Land Journal March–April 2016

Mike Swain

Editor, Land Journal (RICS)

Change is a word much favoured by politicians. You don’t find many leaders these days standing up and saying: “You know what? Let’s keep things just as they are.” Many professions, including surveyors, are not immune to changes in digital and other technology, and this issue of Land Journal reflects some of those advances in different areas of land surveying.


The cover story reveals how using aerial mapping and LiDAR technology has helped make the maintenance of power lines more efficient, as well as saving money. UK Power Networks has 60,000km of power lines to maintain and the job of monitoring them was previously done by surveyors on foot – a three-year task, equivalent to painting the Forth Road Bridge. A trial found that LiDAR could reduce the need for field-based vegetation surveys by up to 80% and identified potential savings of 20%.

Elsewhere in this issue, Australian researchers report on the results of enriching building information modelling (BIM) with cadastral information. This very new but significant development in using the evolving technology in a landlord and tenant or land registration capacity shows that BIM is about much more than buildings.

Finally, Paul van der Molen, former winner of the RICS Michael Barrett award, has contributed an excellent article on the surveyor’s role in upgrading slums in our growing cities, while Paul MunroFaure, the current award holder, has written an equally good feature on the global importance of land tenure security.

Read the next page in this section