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Summarizing 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 15 February 2010

We have closed down a difficult year at the end of 2009 in all branches of our profession - says Gábor Horváth, head of MARD DLAG in the 2010 first issue of the periodical called Geodesy and Cartography. The major reason of it was first of all the global economic and financial crisis that heavily affected the land administration too. It is not our duty to produce an in-depth analysis of the crisis, but it is important to point out some of its impacts made in the field of our competence.

Summarizing 2009 and Welcoming 2010

Gábor Horváth, Head of the Department of Land Administration and Geoinformation
Dr. Szabolcs Mihály, President of the Hungarian Society of Geodesy, Cartography and Remote Sensing

Dear Colleagues and GK Readers,

We have closed down a difficult year at the end of 2009 in all branches of our profession. The major reason of it was first of all the global economic and financial crisis that heavily affected the land administration too. It is not our duty to produce an in-depth analysis of the crisis, but it is important to point out some of its impacts made in the field of our competence.

The decrease of purchasing power and the general instability of values caused by the credit crisis became clearly observable in the land market.  The investments – including also the construction and purchasing of private houses – was strongly held back. As a consequence of this, the demand for land office services subject to payment (land registration data supply, applications aiming at recording the changes) has significantly fallen off. The only exception was the number of liquidations that has dramatically been growing because of the crisis – but these procedures are free of charge.

Considering all these, we can state that the income of the institutional network of land offices could be a good index of the crisis. Compared to the level of 2008, the income in 2009 was cut by 25-30%. What does it mean in fact? The investments decreased together with the construction work and of course the geodetic jobs too; the amount of land registration and surveying tasks concerning public utility networks and land parcels as part of great investments were much less than before.

In spite of all these, the land management sector managed to avoid tragic changes – though regrettably there had to be some private entrepreneurs and land surveyors who were not able to properly handle this crisis – and to sum up, it can be stated that the damages of the past difficult year are not fatal.

On the other hand, apart from the difficulties, the year 2009 was eventful indeed. This statement is verified by the institutional network of land offices, in the field of geoinformation supporting the public administration and the professional education. The Association of Hungarian Entrepreneurs in Land Surveying and Geoinformation, and also the Geodesy and Geoinformation Section of the Hungarian Chamber of Engineers report the same.

Utilizing the results of standardizing the land surveying base maps performed in mid 90s, the data – resulting from the map digitisation carried out in 2007 within the National Cadastre Programme financed from bank loan – were organized during the year 2009 in the land offices into an object-oriented database DATR (developed by FÖMI through 2008-2009). This was the year when – thanks to the decision of the Department of Land Administration and Geoinformation, FÖMI’s developments and innovative efforts and, last but not least, the thorough and efficient work of the land office network – the unified land registration system became complete all over Hungary. This refers not only to the level of rules of law and organizations, but also to the object-oriented databases, which integrate the ownership data and the geometric data of all landed and other properties. This is very important not only from the point of view of the land registration system itself, but also because these data form a cardinal part of the spatial data infrastructure. They are necessary not only to guarantee the security of the ownership rights, but are also indispensable in all kinds of GIS activity in the technical, economic and financial life and public administration of our country, providing job opportunities for the private professionals too.

Dear Colleagues, we are happy to inform you that our civilian organization aiming at protecting the interests of our professionals and using all opportunities in their favour, the Hungarian Society for Geodesy, Cartography and Remote Sensing (MFTTT) has closed a very active year 2009.  In July, we held our annual Itinerary Meeting in Nyíregyháza. As usual, in the framework of this event, we had the opportunity to listen to interesting presentations of other professionals: land surveyors, cartographers and experts of all branches of land administration and remote sensing, both from the public and the private spheres, the education, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Hungarian Chamber of Engineers.

Maybe due to the current crisis, the professionals became more active in searching for opportunities, the harmony and solutions to get out of this difficult situation. In many parts of the country, the regional MFTTT groups – sometimes together with the members of the Chamber of Engineers and colleagues from educational institutions – have been organizing meetings and discussions with the aim of training. GIS Open conference organized last spring in Székesfehérvár should be mentioned on the first place, then the meeting of land surveyors organized in Szovátafürdő (Transylvania), and also the meetings organized by the regional groups in Szolnok, Békéscsaba and Pécs, the conference of the Topographic Section and the conference with the title “Light – Space – Image” organized by the Photogrammetric and Remote Sensing Section of the MFTTT. Some novelties have been discussed: results of the above mentioned DATR development; its application in the land offices and the importance of its unification, the services of our GNSS Service Centre supporting the realisation of precision geodetic tasks that produce legal effect; the supplying of land registration and geometric data through TAKARNET network and the development of its round-the-clock data service through Central Clients Gate, and the new methods of image processing for GIS purposes.

Unfortunately, the activity of the Sections for Land Administration and for Land Surveying and Spatial Development of the MFTTT was not satisfactory. But the conference convoked in December 2009 by the MFTTT and the Association of Enterprises for Land Surveying and Geoinformation on the quality of the land registration maps, the methods of their correction and the tasks of bulky registration of rights concerning the wires of energy lines was an unexpected success. This theme is extremely important: it is a well-known fact that in the past decades, the registration of these rights had not happened. Recently passed rules of law   oblige the owners to be registered. This would be a huge task involving a financial volume similar to that of the National Cadastre Programme. The countrywide registration of the rights in energy lines is one of the most significant tasks for our professionals in the coming year, together with the relevant geodetic and land registration activities. It means a lot of work that needs harmonization of the budget background of land office procedures with the private land surveying entrepreneurs, keeping an eye on the improvement of the quality of land registration maps and using the opportunities for that.

Our professional monthly bulletin, Geodézia és Kartográfia (GK) has also closed a successful year, which was the 60th anniversary of the foundation. On this occasion, our experts have produced a volume containing reviews on eleven branches of our field of activity, discussing significant events, the development trends, improvements and achievements of the past 60 years. Future tasks of the editorial board: to strengthen the stylistic revision of the papers and find the balance in forming the contents with special attention to the discussion of topics concerning land administration and land office network.

Dear Colleagues, we do not take 1st of January a day that creates any kind of break in our activity. In the new calendar year we will go performing our tasks with an unchanged energy. But we do hope that the year 2010 will bring changes – perhaps positive ones. As the crisis will be getting ever weaker, our national economy can get a new impetus, affecting also our profession. In Hungary, 2010 is the year of parliamentary elections; this will influence the economic life of the country after the formation of a new government for sure, though we do not know, how and in which direction. Anyhow, we have much to do in the forming information society, with the modernization of our rules of law and the development of the national spatial data infrastructure.

Dear Colleagues, when welcoming you on the occasion of the New Year, we encourage all of you to cooperate on all levels, both individually and among enterprises and companies, public enterprises and institutions, both on the level of organizations and data. Make your data interoperable to be connected and displayed on common web surfaces. Find agreement on data policy, data prices and company costs among each other and with the ministries; try to influence the government, find the ways of being involved and create harmony.

It is evident that behind our encouraging invitation there is the well-known fact that EU has passed a rule of law about the creation of the spatial data infrastructure throughout Europe. INSPIRE Directive (No. EK 2/2007) has already stepped in force. The year 2010 is definitive in realisation of it on national levels, and it needs much stronger cooperation of all institutions interested in spatial data than before. We should not stay behind other countries. The cooperation should be strengthened between KvVM (Ministry of the Environment and Water Management) and FVM (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) in the interest of being more organized and focussed on the national interests. We expect these ministries to help the realization and prompt their own organizations respectively. One example: we support and expect MePAR (Agricultural Parcel Identification System, forming basis for the allocation of EU agricultural financial support) to achieve the full integration and cross-compliance of spatial data. These data can play a cardinal role in strengthening the Hungarian agriculture, which is one of the main pillars of the national economy. Of course, agriculture is just one in the row of other branches: connecting information systems of protection of environment and nature, public transport, road network etc.

Similarly to other countries of the world, the need for spatial data infrastructure supported by rules of law has been spreading all over the member countries of EU, influencing the way of thinking and attitude of our societies and serving the interest of the sustainable development. It is evident that consequently a multitude of tasks will appear in our professional field, providing jobs for all of us in the branches of GIS, land administration, land registration and remote sensing. This is why the cooperation in our Society and among our professional associations, with enterprises and public administration, different levels of education is so important. In mind with these thoughts, we wish you all the best – creative power, increasing professional knowledge and good health – for the coming year.

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