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Evolution of the Modern Cadastre

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Essay title: Evolution of the Modern Cadastre

The modern cadastre concept is said to have originated in England under the rule of William the Conqueror through a textual record of properties called the Domesday Book. No reliable maps were used in conjunction with the textual records. Maps were not used to support fiscal records until the end of the 16th Century. The Feudal system which existed prevented early cadastral systems from developing into a national system. As a result, there wasn’t a need for the state to maintain detailed information at the individual parcel level.

Napoleon 1 of France ordered the survey of approximately 100 million parcels in 1807 to collect and spatially reference fiscal data. They were shown on cadastral plans and large scale index maps. This was completed in 1850 and became the model of many European countries. However, these maps were not kept up-to-date.

“Improved” Registration of Deeds Systems evolved out of the system in France. These are more of an information system. It has dual purpose in that it is a system for recording data and disseminating information. Priority was given to documents that are registered first. This encouraged registration.

Sir Robert Torrens, an Australian, can be credited with the next major change in the cadastral concept (from person-based to parcel based).

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