Contact person for provided information:
Survey of Israel
Head, Division of 3D Cadastre
1 Lincoln st.
Tel-Aviv, Postal Code 65220
Email: bhmoshe (at) mapi.gov.il
|Information provided on 16
Israel is located in the Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean
Sea, between Egypt and Lebanon next to Syria and Jordan. The total
area of over 20,770 sq km and a coastline of about 190 km along
the Mediterranean. The area of lakes (sea of Galilee and Dead
sea) 440 sq km (2%). Israel lies between 340°30' - 350°45' W and
29°30' - 33°20' N. The territory of Israel measures some 420 km
from north to south and about 120 km from west to east.
The population of Israel is about 7 million of which 85% live
in the cities and towns. About 80% of the population Jewish and
20% non-Jewish (mostly Arab). Hebrew and Arabic are the two official
languages (English being the most commonly used foreign language).
The capital city of Israel is Jerusalem with population of about
700,000 inhabitants. About 40% of the population lives in the
metropolis of Tel-Aviv, which is the center of the economy and
cultural life. The population annual growth rate of about 1.2%
and population density of 305 inhabitants per square kilometer.
The growth in population, projected to rise from 7 millions today
to nine million by 2020.
Administratively, Israel is divided into 6 districts: Central,
Tel-Aviv, Southern, Haifa, Jerusalem and Northern. The main cities:
Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv, Be'er-Sheva and Haifa. Topographically, Israel
is divided into distinct regions: The Coastal region, Hilly region,
The Northern Valleys, The Negev region and The Jordan Rift Valley
54% of total area is urban area and 46% agriculture areas. The
majority of the country is plain area; there are mountains in
north, eastern and the south. The highest peak in Israel in the
northern Galille mountains is 1,208 m (Har Meron) above sea level
and the lowest point in the Dead Sea is 417 m below sea level.
Israel has a technologically advanced market economy with substantial
government participation. It depends on imports of crude oil,
grains, raw materials and military equipment. Despite limited
natural resources, Israel has intensively developed its agricultural
and industrial sectors over the past 20 years. Israel imports
substantial quantities of grain, but is largely self-sufficient
in other agricultural products. Cut diamonds, high-technology
products, and agricultural products (fruits and vegetables) are
the leading exports. Israel usually posts sizable current account
deficits, which are covered by large transfer payments from abroad
and by foreign loans. Roughly half of the government's external
debt is owed to the US, which is its major source of economic
and military aid.
- Age structure (2005 est.): 0-14 years: 26.5%, 15-64 years:
63.7%, 65 years and over: 9.8%
- Median Age (2005): Total - 29.39 years, Male - 28.58 years,
Female - 30.27 years
- Life Expectancy (2005): Total Population - 79.32 years, Male
- 77.21 years, Female - 81.55 years
- Literacy (2003): Total Population - 95.4%, Male - 97.3%,
Female - 93.6%
- Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (2004): 129 billion $
- GDP - Real Growth Rate (2004 est.): 3.9%
- GDP - Per Capita (2004 est.): purchasing power parity - 20,800
- GDP - Composition by Sector (2003 est.): Agriculture: 2.8%,
Industry: 37.7%, Services: 59.5%
- Budget (2004): revenues: 48.09 billion $, expenditures: 52.11
- National Expenditure on Education (2001): Higher Education
Institutions 12,751 $, Post Secondary Institutions 7,521 $,
Secondary (incl. Intermediate) 5,617 $, Primary education 4,650
$, Pre-primary education 3,428 $, Total expenditure on educational
institutions as percentage of GDP 8.6
- National Expenditure on Civilian Research and Development
(R&D) (2002): Index of final expenditure per capita - 113.5
$, Expenditure per capita - 942.3 $, Percentage of GDP - 4.5
- Debt-External (2004 est.): 74.46 billion $
- Natural Resources: Timber, Potash, Copper Ore, Natural Gas,
Phosphate Rock, Magnesium Bromide, Clays and Sand
- Labor force - by occupation (2003): agriculture 1.8%, manufacturing
16.5%, construction and transport 12.8%, communications 13.9%,
finance and business 16.2%, personal and public services 38.8%
- Exports (2004 est.): 34.41 billion $
- Imports (2004 est.): 36.84 billion $
On 14 May 1948, following the 29 November 1947 UN resolution,
Israel proclaimed its independence. Israel focused on building
the state, and the gates of the country were thrown open, affirming
the right of every Jew and World War II survivors to come to the
country. By the end of 1951, the population was a total of 687,000
men, women and children had arrived. Towards the end of the first
decade, the output of industry doubled, as did the number of employed
persons, with industrial exports increasing four-fold. Vast expansion
of areas under cultivation had brought about self-sufficiency
in the supply of all basic food products except meat and grains,
while some 50,000 acres (20,000 hectares) of mostly barren land
were afforested and trees were planted along almost 500 miles
(800 km.) of highway. The educational system was greatly expanded
and school attendance became free and compulsory for all children
During Israel's second decade (1958-68), exports doubled, and
the GNP increased some 10 percent annually. While some previously
imported items such as paper, tires, radios and refrigerators
were now being manufactured locally; the most rapid growth took
place in the newly established branches of metals, machinery,
chemicals and electronics. Since the domestic market for homegrown
food was fast approaching the saturation point, the agricultural
sector began to grow a larger variety of crops for the food processing
industry as well as fresh produce for export. A second deep-water
port was built on the Mediterranean coast to handle the increased
volume of trade.
Israel's foreign relations expanded steadily, as close ties were
developed with the United States, British Commonwealth countries,
most western European states, nearly all the countries of Latin
America and Africa, and some in Asia. Extensive programs of international
cooperation were initiated, as hundreds of Israeli physicians,
engineers, teachers, agronomists, irrigation experts and youth
organizers shared their know-how and experience with people in
other developing countries.
The cycle of Arab rejections of Israel's appeals for peace was
broken with the visit of Egyptian President to Jerusalem (November
1977), followed by negotiations between Egypt and Israel under
American auspices. On 26 March 1979, Israel and Egypt signed a
peace treaty, bringing the 30-year state of war between them to
Since the signing of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty, various initiatives
were put forth by Israel and others to further the peace process
in the Middle East. These efforts eventually led to the convening
of the Madrid Peace Conference (October 1991), held under American
and Soviet auspices, which brought together representatives of
Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the Palestinians. The formal
proceedings were followed by bilateral negotiations between the
parties and by multilateral talks addressing regional concerns.
Three years of talks between Jordan and Israel, following the
1991 Madrid Peace Conference, the Jordan-Israel peace treaty was
signed on 26 October 1994. This peace treaty ended the 46-year
state-of-war between their countries.
Israel and Palestinian officials signed on 13 September 1993
a Declaration of Principles (also known as the "Oslo accords")
guiding an interim period of Palestinian self-rule. On 24 June
2002, US President laid out a "road map" for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict, which envisions a two-state solution. However, progress
toward a permanent status agreement has been undermined by Palestinian-Israeli
violence ongoing since September 2000. The conflict may have reached
a turning point with the election in January 2005 of the new Palestinian
Current Political and Administrative
Israel is a democracy with a central government and parliament
("Knesset", 120 seats) elected by the people (suffrage: 18 years)
every four years. The government led by the Prime Minister has
the real political power while the President has limited political
power. The president is elected by the Knesset for a five-year
term and representing the country and serves as the symbol of
the state. The Cabinet (about 8-18) is selected by Prime Minister
and approved by the Knesset.
The government is divided into three independent bodies namely:
Legislature, Executive and Judiciary. Each body is responsible
for a different function of the government. Legislature is responsible
for making laws that are implemented by the executive and interpreted
by the judiciary branch. There are three levels of court namely
Supreme Court, District Court and Municipal Court. No formal constitution;
some of the functions of a constitution are filled by the Declaration
of Establishment (1948), the Basic Laws of the parliament (Knesset),
and the Israeli citizenship law.
Historical Outline of Cadastral
Israel, as many other countries, has a statutory division of land
- the cadastre. The modern Israeli Cadastre was established in
1928 by the British Mandatory Administration in Palestine, and
was based on Torrens principles (Registration of Titles). In similar
to mapping, which over the recent decades has been gradually undergoing
a transition from the graphic sphere to the digital sphere, the
cadastre in Israel is now also in transition from analogue era
to digital era. The changes instituted thus far, and those expected
in the cadastre in the future, could be classified into four stages:
Analogue (conventional) cadastre, Graphic (computerized) cadastre,
Analytical coordinate based cadastre and Three-Dimensional Multi-Layer
The institutionalized surveying and mapping activities in the
country began in 1920, when the British mandate authorities established
a Survey Department and decided that its first task should be
the triangulation to cover the populated area of the country.
The next and no less important decision was the establishment
of juridical cadastre based on Torrens principles. Survey Ordinance
came into being in 1929, limiting the profession to licensed and
government surveyors, a state of affairs, which has remained unchanged
up to the present.
The independence brought with it an accelerated development with
a great demand for surveying and mapping services on a scale previously
unknown. One of the first steps taken was the establishment of
a survey school to satisfy the need for surveyors. Photogrammetry
came into being towards the end of the forties, as well as the
massive development of engineering surveys for housing and road
construction. The geodetic control was extended to the southern
part of the country. The electronic computer and electromagnetic
distance measurements started changing the profession during the
sixties. University education became a prerequisite for a surveyor
license, which undoubtedly elevated the status of the profession
and its practitioners. Research, applicationally oriented, became
a necessity for keeping abreast of scientific and technological
Since 1948, the Survey of Israel (SOI) the successor of the Survey
of Palestine is the governmental institution responsible, among
other responsibilities, for cadastral mapping in the country.
SOI supervises and collects the entire cadastral mapping (block
maps as well as mutation plans). SOI is responsible for issuing
the instructions and standards for cadastral mapping, and also
for licensing surveying and mapping professionals.
Settlement of rights was accomplished until now in about 95%
of the area of Israel. The population of Israel grew from about
800,000 in 1948 (the establishment of state of Israel), to about
7 million in 2006. Most of this growth was due to immigration,
which with natural growth, the increase in standard of living
and some changes in the concepts of living, caused high pressure
on the demand for land and need for new planning.
The advent of GPS revolutionized the approach to the positioning
of the geodetic control. The emerging GIS changed the concept
of mapping, both the topographical and the cadastral. All these
changes in professional practice reflected themselves in the Survey
Regulations of 1964, 1987 and 1998, each new set superceding the
With the Torrens method, the subject of registration is the land
parcel. The borders of the parcel and objects that are related
to it (such as buildings) are thoroughly surveyed, and the area
of the parcel is calculated. This type of registration establishes
an effective and convenient way for proper real estate management,
and effective planning and land transaction. In addition, equitable
collection of taxes imposed on the land is enabled.
As in every country where the Torrens method has been adopted,
the settlement of land rights in Israel was performed only once.
However, over the years attention has been given to its updating
and improvement. Despite the fact that at present it is possible
to achieve centimeter-level surveying accuracy, which is much
higher than that achieved in the past, the parcels that have been
settled are not being resurveyed. Rather, efforts are being made
to optimize the use of former measurements in cases where merging
or subdivisions are introduced.
About 21,000 square km of the registered area (about 5% of the
area is not registered yet) are divided into about 15,000 registration
blocks, and about 800,000 parcels. The area included in each block
changes according to the block's boundaries. The scales of the
block sheets are from 1:625 down to 1:50,000 and the sheet size
is about 60*70 cm. Most of the sheets are in 1:1,250 and 1:2,500.
The accuracy in which the boundaries are defined is quite heterogeneous
as a result of methods and equipment that were used.
Any change in the original settlement of land rights has to be
based on mutation plans. The birth of every mutation plan (re-parcelation)
begins with a municipal plan. According to the Israeli law of
planning and building, every merging or subdivision of parcels
should be according to municipal plans. The initiative of such
plans can be originated in the private sector, the government
or the municipality itself. It may contain one or two new parcels
and may be up to some hundred new parcels that can form a new
part of a city. The municipal building plan (town plan) is based
on some topographic or planimetric map, including the cadastral
boundaries as a background (usually in accuracy of digitization
of graphic maps). The boundaries of the town plan may not coincide
with the cadastral boundaries. In order to register a mutation
plan, a licensed surveyor should prepare it. As mentioned above,
the mutation plan should fit the town plan. The criteria for this
fit are written in the survey regulations that were updated by
the SOI in June 1998. The head of the municipal planning authority
approves the above-mentioned fit. This approval is a prerequisite
for beginning a checking process in the SOI. It should be noticed
that according to the same law of planning and building mentioned
above, a mutation plan should be accepted by the SOI as "approved
for registration" before the plan reaches the Register at the
Ministry of Justice.
The process of checking is started at one of five district surveyors
offices (Haifa, Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem and Beer-Sheba), were most
of the cadastral original mapping is kept and used for preparing
a mutation plan by a licensed surveyor from the private sector.
The most important part of the checking concerns with the correct
reconstruction of the old boundaries, keeping the registered area
of the original parcels, using all the available official sources.
The district surveyor is authorized to decide about the need to
check the plan in the field. Another important part of the check
concerns with keeping the graphic (computerized) drawings according
to the survey regulations, as well as appropriate to the electronic
computation formats which guarantees a successful upload to the
database of the cadastral GIS. The surveyor who prepared the mutation
plan gives temporary new parcel numbers and parcel area size.
Once the plan is accepted as approved for registration, it is
allowed to go to the land registry at the ministry of justice,
which gives final numbering to the temporary parcel numbers, registers
the area size and the ownership. The "final numbers" are distributed
then to the SOI in order to update the plans and the registration
|Number of Mutation Plans
Survey of Israel (SOI)
The Survey of Israel (SOI) is a National Center for Mapping,
Geodesy, Cadastre and Geoinformatics. SOI belongs to the ministry
of Construction and Housing. The SOI is the agency responsible
for the national infrastructure in these areas as well as for
number official functions. The SOI is the top professional authority
in the country, setting standards, initiating legislation, licensing
surveyors, supporting and initiating research and development,
actively managing and maintaining the national geodetic infrastructure,
the national GIS, responsible for national mapping, topographical
and cadastral. SOI supervises, confirms, collects and maintains
all the cadastral mapping.
The SOI is responsible for cadastral mapping, as a part of an
inter-ministry procedure of documentation and registration of
rights to land, according to a British mandatory law (Survey Ordinance,
1929). Private licensed surveyors are deeply involved in the cadastral
activity. The cadastre system in Israel is based on Torrens registration
The responsibility for the inspection and the approval of block
maps and mutation plans is shared by five district surveyors and
three civil servants acting at SOI central office. The historical,
geographic distribution led to heterogeneity of various local
methods of working and managing, procedures, data formats, hardware
and software facilities, etc.
The Land Registry Office (LRO)
The land registry office (Ministry of Justice) is the governmental
institution, which has the responsibility for registration of
legal rights in real property. The scope of its activity is over
the whole state of Israel and it operates through its 12 regional
offices. The legal basis for the registration of rights is the
Land Law (1969).
The Israeli Land Administration (ILA)
Israel has a unique structure of land administration, because
of historical reasons. The government is the owner of about 93%
of the land, which is leased to the public by various forms of
short and long - term leasing managed by the Israeli Land Administration
(Ministry of Construction and Housing). The Israeli Land Administration
is the government agency responsible for managing this land that
comprises 5,750,000 acres. "Ownership" of real estate in Israel
usually means leasing rights from the ILA for 49 or 98 years.
Its responsibility contains both the communication with the lessees
and the marketing of land to the construction market for further
development. This structure allows the government to maintain
control of the construction market and adjust the supply of land
to the changing needs and demands of the market.
Functions of the ILA:
- Guarantee that national lands are used in accordance with
- Actively protect and supervise state lands.
- Make state land available for public use.
- Plan, develop and manage state land reserves.
- Initiate planning and development (including relocation of
- Regulate and manage registration of state lands.
- Authorization of contracts and agreements with other parties.
- Provide services to the general public.
Private Sector Involvement:
The land administration practice in Israel involves both the private
and the governmental sectors. Although the part of the governmental
authorities is relatively dominant, there is a growing trend of
deeper involvement of the private resources in the process. This
tendency is based on different background and motivations, some
derived from ideologies and some based on economic considerations.
Private licensed surveyors are deeply involved in the cadastral
activity. One of their most important tasks is the preparation
of the Mutation Plans of changes in the cadastre. The private
sector (which counts some 830 active licensed surveyors) carries
out a great variety of tasks in engineering and cadastral surveying,
in data acquisition for mapping and GIS, in mapping itself, in
management and coordination of housing projects, and is growing
in importance as executives of the profession.
According to existing law, SOI may authorize private surveyors
to execute the supervising of mutation plans prepared by other
surveyors. In order to have such an authorization, a surveyor
must prove his capability to execute the supervision on high quality
level. In 2004, SOI authorized 10 private surveyors to execute
the supervision of mutation plans. In 2004, about 3% from the
mutation plans supervised by them. 7 additional supervision surveyors
were authorized in 2006 and the rate rose to 25% of the total
In 2004, there are 819 active licensed surveyors. Many of them
(about 455) run private businesses. Others (about 306) are employed
by survey firms and about 60 are employed by SOI and government
Professional Organization or
The Association of Licensed Surveyors in Israel is the principal
voluntary association in Israel with some 500 members. The association
is an active member of FIG and is represented in all the FIG commissions.
Besides the Association of Licensed Surveyors in Israel, there
are other sister societies, such as the Israeli Society of Photogrammetry
and Remote Sensing, the Israeli Cartographic Society and the Association
of Land Valuers.
A license is necessary to carry out geodetic surveying. Nowadays,
there are about 1100 licensed surveyors in Israel (including retired
ones). The requirements for getting a license are set in "Surveyors
Regulations (The Surveying Profession)" legislated in 1982. For
obtaining a license, the candidate should complete both university
studies in geodetic engineering and a two year long professional
training, with the guidance of an experienced senior surveyor.
The training should be focused on preparation of mutation plans.
There are a number of further conditions for obtaining a license.
The candidate must be a citizen of the state of Israel, he/she
has to be graduated in geodetic engineering. A B.Sc. Degree in
civil engineering may also be accepted after the completion of
university studies in obligatory geodetic subjects. Finally, the
candidate has to be examined on some special subjects, among them
land legislation; field measurements, relevant geodetic and cadastral
computations and the complete procedure of mutation plan preparation.
Having fulfilled the educational requirements a candidate for
a surveyors license has to complete a two year period of supervised
practice, under a surveyor-supervisor, particularly with view
to gain the background and expertise expected from a professional
licensed surveyor, trusted by the general public and by colleagues
in sister professions, such as architecture, town planning, engineering,
real estate etc. At the end of the supervised practice period,
the candidate is expected to pass an interview directed to test
the candidate's proficiency in applicational matters.
SOI is responsible for surveyors licensing. The licensed surveyors
(and the candidates) are registered in a register book containing
personal details on their academic studies, training period resume,
examinations results, annual license fee payment and other practical
The independence of Israel in 1948 brought with it an accelerated
development with a great demand for surveying and mapping services
on a scale previously unknown. One of the first steps taken was
the establishment of a survey school to satisfy the need for surveyors.
University education became a prerequisite for a surveyor license,
which undoubtedly improved the status of the profession and its
practitioners. Research, applicationally oriented, became a necessity
for keeping abreast of scientific and technological development.
A basic condition to become a licensed surveyor is to be graduated
in geodetic engineering (4 years) or in surveying (3 years) from
the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology or from a recognized
institution of high education abroad.
The curriculum at the Technion includes the infrastructure of
mathematics, physics and computer programming courses required
of all engineers, followed by a series of courses in surveying
and mapping, geodesy, photogrammetry and cadastre, and accompanied
by college required courses and courses of students choice. The
standard of education offered by the Technion is considered very
good relative to leading institutions in the world. The division
of geodetic engineering at the Technion has had some 40 students
graduating in each of the past six years, with approximately 10
graduates obtaining advanced degrees each year.
The teaching and research activities of the division of geodetic
engineering are in the areas related to theoretical and practical
aspects of surveying, mapping and geodesy. The division is responsible
for the geodetic undergraduate and graduate programs of the department.
Graduating in one of these programs is mandatory for obtaining
Land Surveying License in Israel. Beside its own programs, the
division offers surveying service courses to students from the
Civil Engineering and Architectural Engineering departments.
The research areas of the division of geodetic engineering are:
- Surveying and geodesy: Precise surveying techniques
for solving engineering problems; structure deformation monitoring;
design and analysis of control networks; geometric and physical
geodesy; calibration of surveying equipment; combining classical
surveying with satellite (GPS) measurements; gravimetry.
- Cartography and mapping: Computer assisted mapping;
Geographic and Land Information Systems (GIS/LIS); spatial data
handling; generalization, matching, conflation, multi-representation
and multi-scale of digital maps; automation of data capture
and editing; quality control of digital mapping; thematic mapping.
- Photogrammetry and remote sensing: Advanced analytical
photogrammetry techniques; use of digital aerial and satellite
images; automatic DEM and orthophoto generation; pattern and
object recognition for scene analysis; converting raw image
data to explicit information; sensor and data fusion; photogrammetry/GIS
linkage; close-range and real-time photogrammetry.
The division of geodetic engineering offered two undergraduate
- A four-year program, leading to the degree of B.Sc. in Geodetic
Engineering. The program is aimed at training engineers for
filling leading positions in projects, research and special
works in the areas of geodesy and mapping.
- A three-year program, leading to the degree of B.A. in Geodetic
Sciences. The programs include most of the basic, required and
geodetic courses of the four-year program. The program does
not include some engineering courses from other divisions of
the department of Civil Engineering.
Also, the division of geodetic engineering offered two graduate
- M.Sc. in Geodetic Engineering: for students with geodetic
engineering (or, with some additional courses, for students
with other engineering background).
- M.Sc. in Geodetic Sciences: for students with non-engineering
background who are interested in theoretical/algorithmic aspects
of mapping and geodesy.
The facilities used in the division of geodetic engineering are:
- Precise and conventional surveying: GPS receivers
and processing software; total-stations; theodolites, electronic
distance measurement equipment; levels; gyrotheodolite; laser
alignment instrument, basic optical tooling equipment.
- GIS and computer mapping: UNIX workstations and PC/WIN
NT with GIS and image processing software (ArcInfo, ArcView,
MicroStation); scanners; digitizer; large-format (A0) inkjet
- Photogrammetry and remote sensing: Intergraph stereo
imagination with state-of-the-art photogrammetric software;
SGI O2 with Erdas Imagine, Orthomax and Orthoradar; PC based
photogrammetric stations (Leica - DVP); CCD camera; terrestrial
metric cameras; precise monocomparator
Israel is a small country, the mapping practice relies more heavily
on aerial photography rather then satellite imagery. Nevertheless,
it should be mentioned that a number of universities, amongst
them Haifa University, Bar Ilan University, Ben Gurion University
in the Negev, Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of
Jerusalem, offer a variety of courses in Remote Sensing and in
its integration with GIS.
Purpose of Cadastral System:
The modern Israeli Cadastre is based on Torrens principles (Registration
of Titles) and it covers the following roles: legal (land transfer,
land market), fiscal (land valuation, taxation, assessment), and
multiple purpose role (land management, planning, land development,
local government and utilities management, emergency management
The Israeli cadastre is a juridical official register, shows
the de facto legal status of all parcels and properties in a state.
As far as legal property titles are concerned, the cadastre shows
their scope and the part of the surface to which they extend.
All relevant facts, such as location, area, use and parcel boundaries
Today, the cadastral information is a part of integrated information
systems and it improves the overall land management process. The
last two decades has seen moves to establish a complete computerized
cadastral information system.
Types of Cadastral Systems:
There is only one comprehensive cadastral system, a Title Registration
system, covering the whole territory of Israel. Two governmental
institutions are involved in cadastral system i.e. Survey of Israel
(SOI) providing the technical aspects, surveys, mapping etc and
the Land Registry Office providing the registration, transfers
The Survey of Israel (Ministry of Construction and Housing) is
responsible for cadastral mapping, as a part of an inter-ministry
procedure of documentation and registration of rights to land.
The responsibility for the inspection and the approval of Cadastral
Maps and Mutation Plans is shared by five district surveyors and
three civil servants acting at SOI central office.
The Land Registry Office (Ministry of Justice) is the governmental
institution, which has the responsibility for registration of
legal rights in real estate properties (land parcels and condominium
units). The scope of its activity is over the whole State of Israel
and it operates through its 12 regional offices.
The modern Israeli Cadastre was based on Torrens principles (Registration
of Titles). The main unit in the cadastral system of Israel is
the cadastral parcel. About 21,000 square km of the registered
area (5% of the area is not registered yet) are divided into some
15,000-registration blocks, and 800,000 parcels. The cadastral
systems in Israel are operated by two governmental institutions
i.e. Survey of Israel and the land registry office.
Land parcels are surveyed in the field while the corresponding
land ownership titles are recorded in the Land Registry. Two different
types of real properties can be registered: land parcel and apartment
in condominium. All types of real properties have a unique identity
number and are registered separately.
The Land Registry uniquely identifies each parcel corresponding
to the title. The Cadastral System in Israel is organized as follows:
- The registration blocks - which might include more than one
- The cadastral map shows all land parcels graphically.
- Legal survey measurements are used to precisely identify
all new parcel boundaries determined by cadastral surveys such
as subdivision, etc.
- The Land Book identifies the legal rights based on the cadastral
A land parcel is defined as a piece of land delimited by its
boundaries and represented in a cadastral map. Every parcel has
its unique parcel number within so called "cadastral unit". Land
parcels, are surveyed in the field and survey plans are submitted
to the Survey of Israel for checking in accordance with Survey
Regulations and conditions of the Town Planning. Only when a survey
plan is approved as to survey, leases are registered accordingly.
Changes of rights to land do not take effect before being registered
in the land register.
Content of Cadastral System:
The cadastre is a parcel based and up to date land information
system and is managed by two governmental institutions. The cadastral
system consisting of:
- Record of ownership (land books and condominiums registers)
managed by the land registry office. Textual component, which
includes all land parcels and identifies owners' rights, restrictions,
and responsibilities, ownership, special rights, mortgages,
area of land parcel, history of the parcel etc. The record of
ownership is fully computerized, updated daily and is available
on the web.
- Cadastral maps, survey documentation (about 30,000 "field
books") and geodetic information files corresponding to the
registered title with unique identifiers, managed by Survey
of Israel. A spatial component contains the geometric and spatial
descriptions of parcels based on boundary surveying process
on the field.
Most of land parcels have been registered in Israel (about 5%
of the area is not registered yet) and about 900,000 real properties
(condominium units and others) are not registered yet. The total
number of Cadastral parcels in Israel is over 800,000, these are
mostly governmentally owned parcels, and about 7% of the occupied
parcels are privately owned. The cadastral block maps (about 15,000)
have been completely digitized and supported by field notes and
Two main kinds of rights of land can be registered in the land
register: full ownership and long-term lease.
Cadastral Block Map
In the current analog cadastre, the cadastral map constitutes
an integral part of the registration and serves to describe the
property. The cadastral maps, intended to ensure the rights of
the owner (individual or the State) to the property. Each administartive
unit (village, local municipality, etc.) is divided into registration
blocks, and each block is divided into parcels. Measurment results
are recorded in field books and used to determine the boundaries
of the block and the parcels, as well as other features (buildings,
fences, electricity poles, etc.) on a field plan sheet. Maps of
the blocks are based on the file sheet, consisiting of scaled
drawings of all parcels in the block and all included features.
These block maps contain neither the measured data nor any dimensions
whatsoever of the parcel boundaries.
The whole country is covered with uniform cadastral maps containing
geographical information about: parcel boundaries and boundery
corner points, parcel numbers, administrative boundaries of districts,
survey control points, outlines of houses and buildings, street
names, scale, coordinates, name of district, name of sub district,
name of village, number of block etc. The present cadastral map
lacks any altimetric information, the contour lines are not drawn
and the altitude of control points and objects is not noted.
The area included in each cadastral map (cadastral block map)
changes according to the block's boundaries. The scales of the
block plans are from 1:625 to 1:50,000 and the sheet size is about
60*70 cm. Most of the cadastral maps are in 1:1,250 and 1:2,500.
The accuracy in which the boundaries are defined (0.5-0.8 mm at
the block scale) is quite heterogeneous as a result of methods
and equipment that were used.
Many blocks were plotted in the past manually based on chain
surveying measurment, without calculating coordinates. Control
of measurment and plotting was carried out by measuring straight
distances ("frontages" and diagonals) in the field and comparing
them and the same distances as obtained in the drawn map. The
quality of the cadastral maps improved with the development of
modern measuring instruments and introduction of the polar method
in cadastral measurements, while concurrently, new cadastral maps
were being drawn by plotters based on calculated coordinates.
Another improvement in quality and accuracy of cadastral maps
took place in the course of the 1980s and 1990s following the
increased accuracy of the national control networks (use of GPS,
In the late 1980s, SOI started preparations for GIS/LIS era.
It has been decided to scan and digitize the existing block maps.
Since 1993 cadastral maps are converted into digital form (digitized
by private contractors) under strict quality control and are entered
into the computerized GIS database. Most of the country is now
covered by digital (vector or raster) cadastral data.
The graphic inputting of the analogue cadastral maps is carried
out according to defined specifications, primarily: scanning of
the graphic material, automatic vectorization of the scanned raster,
manual completing and graphic editing by operators (technicians,
draftsmen). Within this framework of treating the cadastral data
(a project in advanced stages, nearing completion), the graphic
limited quality and accuracy of the blocks is preserved - and
therefore the database that is craeted does not constitute a cadastral
statutory validation for the borders of parcels and blocks. According
to the Israeli surveying regulations, the renewal of cadastral
boundaries is to be performed according to the original surveying
data (field books) and not according to the graphic map. From
the judicial standpoint, it is still the paper map (hard copy)
and not the digital map (soft copy) which constitutes the valid
and statutorical document. The registartion maps in Israel are
currently kept in the district SOI offices in the original form
and are distributed as needed in hard copy form on paper sheets.
The latest development is a software, permitting the viewing
of any cadastral document (including field books) and its extraction
from the data base for a nominal fee.
In the land registration practiced in Israel, the mutation plan
is an integral part of the register and it serves as geodetic
component of the register and its revisions. The accurate mutation
plans are an important factor in keeping the records up to date
and contribute to the reliability of the land register. The 2D
mutation plan presents the existing surface subdivision as well
as the new one, the areas of the parcels, their shape and precise
location. The current mutation plans, do not include altimetric
information at all. The mutation plan does include information
on surface attached details, such as buildings, fences, roads
Example of a Cadastral Map:
Cadastral Block Map
Role of Cadastral Layer in SDI:
Towards the end of the eighties, when the GIS became a central
topic in the surveying and mapping profession, the hardware and
software configuration was defined and the Survey of Israel became
responsible for the national GIS. It was decided to establish
two fundamental digital data bases:
- The National Topographic Data Base.
- The National Cadastral Data Base.
The Topographic Data Base:
Considering the graphical character of the topographical mapping
which existed in the late eighties and its non-uniform accuracy,
it was decided to establish a reliable data base by collecting
new digital data and re-mapping the country. The data collection
was based on black and white new aerial photography at 1:40000
scale, controlled by GPS measurements.
Data acquisition was achieved by analytical and digital stereo-plotters
and executed by private companies in accordance with strict specifications,
which included the newly developed Unified Digital Feature Coding.
The planimetric and altimetric accuracy of 2 meters accommodates
mapping from the database at scales from 1:25,000 to 1:5,000.
Quality control and formats for digital data transfer and exchange
have been developed and maintained by the Survey of Israel. The
estimated cost of the primary establishment of the topographical
database is approximately US $ 270 per square kilometer.
The established data base permits derivation of maps at 1:25,000,
1:10,000 and 1:5,000 scales with automatic generation of the so
called "work maps" utilizing specially developed look-up-tables.
A new basic topographical map series of the country at 1:25000
scale is in progress. Hydrographic mapping has recently started
and will be developed as a part of the national GIS framework.
The main problem in topographical mapping is the continuous updating
of the digital GIS data base. The first revision cycle started
in 2000. A research and development project aimed at defining
methods for automatic revision is in progress.
General Point Entities
General Line Entities
Electricity, Water, Gas, Oil, …
Streams, Channels, …
Pools, Lakes, …
Contour lines, …
Plantation, field, …
Residence, Industry, …
Wells, Springs, …
Fences, Walls, …
National Cadastral Data Base:
The juridical character of the cadastre in Israel requires that
parcel boundaries must be uniquely defined by survey and the rights
to the parcel registered by the government. Any change in parcel
boundaries must be accompanied by an approved mutation plan. Approximately
800,000 parcels cover the country, grouped in 15,000 blocks. The
cadastral scales vary between 1:625 to 1:10,000 and estimated
accuracy is 0.5-0.8 mm at the block scale.
Neither new cadastral mapping, nor re-computation of boundaries
were considered feasible and therefore it has been decided to
scan and digitize the existing block maps. Thus, most of the original
data of the National Cadastral Data Base has a digital form but
a "graphical" accuracy.
In the late 1980s, the SOI started preparations for GIS/LIS era.
It has been decided to scan and digitize the existing block maps.
Since 1993 cadastral block maps are converted into digital form
(digitized by private contractors) under strict quality control
and are entered into the computerized GIS database. Most of the
country is now covered by digital (vector or raster) cadastral
The graphic inputting of the analogue block maps is carried out
according to difined specifications, primarily: scanning of the
graphic material, automatic vectorization of the scanned raster,
manual completing and graphic editing by operators (technicians,
draftsmen). Within this framework of treating the cadastral data
(a project in advanced stages, nearing completion), the graphic
quality and accuracy of the blocks is preserved - and therefore
the database that is craeted does not constitute a cadastral statutory
validation for the borders of parcels and blocks. According to
the Israeli surveying regulations, the renewal of cadastral boundaries
is to be performed according to the original surveying data (field
books) and not according to the graphic map. From the judicial
standpoint, it is still the paper map (hard copy) and not the
digital map (soft copy) that constitutes the valid and statutorical
document. The cadastral maps in Israel are currently kept in the
district SOI offices in the original and distributed as needed
in hard copy form on paper sheets.
The latest development is software, permitting the viewing of
any cadastral document (including field books) and its extraction
from the data base for a nominal fee. The principal layer in the
cadastral GIS database is the parcel layer of parcels. This layer,
which is the heart of the cadastral system has been strengthened
and currently revised. New mutation plans are immediately incorporated
digitally as well the newly settled blocks of parcels.
Today the database is on the threshold of a major change in its
character and in the processes involved. This change is triggered
by technological advances in the production processes of the GIS,
amongst them change in the software operating the data base of
the National GIS and the change of the workstation model for end
1. Accelerating Registration: About 100-150 new land settlement
blocks and 1000-2000 registration plans are completed at the SOI
per year. It is a regrettable fact that approximately 400 registration
plans await the checking (and approval) process for a considerable
number of months. It has been decided at the SOI to eliminate
the waiting period. An effort will also be made to shorten the
checking process itself to a minimal period.
The development of means necessary to shorten the checking period
is already under way. We are working on sophisticated and uniform
checking processes and on the software, which will monitor the
process within the agency and permit its effective management.
In 2004, the director general appointed 10 selected private surveyors
to whom authority is delegated to check the registration plans
submitted and to approve the checked plans within a very short
2. Legal Coordinated Cadastre: The establishment of legal
analytical cadastre, based on coordinates, is one of the principal
goals of the SOI. The SOI plans to implement full legal analytical
cadastre in Israel by 2010. Only that kind of analytical cadastre
will bring us to the stage where the cadastral information in
the national GIS (National Cadastral Data Base) will achieve a
legal status in defining land property boundaries and their restoration
as necessary, in a uniform manner from the point of view of accuracy
and reliability. The ultimate goal is to achieve an accuracy of
5 cm (at 95% confidence level). The current Survey Regulation
(1998) was written to achieve in every new cadastral project.
About 7000 mutation cadastral plans ("re-parcellations") and about
1400 registration blocks that were prepared by SOI since 1994,
also meet this goal. It was achieved by using combination of GPS
horizontal control and EDM, in the New Israeli Grid.
3. Development of a better cadastral practice at the survey
of Israel: A comprehensive project for establishment a better
highly standardized and homogenously regularized cadastral practice.
The project includes development of a software application for
control, follow-up, management and decision-making.
4. Classification of licensed surveyors: Classification
of licensed surveyors according to the quality of cadastral block
maps and mutation plans prepared by them. The idea is to correlate
between the classification of the surveyors and the level of inspection
carried out by the survey, establishing a more effective inspection
and approval procedure.
5. 3D Cadastre: The Israeli government decided in 1999
and in 2000 to improve the efficiency of the land use. These decisions
are pointing at the government's interest in implementing the
multiplayer cadastre. The governmental decisions included orders
to modify the laws and the conditions that will facilitate utilization
of a land site for a number of uses, both above and below the
In order to carry out the government decisions, the SOI nominated
a team of experts to examine a comprehensive solution, taking
into account all the issues concerning the 3D cadastre. This R&D
project was one of the steps undertaken by the SOI during the
last 6 years concerning the efforts to replace the existing two-dimensional
(2D) cadastral system by a three-dimensional (3D) one. The R&D
project had been carried out by 5 experts from different disciplines:
Cadastre, Geodesy, GIS, Law, Planning and Construction, Geology
and Soil Engineering. The Ministry of Finance has approved a budget
of approximately one million US$ for the R&D project and for five
pilot projects. The R&D project started in September 2002 and
has been successfully completed during August 2004.
In order to practice the 3D exploitation potential by different
interested parties, it is necessary to define a legal and cadastral
solution capable of registering rights in a multiplayer cadastral
reality. The "Spatial Sub-Parcel" Alternative provides a solution
for the registration of spatial objects, not adjacent immediately
to the registered surface parcel, whereas each one of those spatial
objects is subject to defined rights and obligations. The activities
in the subterranean space and in the above-terrain space will
be made possible through an allotment or expropriation of specific
parts of the space included within the vertical boundaries of
the surface parcel.
The principles, which guided the R&D team in formulating the
solution to the spatial cadastral registration and its adoption
to the existing cadastral reality, were to avoid infringement
upon the existing system, as follows:
- The spatial registration will be achieved by sub-dividing
the surface parcel space into spatial sub-parcels. The definition
of the surface parcel will remain unchanged. Any project established
in one of the spatial sub-parcels (above or bellow the surface)
will be bounded and defined stereometricaly by a final 3D outline
and its volume. A spatial project, which extends above or below
a number of surface parcels, will be thus subdivided into spatial
sub-parcels, in accordance with the existing surface parcels.
If required, it will be possible to consolidate the spatial
sub-parcels, within a registration block, into one spatial parcel.
- The Title Rights to the surface parcel will be preserved
according to the existing definition of the surface parcel as
extending infinitely above and below the surface. However, the
spatial sub-parcel will be defined as a finite volumetric object,
subtracted from it.
- The spatial sub-parcel will be included in the existing registration
block as a part of the surface parcel. The existence of spatial
sub-parcel will be noted also in the Title Register. The Register
will include the 3D definition of the spatial sub-parcel. In
the case of consolidation of several spatial sub-parcels into
one spatial parcel, this spatial parcel will be registered separately
in the Register and in the registration block.
The objective of the 3D cadastre registration is to be achieved
through a number of subsidiary objectives as follows:
- 3D Definition and registration of spatial parcels.
- Proposals for changes in the existing Land Law, the Planning
and the Construction Law, considering the applicable engineering
and planning constraints.
- Accumulation of the altimetric data to be added to the 2D
cadastre, thus creating the 3D database.
- Solution to the management of analytical cadastral information,
in 2D and 3D GIS environment.
- Establishment of an active computerized model of registration
of rights to land in a spatial concept.
- Development of suitable software for the visualization of
- Modification of the Survey Regulations in order to facilitate
registration of 3D cadastre.
6. The use of GPS in cadastral surveys
1. Accelerating Registration: The development of means
necessary to shorten the checking and approval process to the
minimum is already under way. We are working on sophisticated
and uniform checking processes and on the software, which will
monitor the process within agency and permit its effective management.
In 2006, According to the survey regulations, the director general
authorized private surveyors - by delegation of power - to execute
the supervision of mutation plans prepared by other licensed surveyors.
SOI keeps the right of the final approval to itself, but also
commits itself to complete it within 21 working days.
Currently, supervising surveyors check some 35% of the mutation
plans. The results clearly prove that the integration of governmental
and private professional knowledge and the mutual willingness
for cooperation contribute essentially to a better cadastral practice.
2. Legal Coordinated Cadastre
3. Development of a better cadastral practice at the survey
4. Classification of licensed surveyors
5. 3D Cadastre: Starting from October 2004, there has
been active in SOI a 3D cadastre division. This division leads
the activities for the preparations by SOI for the implementation
of 3D cadastre in SOI, and aids in advancing the subject also
outside SOI - in government ministries, government bodies, and
There are 4 major fields in which steps must be taken for the
implementation of 3D cadastral surveying in Israel. They are:
- Legislation: Modification of major and secondary legislation
for spatial registration of titles and the multi-layer exploitation
For more than a year, a legal implementation team, has been
active. The major task of the team is the determination and
formulation of the necessary changes to the major legislation
that will permit the implementation of the recommendations of
the 3D Cadastre R&D team.
- Registration: Preparation of the land arrangement and registration
department for the registration of titles to spatial sections.
Formulation of work programs and development of capabilities
for spatial and multi-layer registration in the land registration
There is currently being completed the execution of overall
characterization of a new and advanced information and registration
system that will replace the existing system (dating from 1989)
in land registration offices. Overall characterization of a
new system for the management of land registration and arrangement
so that it will meet the current and future professional requirements
and match the modern technologies and information both inside
and outside the ministry, including capabilities of information
sharing and integration between different information systems
and the registration of underground and above ground land (3D
- Planning: Formulation of professional directions for multi-layer
planning, including both the underground and above ground space.
The major activity in the subject of 3D planning has been done
up to now as part of the Uniform Format for Zoning Plans Procedure
(UFZP), prepared by the Planning Administration in the Ministry
of the Interior, that came into force at the beginning of April
Appendix C of the UFZP procedure contains directions for the
preparation of 3D planning plans. According to the UFZP procedure
the 3D plan is a plan for a project in which ground objectives
and various uses are planned, both underground and above ground,
that are expected to be under different ownership and/or operated
by different bodies, and that which generally require different
instructions for each objective.
- Surveying and mapping: Preparation inside the SOI organization
for 3D cadastral surveying, mainly in the subject of surveying,
editing, and auditing of plans for the purpose of spatial registration.
The work of updating the Surveyors Regulations currently being
carried out, and in which is planned to be completed by the
end of the year, also includes adapting the Surveyors Regulations
for 3D cadastral surveying and for the results of 3D registration,
so as to permit the measurement and editing of a spatial plan
for purposes of registration.
6. The use of GPS in cadastral surveys
7. Cadastral Information Supply via Internet: One of the
important tasks of the cadastral activity in Israel is the preparation
of mutation plans, which serve as a principal instrument of block
parceling change. The Survey of Israel (SOI) is responsible for
supply of necessary cadastral information for mutation plans preparation.
In the past there was a specific form of recording the mutation
plans sequence in the blocks. The purpose of this form was to
list mutation plans ID, to record parcels numbers and to trace
the origin of each parcel existing in block. For many years the
recording procedure was based on managing of specific paper block
A few years ago SOI has initiated and completed a development
of a computerized information system that would store and provide
information about block parcels and mutation plans. As time went
by, this system became an important part of cadastral process.
In spite of a progress made, in order to obtain important information,
a client was obliged to arrive personally to SOI office. After
analysis of situation, SOI made a decision to expand the developed
system accessibility by supplying its information via Internet.
As a result of this innovation, now every professional, sitting
in his office, may immediately obtain essential information concerning
specific block, mutation plan or land parcel and get surveyors'
contact details. The information is supplied at present free of
SOI relates to the new experience as a first progressive step
in direction of increasing its activity in data supply via Internet.
8. New Survey Regulations: The Survey of Israel (SOI)
is responsible for preparing and updating Survey Regulations for
Geodetic Control Networks, Topographic Mapping, Cadastral Surveys
and related activities. Licensed Surveyors in Israel are obliged
to work according to those regulations.
The last regulations were officially issued on June 1998. The
need to update those regulations was felt mainly because of the
latest developments in a number of surveying technologies. The
state of the art technology of permanent GPS stations equipped
with RTK capability of defining centimeter-level 3D positions
in real time, dictated such an urgent need, as well as other developments
(like LIDAR etc.) in topographic mapping technology.
The existing regulations (from 1998) contain a chapter entitled
"Surveying and Preparing Plans for Registration Purposes". Those
plans for registration are mainly mutation of the cadastral parcels
(re-parcelation) that are made in order to register changes of
the cadastral boundaries and rights. According to the Planning
and Building Law they have to conform to Town Plans. SOI have
to check and approve each registration plan before it goes to
the registration office at the ministry of justice.
The 1998 survey regulations and their adjunct "manager's technical
instructions" contain a requirement to compute the coordinates
of every boundary point as well as detailed instructions for its
digital format (named SRV) which is suited to feed the cadastral
LIS. However there is another demand for demarcation of every
turning point of the cadastral boundaries. In case of disagreement
between the coordinates and the mark in the field, the mark in
the field is considered as the legal boundary, as long as it is
regarded as the authentic boundary mark.
Authorization of the authenticity of the boundary marks is the
heaviest task of the surveyors who prepare the registration plans
and those who should approve their work. It is also a common source
for boundaries disputes.
However the requirement for demarcation of boundaries and the
superiority of the boundary marks over their coordinates is needed
as long as we do not have the possibility to achieve a desired
accuracy in which we want to define the coordinates of the boundaries,
i.e. a stable, accurate and homogenous control network and reference
frame. This situation was already changed lately, and the new
regulations for the geodetic control networks will accomplish
its formal aspects. Proper EDM or GPS measurements of boundaries,
based on the described horizontal control, will assure the desired
accuracy of the boundaries definition.
A main issue in the new regulations is to assure the legality
of the coordinate-based cadastre. There is still (July 15, 2006)
a debate to be decided by the Director General of SOI whether
the boundaries demarcation as a part of the plan for registration
is optional or mandatory. It should be obvious that the superiority
should be given to what was first, i.e. are the coordinates a
result of measuring the boundary mark, or was the demarcation
done according to the coordinates. Any how the new regulations
and technical instructions should make sure that the demarcation
and measurement of cadastral boundaries will be accurate and reliable.
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Registration of Cadastral Spatial Rights in Israel a R&D Project.
FIG Working Week, Athens, Greece.
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