At the Geospatial World Forum in Amsterdam, Peter Creuzer, Director State Survey of Lower Saxony, gave a very interesting introduction to land management in Germany and some of the things that are on the horizon.
Germany has about 82 million citizens, or about 229 people per km2, and the population has been declining since 2003. It has about 64.5 million parcels (land properties) valued at about €9 trillion. About 48% of households own land. The land administration system handles about a million transactions per year.
Germany has the same problem that other jurisdictions have, urbanization, but it has limited land resources. It loses about 77 hectares/day to urban sprawl.
Land administration in Germany is comprised of two parts, a land register and the cadastre.The land register includes information about owners, land use, encumbrances, and other legal obligations. The cadastre includes the land parcel geometry, owneship, buildings and public restrictions. The objectives of the land administration system are security of tenure, some revenue for the government, and support for a transparent planning process.
There are some interesting future goals, one of the most important of which is enabling sustainable development. This includes land consolidation and revitalization of older cities.
Another major initiative is revision of the land taxation system which is expected to be completed by 2014. The alternatives that are being considered are taxation based on market value (which is what is used in Ontario), a fixed tax, and a combined system.
There is also a new data model underway based on ISO and Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards referred to by the abbreviation AAA, which stands for AFIS (uniform geodetic reference), ALKIS (uniform cadastre), and ATKIS (uniform topography). By 2013 the data model will include support for a 3D cadastre and will include the CityGML standard. It will be accessible via OGC web services; WMS, WFS, and others.
Germany is also working on being compliant with the EU INSPIRE directive. There is a pilot in progess involving the Netherlands, Lower Saxony, and North Rhine Westphalia.