Date of Award


Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil Engineering


Raymond J. Hintz

Second Committee Member

Steven Frank

Third Committee Member

Charles Ghilani


Land ownership is an important part of a nation’s wealth. Land value is determined by information about the land and about property rights that exist over the land. The Cadastre is the primary means of providing information about property rights, providing the private and public sector with: information identifying those people who have interests in parcels of land; information about those interests; and information about the parcels. The definitive cadastre would require anyone looking for information about a parcel of land to only go to the cadastre to find everything there is to know about the land such as: • the exact, true location on the ground of all boundary corners of the parcel; • the exact, true measurements, such as direction and distance of all boundary lines of the parcel and the exact area and geometry of the parcel as it exists on the ground; • the exact, true information on every interest (and all interests) that exists over the parcel, including the person who owns the interest and the exact nature and extent of the interest. Examined in this thesis are issues surrounding the design of such an ultimate cadastre. One conclusion is that the ultimate cadastre should be based on the legal coordinated cadastre in which geodetic coordinates are used to define boundary corner locations. Also, since it is difficult to quantify what is meant by “exact”, this thesis will make the assumption that the smallest error of concern is 1 mm and thus the ultimate cadastre is the millimeter legal coordinated cadastre. Other conclusions are that the cadastre should be based on the Torrens system of land registration, but where all property rights are registered rather than just the ownership right known as the fee-simple estate. The millimeter legal coordinated cadastre is compared and found to be superior to other existing cadastres.