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Summer 2003
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ArcCadastre Gains Interest Worldwide

The Land Survey of Sweden Uses GIS to Support Its Overall Activities

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In addition to being an ideal support for the cadastral process, ArcCadastre has been designed for both the production of new maps and the revision of older map series at varying scales, storage, retrieval, and publication of data in different environments.

Peter Forsberg, Abba, Björn Borg, and Swedish design and technology have all helped put Sweden on the map.

Sweden is also renowned for its beautiful and magnificent scenery, which varies from uninhabited mountain areas and wilderness to modern bustling towns and cities. Sweden lies in northern Europe and stretches approximately 1,570 kilometers (approximately 976 miles) from 55 degrees N in the south to beyond the Arctic Circle to 69 degrees N in the far north and is approximately 500 kilometers (approximately 311 miles) from west to east at its broadest point. Sweden has an area of approximately 450,000 square kilometers (approximately 173,749 square miles), of which 39,000 square kilometers (approximately 15,058 square miles) is water. There are 3.2 million registered real properties with a total tax assessed value of 2,500 million kronor (approximately $297 million).


In Sweden, the Land Survey of Sweden, or Lantmäteriet, has the national responsibility for—and plays a dominant role in—four fields of activity: geographic information, cadastral information, real estate formation, and geographic information techniques. Among the most important of these activities is the production of geographic databases and maps. Lantmäteriet's mission is also to contribute to an efficient and sustainable use of Sweden's real estate and land and water resources and to provide real property information. In addition, Lantmäteriet provides consultancy services in approximately 30 countries worldwide.

Lantmäteriet has approximately 2,000 employees at approximately 100 offices throughout Sweden. Lantmäteriet's head office is in the city of Gävle. Annual revenue is approximately 1,400 million kronor ($166 million) and approximately 70 percent of revenue is derived from fees.

Lantmäteriet has the responsibility for the whole cadastral procedure from field survey to final registration of the results. A cadastral procedure can range from a simple subdivision for a leisure home plot to expropriation of land for major infrastructural development projects that affect several real properties and large geographic areas. The implementation of these varying procedures requires a dynamic and efficient cadastral management system.

New Software Developed in 2000

Lantmäteriet's management made the decision to develop a new software package that could provide effective support across the full spectrum of Lantmäteriet's activities. The new product was to be a replacement for the AutoKa-PC (APC) software that had previously been developed within Lantmäteriet. The older AutoKa-PC system worked in a DOS environment and had become outdated. It had also become expensive and difficult to further develop. Lantmäteriet then decided to develop a new system, and Esri was considered to be the most suitable partner.

The new cadastral and map management program, ArcCadastre, was developed with the help of ArcGIS. Esri has also provided support for the development work and training in the use of ArcGIS.

"Initially, we had around 15 different GIS and CAD systems to choose from but the number was finally narrowed down to three or four," says Sven Lidström, Lantmäteriet's head of software development. "We carried out a careful technical and economic analysis and also looked at the development potential of the different companies. One of our basic development goals was to create a system that would have a guaranteed long life, and a reason for choosing Esri as the principal supplier was that the development of the ArcGIS components we planned to use was at the beginning of its life cycle."

Development of the new system has been based on the further development of this platform. Unlike APC, ArcCadastre was based, from the beginning, on a general design concept to suit a wide range of users. In addition to being an ideal support for the cadastral process, the program has been designed for both the production of new maps and the revision of older map series at varying scales and the storage, retrieval, and publication of data in different environments.

A Long-Established Cooperation

View over a small village and the protected harbor with typical buildings on the west coast of Sweden.

Lantmäteriet has been a user and partner of Esri since the 1980s. One of the strengths of ArcGIS is its ability to add and remove functions and its open-ended database management. The latter characteristic is particularly important considering that Lantmäteriet manages and is responsible for revising large databases containing spatial data.

"One of the major advantages of using ArcGIS is that it is possible to implement the object-oriented management of information," says Michael Munter, who is responsible for the production and management of the general map series. "This means, among other things, that it is easy to link attributes around an object. For example, different attributes, such as road classification, speed limits, geometry, and more, can be linked to a road. This facilitates the smooth and efficient integration of data between different databases, which is a significant advantage in connection with the creation and revision of different types of maps."

A Unified Production Line

In the real property formation process, the possibilities that the new system offers for working in a unified production line from field survey and computation, processing of data, and presentation of different types of maps and documents through to the final storage of data in an object-oriented database environment are very significant. ArcCadastre contains GIS functions, management of field survey data and computations, and reformatting that make the program very user-friendly.

"We are convinced that the new system will prove to be a highly valuable tool for our work in the Cadastral Services Division," says Roger Ekman, who is responsible for the introduction of ArcCadastre into the real property formation process.

"Different cadastral procedures are frequently regulated in law and through ordinances to protect the rights of property owners," continues Ekman. "Our routine activities will certainly be made easier thanks to the functionality, including process support and the creation of work flows, which guides users through different processes and provides them with instructions. This means that the most suitable tool will be made available for a specific task which, in turn, guarantees that nothing is forgotten or done incorrectly. Our surveyors can concentrate on the cadastral procedure itself without having to spend unnecessary time on technique questions."

Great User Interest

With the launch of ArcCadastre, an efficient tool has been made available for use in the cadastral process, a process that internationally is looked upon as being of increasing importance in the struggle to alleviate poverty.

The first version of ArcCadastre for the international market—Version 1.0—was released at the end of December 2002. The first Swedish version was released during April 2003. This version has been developed primarily for use in the cadastral process and for use by local government authorities in their technical activities.

Lantmäteriet will be a major user of ArcCadastre with approximately 1,000 licenses. The Swedish local authorities will also be another large user group as they can use the system for creating and maintaining large-scale basemaps, for producing site and plot maps, and in the planning process. Other Swedish groups who are engaged in the production of geographic information will certainly use the system as well.

The program can also be expected to become attractive to the overseas markets. Australia, Austria, Bhutan, China, Colombia, Qatar, Russia, and the Ukraine are among those countries that have expressed interest in ArcCadastre. Lantmäteriet markets ArcCadastre on the international market in cooperation with Esri and many Esri international distributors.

For more information, contact Tomas Falk, ArcCadastre marketing director, Lantmäteriet (e-mail:, tel.: 46-2663-3403) or visit

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