The Norwegian Mapping Authority has been involved in continuous support to Moldova since 2006.
Project 1: Real estate registration system
ALRC was using a property registration system which was established in 1990 to serve the land reform and initial land privatization in Moldova. The registration system became obsolete by 2012. It did not provide satisfactory security, and electronic access to information was limited to a few professional users only. Considering the growing need for up-to-date real estate information for land management, taxation and for several other matters in public and private sectors, ALRC/CADASTRU wanted to improving the IT solution for real estate registration.
The purpose of the Project is to introduce an improved IT solution for registration of ownership and other rights in land, ensuring better services to users of registration and improved public access to property information, as outlined in the e-Government plan for Moldova.
The project consists of three main activities:
- Support from the Norwegian Mapping Authority: The Norwegian Mapping Authority provides project supervision and technical assistance to the system design, development of ICT strategy, technical requirements and specification for procurements, and quality control and assurance of deliveries and installations.
- Preparation of an overall ICT strategy for real estate registration (CADASTRU): The ICT strategy will facilitate the design and development of the system requirements, technical specifications and tender documents for the System procurements.
- Development and implementation of a new Real Estate Registration System: Real estate information is an important component of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure, which Moldova will establish in conformity with the EU Inspire program for sharing and exchange of geographic data nationally and across national borders. The new IT solution for real estate registration will facilitate integrated access to a wide range of geographic information from various sources using web service; it will also be centralized. Local registration offices and external users will access the Central Database via Internet.
Project 2: Real estate orthophotos ('Moldphoto')
The MOLDPHOTO project goal is to prepare up to date photomaps for the entire territory of Moldova, to support efficient, secure and transparent real estate registration and to provide access to geographic information throughout Moldova.
In July 2014, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to support Moldova with a next generation of orthophoto maps covering the whole country. A Belgian company CICADE, with a French company IMAO as a sub-contractor, was awarded the contract. Completing a tender competition the contract for production of a new generation orthophoto was signed in Chisinau, Moldova on 22 January 2015.
The Norwegian Mapping Authority has been involved in the continuous support to Moldova since 2006.
In 2007, a similar project has resulted inter alia in much-needed photomaps that were made available to public via a web-portal. At that time, the only existing maps in Moldova were 20-30 years old. Needless to say that the new maps had a significant impact on the quality of public services providing access to up-to-date geographic information and supporting efficient, secure and transparent real estate registration. Decision-makers at all levels of public administration have received a useful tool for their daily work. Citizens could find their homes and parcels on the photomaps.
Aerial photography will be executed in spring 2015 and 2016 depending on the favourable weather. A new generation of orthophoto will be used in the new property registration system MOLDLIS, which is currently under development in Moldova. This project is also funded by a Norwegian grant and implemented in parallel with the Orthophoto component.
The project consists of three main activities:
- Technical assistance from the Norwegian Mapping Authority: The Norwegian Mapping Authority will provide project supervision and technical assistance in the preparation of technical requirements for procurements and quality control of the deliverables.
- Data capture and photomaps delivery
- Public awareness campaign
Testing drone technology in Moldova
Up-to-date orthophoto data was needed to complete privatisation of approximately 400 small settlements in the Moldavian national programme for privatization of lands. Kartverket and INGEOCAD agreed to build-up an extended professional capacity on use of UAV/UAS-technology in the form of comprehensive knowledge transfer through on-the-job training and technical advisory, and to execute UAV/UAS flights and aerial photography of three selected areas with consequent data processing and orthophoto production.
Use of drones for mapping was a subject for heated debate 3-5 years ago. Nowadays, the drone technology have taken their niche, successfully complementing conventional aerial photography and laser scanning. This summer, Kartverket jointly with Geomatikk Survey and co-operating partners in Moldova, tested use of different types of drones for mapping of different objects and terrains.
Kartverket is running a larger project in Moldova – a new generation of Orthophoto. There are still individual land parcels in Moldova that are not yet “privatised”. “Fresh” data is crucial for completion of mass-privatisation campaign that Moldavian Government considers a top priority. Unfortunately, in 2015, the contractor in the project could not perform the flights. The plan for massive registration was endangered, and we started to look for an alternative solution that could solve the situation.
Our partner in Moldova – the Agency for Land Relations and Cadastre considered purchase of a drone. They needed advice on what type of drone to buy; what accuracy the data will be; and whether the data would fit their purpose of mass-registration. In addition, they were interested in various applications of drone technology for mapping of different objects and terrains, like hairpin turn roads, pipelines, land pits, sand-quarries etc.
Testing UAVs for data production
We decided to bring two type of drones – a Camflight C8 rotor wing (helicopter) and a Trimble fixed-wing UAV to Moldova and undertake aerial photographing and orthophoto production for eight selected areas. The test flights were executed in May, digital terrain model and digital orthophotos were produced. Line maps were also produced by screen digitizing for parts of the pilot areas.
Erik Sundheim and Håkon Andresen of Geomatikk Survey were the consultants for this training and pilot testing. The Moldavian colleagues were trained in flying and data processing. Advantages and shortcomings of both technologies were experienced in practice during field operations and further discussed in a workshop. Here is a short film showing some of the testing.
As expected, it was confirmed that the UAV technology is not yet to fully substitute, but rather to supplement the classic aerial photography. The UAV platform is a good and efficient alternative for smaller project areas and mapping corridors (typically 5-15 km2), where the data is urgently needed and can be produced and delivered fast. Both the Fixed Wing and Rotor Wing UAV technologies were found to deliver according to their respective specifications. The Agency is now finalising a contract with Trimble on purchase of a UAV and will be in position to support the completion of the state programme on mass privatisation.
The testing exercise and its results are presented in a report made jointly by Håkon Andresen, Erik Sundheim and colleagues from Moldova. The report summarizes: “What is obvious is that the exciting UAV development will not stop. On a recent Nordic UAV event in Odense, Denmark, many participants argued that the ongoing UAV developments will eventually be looked at as the 3rd or possibly 4th “industrial revolution” (the first being mechanical agriculture from 1780-1880, and the second being industrial developments and mass production including steel, phones, cars, etc. from 1880-1920.) This may be to give UAV as a platform too much attention, credit and weight, but it is at least important to understand the coming possibilities”.
Geomatikk Survey has also tested (and subsequently implemented) the relevance of using UAVs for data collection in Kyrgyzstan.
Project 3: Moldova maps
The project focuses on preparation of large-scale topographic (line) maps for the entire territory of Moldova, including Transnistria. It builds on the results of 'Moldphoto'. Photomaps are useful for many purposes, but traditional line maps in digital form are also needed for many different usages in public and in private sectors. All developed states are producing both photomaps and topographic maps. Topographic maps were produced for 6000 sq. km., or 17 % of Moldova in 2011-12 in a Norwegian funded project, but large-scale topographic maps were lacking for the rest of the country.
It was therefore proposed to produce large-scale topographic maps for the remaining 28000 sq.km, to enhance the quality of first registration of privatized properties, of which 25% remained to register at the time of project initiation. Up-to-data maps are needed for achieving many of the goals set forward in the Moldavian Government's Development Strategy for economic growth and poverty reduction (Moldova 2020). Maps are especially needed for planning and execution of road projects (strategic goal 2); for improving the business climate, inter alia, by applying information technologies in public services for businesses and citizens (strategic goal 4); for increasing the quality and efficiency of justice and fighting corruption in order to ensure equitable access to public good for all citizens (strategic goal 7). In addition, maps are indispensable for sustainable land management and for environmental protection, as well as for planning and execution of projects in the energy sector, to name some key usages of line maps.
Topographic maps are produced from aerial images. Such images were produced during 2015-16 in the Norwegian-funded 'moldphoto' project. It is a big saving in using the same aerial images to produce topographic maps as well, and it is beneficial for the preparation of topographic maps that the aerial images are as fresh as possible. In addition, a digital terrain model was produced and used to prepare the contour lines for the topographic maps.
Modern topographic maps are electronic data in vector form. Printed maps is only one product, which can be derived from the topographic data. Professional users in public and private sectors will use the electronic maps in computer applications, such as in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and even on tablets and mobile phones.
Topographic data in electronic form are used in a wide range of applications, such as registration of property, planning and execution of infrastructure improvements, land use planning and land management, property taxation and for management of addresses, which, inter alia, are needed for civil registration and elections. The topographic data will be available on Internet, and when requested in combination with photomaps and thematic data on soil, land use etc. Topographic maps are a fundament for national spatial data infrastructures (NSDI), which all EU member states are obliged to produce in accordance with the EU Inspire directive. Also applicant states should adhere to the Inspire directive.
Preparation of large-scale topographic maps for Moldova involved the following main activities:
1. Preparation of specifications for the topographic data and database
2. Tender for the production of topographic data based on existing aerial images
3. Quality control of produced data
4. Ensuring safe storage and efficient distribution of the data, in various ways and forms, including via a geoportal
More detailed maps at a scale 1:2000 for estimated 1000 sq. km. urban areas will be produced, and less detailed maps at a scale 1:5000 for rural areas of 27000 sq. km. However, being electronic data, the maps can be displayed in "any" scale.