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The Large-scale Reference Database, the uniform topographical reference for geo-information in Flanders

Hendrik Van Hemelryck and Liesbet De Wolf

(Submission #367)


The Large-scale Reference Database (LRD) is a large-scale digital topographic map of Flanders containing a distinct set of geographic features, such as buildings, parcels, roads and their layout, watercourses, railroads and civil engineering structures. The data in the LRD was acquired during land surveying campaigns and complemented with photogrammetric measurements. A rigorous quality system ensures a feature–specific geometric accuracy ranging from centimeter level (buildings, road layout, structures) to 1 m (watercourses). Every feature in the database has its own unique identifier and is attributed with a limited set of properties. Simultaneously with the start of the mapping campaign in 2000, a set of interlocking update processes was instituted, thus ensuring a continually updated database. Automated change detection and screening of aerial photographs, as well as mandatory error reporting by users in the public and utilities sector, allow for a quick detection of errors in the map and changes in the real-world terrain features. Aside from the centrally coordinated update processes, promotors of public works are obliged to submit an as-built drawing of the terrain situation according to specifications, which guarantee compatibility with the LRD. The Large-scale Reference Database is the result of a public-private partnership between the Flemish Government and the utilities sector. Each party contributed 50% of the cost for production and provides 50% of the annual update cost. A specific decree regulates the management, the update of the database and the financing of the project and its mandatory use as an authentic data source. The specific structure of the LRD, the guaranteed high quality of the data and its being up-to-date, makes it a valuable set of reference information, widely used within the information management processes of governmental organizations, utilities sector and private parties. The LRD was made available as open data since the end of 2015, encouraging new use e.g. in the real estate sector, by (software) companies, architects,… . The Flemish government recently started a program to build a set of linked base registries in order to increase interoperability of ‘authentic data sources’ developed as independent silos (e.g. buildings, parcels, roads, addresses and watercourses). One of the main goals of this project is the harmonization with INSPIRE data specifications. The Large-scale Reference Database will become the main provider for the geometry in the different base registries and subsequently for the harmonized INSPIRE datasets.


Topic Area:  [2.6] Challenges in creating spatial environmental (reference) data sets
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

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