Image of the Keepers trip to Malta looking over Church and rest of town

Representing RoS: The Keeper in Malta

Blog from Sheenagh Adams, Keeper of the Registers of Scotland

I’ve recently returned from representing RoS at the joint conference of the Permanent Committee on the Cadastre and EULIS (European Land Information System). The event’s theme centred on current technological trends in land registration – as RoS are in the midst of our own digital transformation, it was a fantastic opportunity to see how our neighbours are approaching the challenge of 21st century land registration.

The conference was attended by a diverse audience of registrars from across Europe, including Spain, Latvia and Italy. One of the day’s highlights was the presentation by the Chief Lands Officer from Cyprus. They’ve developed a 3D geographic information system (GIS) using Google Earth and their own version of Google Street View to help them identify and display their 1.6 million cadastral parcels, using the capital of Nicosia as a pilot.

His organisation is also using high-resolution images of buildings to create a 3D layer that’s compatible with their GIS systems, and oblique photographs to “see” the sides of buildings and provide accurate measurement. It was a pleasure to hear about these truly innovative programmes, and to start thinking about how we should start that type of thinking here.

Another thought-provoking presentation was given by Franco Maggio, the Director for Cadastre and Cartography in Italy. He discussed the mapping challenges his department faced after recent earthquakes there. It may be a challenge that we thankfully don’t face regularly in Scotland, but it was a humbling experience to learn the effects of these disasters, and professionally inspiring to learn how they rose to the challenge when the land literally shifted beneath their feet.

Delegates gathering at the joint conference of the Permanent Committee on the Cadastre and EULIS (European Land Information System).

Delegates gathering at the joint conference of the Permanent Committee on the Cadastre and EULIS (European Land Information System).

With so many important European figures in the sector at the conference, it was a good opportunity to discuss current events affecting European land registration. Rik Wouters, Managing Director of EULIS, used his presentation to discuss the winding down of EULIS and its incorporation into the EU’s new and centralised Land Registration Interconnection Portal.

Groups like these are so important to promoting effective collaboration and providing the most effective services – I look forward to continuing to work alongside organisations like these in the years to come.

Overall, it was an informative and insightful event, and the setting couldn’t have been more memorable too. With bright blue skies, centuries of history, and a fantastic culture, Malta is well worth a visit! Most importantly, I enjoyed the opportunity to represent RoS on an international stage. As we continue to digitise our services and complete the land register, the event provided intriguing ideas on how we can use the most up-to-date systems to manage information from our customers and handle it in an effective way.

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