Cadastral Surveying

Cadastral surveying is the process of measuring, recording and marking of land parcel boundaries. It involves the physical determination of dimensions, areas and position of land properties. It is always advisable for landowners and developers to ascertain the boundaries and area entitlements of their properties by executing land boundary surveys prior to any land development to protect not only their interests and rights but also to prevent adjoining landowners from illegal occupation or encroachment.

- Define land parcel boundaries for the alienation of government land to private owners and non-government bodies 
- Define land boundaries allocated to various government departments 
- Delineate of special areas such as country parks, road and lane limits 
- Determine the limits of land resumption and area of private land to be resumed 
- Setting out of land boundaries on ground for every new land grant as stipulated in the terms and conditions of sale or grant 
- Maintain a detailed land boundary record for all land parcels in Hong Kong 
- Reestablish boundaries of "old" lots on the request from private landowners for redevelopment purposes

Upon the hand over of the land parcel to the grantee, landowner has the full responsibility to keep his land boundary marks protected and his real property from illegal occupation or encroachment by adjoining landowners or member of the general public. A professional land surveyor practising in the private sector provides the following land boundary services to landowners and developers:

- Re-establish of land boundaries of land properties 
- Setting out of land boundary 
- Re-definition of land boundary. This is common in the New Territories where the land boundaries were surveyed and recorded in graphical form. Boundary uncertainty may exist in those land grants before the 1960's 
- Define section boundary upon subdivision of land parcel 

In Hong Kong, there are two ordinances to control the land surveying profession in the provision of cadastral surveying services:

A Registered Professional Surveyor (RPS) is registered under the Surveyors Registration Ordinance. A member of the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors or other surveying professional accepted by the Institute, with one year of practice in Hong Kong, could apply for the RPS.

An Authorized Land Surveyor (ALS) is a professional land surveyor registered under the Land Survey Ordinance. The law requires a land boundary plan prepared and certified by an ALS be accompanied with the deed of land subdivision for registration. Under the Ordinance, every ALS must follow and comply with the Code of Practice in executing land boundary survey.

The Government is pushing forward the Land Title Bill for replacing the existing Deed Registration. HKIS has proposed provision to include a land boundary plan prepared and certified by an ALS be registered in the land transaction with an aim to improve and secure the cadastral system in Hong Kong.


Current Cadastral Survey has employed the 
Overlay Technique of 
Digital Land Record on the Aerial Photo

Proposal Plan for Land Sale 
Prepared after a Cadastral Survey
(Courtesy: SMO, HKSAR Government)