital workflows including electronic lodgement of XML survey plan files, automated plan examination and cadastral database updating and upgrading.

A land pacel network adjusting control points by generating co-ordinates for a dynamic geodetic reference system using GeoCadastre's "least squares" technology
Creating a Numerical Cadastre Database (NCDB) from original land survey plans using GeoCadastre
  GeoCadastre® Software Characteristics:


  • Uses a single executable file which simplifies installation (no Registry entries or other intrusive procedures are necessary to make the software work);

  • Creates a co-ordinated Numerical Cadastre from Survey Plans;

  • The Numerical Cadastral Database (NCDB) is defined as the complete and precise parcel network derived from original survey plans, preserving their existing mathematical integrity (good and bad) and co-ordinated to the geodetic grid of choice);

  • Preserves all historical plan details (when they are recorded during data entry);

  • Manages all overlapping spatial entities.




The GeoCadastre® process facilitates the input of survey measurement data from original title plans or co-ordinates. The cadastral outcomes are weighted to reflect the integrity of those original survey observations. The process builds a cadastral database model equivalent in spatial precision to the survey data entered. Electronic survey data can also be imported or existing co-ordinated cadastral databases can be migrated as a means to create a starting cadastral fabric. More accurate recent survey data can then be added and the process of building an accurate cadastre is commenced.


The survey-based GeoCadastre® process provides a more rigorous solution than the mapping-based GIS database creation solutions used in the past. The outcomes of the GeoCadastre® process are database accuracy and greater database management efficiencies.


The GeoCadastre® development team has spent considerable time over the last few years developing digital lodgement and plan examination tools for New South Wales and the Northern Territory. Many of those tools have now been incorporated into the COTS GeoCadastre® solution.


NOTE: In NSW, the ICSM LandXML survey plan files are converted to the COTS .acs/ESRI CEXML data structure to be accessed by the NSW LPI examination tools developed in-house.


The GeoPlan™ tool referred to and described below is used for that purpose. In the NT, CEXML survey plan files and survey databases are used as a simplified lodgement and examination data structure.

An ICSM LandXML survey plan converted to a digital cadastre using GeoCadastre software

GeoSurvey™ (GS)

Survey Data & Co-ordinate Geometry Tool


GeoSurvey™ (GS) is a practical application developed over twenty years for the needs of the NSW Association of Consulting Surveyors Computer Group. The software development has been driven by the varied functionality and interoperability demands of the user group, resulting in expansive survey and GIS outcomes and flexibilities. It is an effective survey tool focused on the needs of cadastral surveyors across any State, national or international jurisdiction:

Functionality includes:


  • Survey reductions and Coordinate  Geometry computations;

  • Topographical digital terrain modelling and volume calculations;

  • Road and drainage design.


Features include:


  • The full functionality of a survey geometry computations tool;

  • The operations carried out for geometry calculations can be logged to a transaction file and this file can be replayed to automatically regenerate complete parcel layouts to automate minor amendments;

  • The annotated plan functionality automatically renders plans for different jurisdictions;

  • Conversions - ASCII files, ACS, 12D, CivilCad, Autocad DXF, Geocomp, Microstation, MOSS, MX,Surpac, Trimble, Landmark, Mapinfo, 3DD, LandXML, ESRI CEXML.

Full functionality of survey geometry in the GeoSurvey computations tool for position-based survey records
GeoSurvey software uploads and translates electronic field data to prepare final survey plan for land survey certification and use by Land Title administration systems
The software, GeorSurvey developed by Geodata Australia, converts survey point strings to a survey-accurate cadastral parcel fabric

Customisation of GS - A Universal Translator of Field Data


GeoSurvey™ (GS) has been developed so that it provides all the functionality for the smallest survey firm to upload and download electronic field data, completes all necessary survey computations and with enough CAD functionality to prepare final survey plans to the standard of the relevant Land Titles Office. GeoSurvey™ outputs survey boundary spatial outcomes into Geodata Australia's cadastral database management tool, GeoCadastre®, as well as other proprietary GIS software.


Customisation of GS™ to date has always been done on an open basis as a way of expanding the functionality of the product. Any customisations required are done quickly, tested and supplied back to the client as soon as possible and forms the latest version of the product which is then available to all customers on support.


The GeoSurvey™ survey workflow is a universal translator of survey field data into specific data formats from customized libraries which provide considerable reduction in office computations and operator/drafting errors.

GeoPlan software verifying the integrity of a LandXML file for ePlan submission
GeoPlan's automated process for examining and verifying ePlan integrity and the transition process from data to ePlan lodgement


LandXML Conversion Tool
The GeoPlan™ application performs the following functions:
  • Reads, analyses and quality checks a LandXML1 file according to a certain ‘recipe’ for submissions of electronic plans;

  • Performs a basic XML syntax check as well as checks to ensure the data model is correct and the acceptable LandXML tags are used and the data structure is correct;

  • Reads in the portal submitted admin data for the user and plan;

  • Prepares a quality report listing the errors found in the submitted file. Prepares a CEXML file, (The XML format adopted by ESRI for ArcGIS – see Footnote 1), containing the data in the LandXML file and the data in the Admin xml file. This file is for submission to the ESRI system software;

  • Prepares a graphic image of the submitted plan on the portal in .png file format including dimensions and areas as computed from the submitted plan;

  • The Administration data format is specific to the statutory provisions of any jurisdiction.


In NSW, automated plan examination tests developed by SEACONIS (PlanTest) immediately check incoming survey plans lodged through Land & Property Management Authority (LPMA) portal for regulatory compliance. This electronic plan lodgment process offers considerable reduction in the time to register survey plans for property development as well reducing the load on Land Titles Office plan examination resources..


NOTE: The Australian Intergovernmental Committee on Survey and Mapping (ICSM) LandXML format developed for NSW Land and Property Information (LPI) is limited to the representation of a single plan which can have multiple parcels but the single plan cannot be exceeded. This does not apply to the CEXML format as it is designed to represent or transfer many plans joined in a cadastral database fabric.


Cadastral Management Database

Managing Links To Industry Databases -


The aim of the Cadastral Database (CDB) system is to create and manage a land parcel boundary network to survey accuracy. It stores the dimensional data from survey data or survey records and their derived co-ordinates. It has facilities for updating the database while maintaining its geometric integrity. The cadastral data is stored in a standard SQL database or other suitable databases and can be accessed via web applications. The associated programs which are used to manipulate and join the data are GeoCadastre® and GeoSurvey™.


Land boundaries are defined by metes and bounds or coordinates, with each parcel being located by its relationship with adjacent boundaries. Part of this process has been the collection of data from all existing cadastral survey records and the processing of this data to generate reliable co-ordinates for all parcel corners. This package allows a move to implement a “Co-ordinated Cadastre” where corners are defined by their position on the surface of the earth and incorporates the ability to manage a dynamic geodetic environment.

Co-ordinating the cadastre by joining all data into a cadastrl database using GeoCadastre and GeoSurvey
The process from the DCDB to the web server - How the  GeoSurvey & GeoCadastral technology is stored in a seamless parcel fabric


Capability of CDB System -


The CDB system is capable of the following broad functions:


  • Store all Cadastral survey data or co-ordinates;

  • Store the data as a seamless fabric;

  • Store original bearing and distance data (where available) and the topology of the boundary network;

  • Display the continuous fabric for all database users but limits ability to make changes;

  • Process regular updates;

  • Store all historical data;

  • Extract a local area for manipulation and updating;

  • Lock extracted data to prevent overlapping updates

  • Data is stored in universal geographic co-ordinates in the designated system and can be extracted in a user selected zone or any other geodetic format or zone;

  • Every point in the database is allocated a unique point id and a co-ordinate. Parcel lines are defined by the unique id of each end point.