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ItemUnderstanding cadastral mapsWILLIAMSON, IAN ; ENEMARK, STIG ( 1996)Cadastral maps are generally regarded as an essential part of the land management infrastructure in most countries yet there is often misunderstanding about their characteristics and role. Due to the vast range of different cadastral systems and resulting cadastral maps, it is very difficult to describe a “typical” cadastral map. It is the authors’ view that it is also very difficult, if not impossible, to understand the characteristics and functions of a cadastral map without understanding the respective cadastral system. As a result this paper endeavours to examine the characteristics and functions of cadastral maps by examining the cadastral mapping systems in Denmark and Australia. The Danish system is a typical “old world” European system which had its history in land taxation. The Australian systems could be considered “new world” systems which have been more heavily influenced by land market considerations. Even though the Australian and Danish cadastral systems are very similar, understanding the characteristics and functions of cadastral maps in the two systems remains difficult. This study discusses the different characteristics of cadastral maps which have been designed for different users or functions. In particular the paper concentrates on the issues concerned with developing digital multi-purpose cadastral maps. The major conclusions from the paper are that the creation and maintenance of multi-purpose digital cadastral maps is a difficult and complex task. This complexity arises to a large degree because the characteristics of a cadastral map designed to serve traditional land markets or land registration purposes are quite different from the characteristics of a modern multi-purpose cadastral map.