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Title: The role of volunteered geographic information in land administration systems in developing countries
Authors: Moreri, Kealeboga Kaizer
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Developing countries, especially in Africa are faced with a lack of formally registered land. Available limited records are outdated, inaccurate and unreliable, which makes it a challenge to properly administer and manage land and its resources. Moreover, limited maintenance budgets prevalent in these countries make it difficult for organizations to conduct regular systematic updates of geographic information. Despite these challenges, geographic information still forms a major component for effective land administration. For a land administration system (LAS) to remain useful, it must reflect realities on the ground, and this can only be achieved if land information is reported regularly. However, if changes in land are not captured in properly administered land registers, LAS lose societal relevance and are eventually replaced by informal systems. Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) can address these LAS challenges by providing timely, affordable, up-to-date, flexible, and fit for purpose (FFP) land information to support the limited current systems. Nonetheless, the involvement of volunteers, who in most cases are untrained or non-experts in handling geographic information, implies that VGI can be of varying quality. Thus, VGI is characterised by unstructured, heterogeneous, unreliable data which makes data integration for value-added purposes difficult to effect. These quality challenges can make land authorities reluctant to incorporate the contributed datasets into their official databases. This research has developed an innovative approach for establishing the quality and credibility of VGI such that it can be considered in LAS on an FFP basis. However, verifying volunteer efforts can be difficult without reference to ground truth, which is prevalent in many developing countries. Therefore, a novel Trust and Reputation Modelling (TRM) methodology is proposed as a suitable technique to effect such VGI validation. TRM relies on a view that the public can police themselves in establishing ‘proxy’ measures of VGI quality and credibility of volunteers, thus facilitating VGI to be used on an FFP basis in LAS. The output of this research is a conceptual participatory framework for an FFP land administration based on VGI. The framework outlines major aspects (social, legal, technical, and institutional) necessary for establishing a participatory FFP LAS in developing countries.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Engineering

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