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bullet What Is CollabLand?
CollabLand is a software for digitization and mosaicing of survey maps for computerization of Land Records. It can handle a variety of survey systems, extending from the conventional Chain / Theodolite method to the modern Electronic Total Station (ETS) system. CollabLand can generate maps of individual Land Parcels to Traverse and Mosaic maps, surveyed in a host of units of measurement. Besides, it can import maps existing in Shape files, and few other proprietary formats.
The software has a series of data-entry tables where the users can enter and/or import the Survey data like the 5-Column Ladder Data, Total Station Coordinates, Boundary and Adjacency information, depending on the method of survey employed. Once the data is completely entered, the map can be generated in a single mouse click. This facilitates easy and fast digitization of maps even by naive users. The software has a host of easy-to-use modification and beautification features and un-matched facility for detailing and annotation including in local languages. The mutation and workflow mechanism of the software has a three-tier hierarchy to handle day-to-day land transactions.
The Mosaicing module of CollabLand can generate Village maps with very little (or even nil) user interference. The mosaiced map would be generated with(out) Traverse data by merely selecting the name of the Village. Facilities exists for beautification of the mosaiced maps by filling or hatching using different Colors and Line / Point patterns. The software can export these maps into various formats (like Shape files) for the use of GIS applications.
CollabLand follows a database based approach, there by ensuring access to maps from anywhere at anytime. This further facilitates integration of the cadastral maps with legacy applications for ownership (non-spatial) information. Being developed using Free and Open Source Technologies, the software cost would be negligible, especially in the scenario of a large scale roll-out requiring lots of installations. Besides, the software can be modified and customized to specific user requirements. CollabLand is currently being used by states like Tamilnadu, Kerala and Puducherry.

bullet Genesis of CollabLand
The Land Records Feature consists of pictorially representing the boundaries of a piece of land in the form of a polygon. These polygons, often called Tippans or FMB (Field Meaurement Book) maps, are usually defined by vertices which are specified in terms of the base & offset distances measured with respect to some reference lines, called Base Lines. Advanced techniques like GPS (Geographical Positioning System) uses absolute X and Y co-ordinates to specify the vertices. Once a Tippan is created, operations like sub-division, computation of area etc. need to be performed on them. Tippans also need to be merged to get at the map of larger areas like blocks and villages. An interactive feature to create Tippans was developed as a part of CollabCAD based on the specifications received from Karnataka state. A demonstration of this feature was conducted at Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram, in the first week of July 2003, under the auspices of the state units of NIC. The Commissioners for Survey & Land Records and the state government staff working in the project attended this programme. The officials appreciated the efforts made by NIC in the computerisation of the Land Records in various states. They also expressed the desire to have a comprehensive solution that integrates the spatial as well as non-spatial data, with revenue registration.

bullet State of the Art
Most of the states are at various stages of computerisation of the non-spatial data related to Land Records. Tamil Nadu, for instance, have a user friendly system developed using Visual Basic and SQLServer. However, very little work has gone into the computerisation of the spatial data. Some states have taken up the digitisation of certain thaluks as a pilot project, using the softwares developed by some private companies. These softwares lack user friendliness. Besides, being developed using proprietary tools, these solutions are highly expensive, making them practically unaffordable, considering volume of land records involved in a state as a whole. [A Status Report on LR Computerisation] The CollabCAD technology, which uses open domain tools like Java, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Zope etc. can very well provide an economically viable alternative to this problem. Accordingly, the salient features of the integrated Land Records system prototype would be as follows:
* It would be developed using open domain tools like Java, PostgreSQL etc. This would reduce the depends on proprietary tools and bring down cost.
* Being developed in Java, the apllication would be paltform independent. However, the preferred deployment platform is Linux. The development also would be in Linux, using CVS for source code version control.
* The prototype would be developed as a stand alone application independent from CollabCAD. This would make the application light and easy to maintain.

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