he National Land Survey of Finland (NLS), Aalto University, Finnish Location Information Cluster and the World Bank organized a two-day event titled as Smart Land Administration at Helsinki on 3th and 4th of December 2018. Finland is nowadays a major hub for technological outbreaks boosted by one of the world’s biggest tech-startup events Slush. The Smart Land Administration was a pre-Slush-event that sought to leverage the clustered tech-knowledge of the Finnish tech-community to fulfill the needs Land Administration sector demands in the modern days.
The main message derived from the event was that there’s a flagrant need for new and modern technological solutions for the sector’s needs. Land administration ain’t just technology, as we all know, it’s about regulation, community, and politics, but technology can certainly level-up efficiency and at best, disrupt the sector.
To point out some ideas from the presenters, we can start with the importance of standards. In his presentation Brent Jones’ (ESRI) showed that the OGC based standards have a crucial role for the Smart Land Administration solutions. As an example and in essence, the LADM standard (Land Administration Domain Model) is a very important standard, especially for the developing world.
As Bernd Eversman from (NIRAS) put it, over 70 % of the world’s population have no access to formal land administration services. This needs to be changed.
What we at Gispo wanted to lay out for the sector is the importance of the investment in the expert knowledge. The geospatial and general IT knowledge certainly has a key element in the building of modern land administration expert teams. Inaccessible software isn’t a bottleneck anymore, neither is data or hardware that are getting cheaper day to day. In essence, it’s the knowledge that lacks behind. We don’t have the experts that can leverage the appropriate software and the data out there. Experts just aren’t capable of building solutions that the technological improvements have enabled.
The event was visited from all around the world. Finnpartnership, funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affair of Finland, and their financial support brought experts from Ethiopia to Mongolia to hear and learn about the modern solutions these experts gathered to discuss in Helsinki. Finnish companies including Gispo and members of the Finnish Location Information Cluster, were part of sponsoring the event.