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Digital cadastral maps of Budapest PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 08 August 2007

By spring 2007, the digital mapping dataset of the last Budapest district was complete. With this action, an almost 11-year long period – which had started with the selection of a suitable map managing system – was closed down.

Present and future of the Budapest cadastral maps

Gergely Szilvay
Budapest Land Office

The production of the Budapest digital cadastral maps and their continuous official acceptance procedures have been going on since 1996. By spring 2007, the dataset of the last Budapest district was also ready. With this action, an almost 11-year long period – which had started with the selection of a suitable map managing system – was closed down. New age begins, as our main task is the maintenance of the map and going on with performing the land registration duties. The recently completed mapping data records have opened new perspectives for data marketing. The investigation of the opportunities, research of   data user needs and the satisfaction of many other requirements concerning the data need a new attitude from the Land Office staff. In the following paper I will give you a summary of experiences we have collected during the preparation of the mapping dataset, an account of the results we reached in modern data supplying service and tell you our plans for the future.

Looking back

The 1980s: Digitization of numeric data
The 1990s: The programme of ’Computerisation of the Hungarian Land Offices’ 
                 Foundation of the National Cadastral Program Non-Profit Company (NKP Kht.) 
                 Support from the Swiss Aid Programme 
                 Introduction of the INFOCAM system, official acceptance in the 5th and 14th districts of Budapest
The 2000s: Digitisation of the content of the cadastral maps
                 Official acceptance of the ready maps
                 Production and official acceptance of digital base maps (DAT maps)

The city surveys performed at the beginning of the 20th century served an excellent basis for the production of maps today. The digitization of the results of numeric survey: in the 1980s, this was the first step to the creation of the current system, so the well done job of our predecessors will keep on living in the 21st century too. The PCs purchased within the frames of the computerisation programme of the land office network: they gave further opportunities in data management: the computers not only allowed an easier property sheet data management, but also the management of digital mapping data within the offices. The foundation of the NKP Kht. in 1996 had significantly accelerated the production of digital maps.

The production of Budapest digital base maps has only started at the beginning of 2000. The INFOCAM map managing system installed within the framework of the Swiss Aid Programme in 1998 began to work at the beginning in the 5th and the 14th districts. Based on the experiences of this project, the digitisation of the content of cadastral maps of further districts of Budapest was started. From 2000 on, the production of digital base maps had accelerated and it implied the official acceptances performed at a higher speed. As a result of it, official acceptance of 8 districts took place in the past 3 years. As the last one, the digital cadastral dataset of the 12th district was officially accepted on 29 July 2007, and with this, the digitisation of land registration data of whole Budapest was completed.

The significance of the official acceptance of data

  • Identity of the data figuring in the map and those in the property sheets.
  • Identity of parcel numbers, sub-parcels, nature of cultivation and size.


DistrictLoaded sizeReal sizeDifference
1.KER.7 190 4883 408 1873 782 301
2.KER.42 544 91836 337 3836 207 535
3.KER.60 349 96139 700 63120 649 330
4.KER.20 420 87618 822 0641 598 812
7.KER.7 010 9682 086 7374 924 231
8.KER.12 355 9326 853 2245 502 708
11.KER.122 714 65533 470 98089 243 675
14.KER.155 635 37218 125 331137 510 041
16.KER.71 828 53833 513 69138 314 847
17.KER.94 173 69654 819 80939 353 887
18.KER.106 197 99238 602 77667 595 216
20.KER.14 163 80312 178 0971 985 706
22.KER.90 263 96634 250 02456 013 942

The data of the first page of the property sheet were taken over from the previous Complex Decentralised Information System (KDIR) or loaded manually into the Budapest Land Information System (BIIR). The parcel numbers loaded from the second and third pages plus the corresponding property sheet data were strictly and carefully controlled, except the size (area) of the parcels. That’s why it happened that finally the total area of a district was not the same as the summarized area of the individual land parcels. After loading, the area summarized on the basis of property sheet data was 2.5 times bigger than the official real territory of Budapest. The most frequent error was that by writing the parcel areas smaller than one hectare into the „hectare” block, the size became 10 000 times bigger than in reality. During the official acceptance procedures, these errors were corrected.

Digital cadastral maps of Budapest districts

On 1st January 2006, the District Land Office No. 2. was opened in the first floor of Lehel market hall (13th district) with a field of competence covering 5th, 6th and 13th districts. The District Land Office No. 1. keeps on operating in the same place (11th district, Budafoki út 59.)

Map managing information system 

Since1998, the Swiss LEICA INFOCAM V6 object-oriented information system has been operating in the Budapest Land Office with a server SUN V880 and a database ORACLE LEICA stopped improving INFOCAM and sold all support rights to Swiss ITV. The development of SUN servers and workstations have been changing with such a speed that nowadays used and renewed tools could only be purchased, on which the INFOCAM application could still run. Informed about this problem, ITV tried to find solutions for the replacement of INFOCAM in a way that allows continuous operation without losing data.

In 2004, we had tested the first software proposed by ITV that finally failed to meet our demands. In spring 2005, after a short testing period, the TOPOBASE system was accepted as the successor of INFOCAM programme. As the time left till the opening of the District Land Office No. 2 was very short, the system was tested and adapted to the Hungarian environment in a project with accelerated schedule. Between 1 January 2006 and 1 January 2007, the two systems had been operating parallel in the District Land Office No. 2. From 1 January 2007, the official cadastral map has been managed by the TOPOBASE system (windows based server, ORACLE 10G database, PC client computers).

Map data service in the land office

  • supplying site plans (analogue)
  • supplying land surveying data (digital, analogue)
  • supplying maps covering complete administrative units (digital)
  • supplying maps showing the environment of linear establishments (digital)
  • supplying data of periodical changes (digital)
  • supplying thematic maps on individual order (digital, analogue)

The clients and customers understood that the digital maps of Budapest allow them to perform their duties on a higher level if they use them in digital form. Evidently, the analogue form cannot be omitted in the official practice e. g. of building authorities, as the decisions are also made in analogue form. At the same time, the land surveyors are processing the measurement data mostly in digital way, both the starting data and the end product are digital. Nowadays, sorry to say, electronic data service is still only possible through personal contacts.  For internal use, we have already elaborated a procedure of electronic data supply, for land surveyors as the first ones. Its introduction is in some delay, although strong interest has been observed.

Several local governments became systematic customers of our office. With the majority of them we made contracts for periodical updating of data. Of course, the data are supplied in digital form. Individual orders for data are arriving and we satisfy them partly in digital, partly in analogue form. Parallel with the official State acceptance of the districts’ digital data, almost all local governments started to show interest in digital maps. But finally they have not placed orders for digital maps, referring partly to financial difficulties, partly to a future information system of the local government.

In the past period, the existing dataset has been built with much money and energy. Its return or possible profitability is the greatest challenge of the future. Nowadays, marketing and market research are vital in this field too. Awareness of the significance of a multipurpose cadastre should be strengthened among the players of the market. Currently – apart from a few exceptions – only those people and institutions are well informed about the digital cadastral map and about opportunities implied who by law are obliged to use them.

The TOPOBASE system operating in the District Land Office No. 2 offers several opportunities for data supply according to the clients’ needs. The DAT converter will be ready by the end 2007, so the data supply also will correspond to the DAT data exchange standard. According to plans, from 2008 on, the map management system will be improved, and step-by-step we introduce the TOPOBASE system also in the District Land Office No. 1.

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