About the Centre

Centre logo

We focus on the role of spatial information in supporting changing modern societies and spatially enabled government and societies. We are committed to excellence in research, innovation and training with a strong focus on future-proofing research.

The University of Melbourne established the Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructures and Land Administration (CSDILA) in November 2001. The vision for the Centre was to drive the evolving concept of spatial data infrastructures – to develop virtual information systems that integrate data and make it accessible for solving the demands facing modern society. In recognition the Victorian State Government, through Land Victoria, provided the initial support to help establish the Centre. CSDILA has successfully maintained funding through different sources, including competitive research grants from the Australian Research Council, Australian Federal Government, State Governments, and international societies.

Our activities have pursued objectives set in a three-pillared approach through:

  • The development of a world-class research program
  • A focused postgraduate training program
  • A visiting scholar program.

The Visiting Scholars Program has resulted in many visits from international researchers and scholars since 2001, profiting both the Centre and its research partners. We welcome new collaborations with any industry, research institute or government agency.

Our capabilities

  • UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Modern Land Administration Systems
  • 3D Cadastre and Building Information Modelling (BIM)
  • Smart Cities and Spatial Data Integration
  • Urban Analytics
  • Spatial Ontologies
  • Strategic Consultancy and Advisory
  • Capacity Building and Executive Training
  • Smart App Development
  • Advanced Data Integration and Modelling
  • Location Intelligence and IoT
  • Spatial Data Infrastructures

An introductory video to the Centre.


The Department of Geomatics through the Centre has been undertaking research in Land Administration Systems (LAS), and Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI), for decades, particularly to pioneer ways of supporting sustainability of land uses and alleviation of poverty.

Land Administration Systems (LAS)

Land administration is the process of administering the complex rights, restrictions, responsibilities and (increasingly) risks related to land and its use. Historically land administration was focused on State Land Titles offices. Growing demands of land markets and government policy initiatives stimulated evolution of LAS into statewide land information systems concerned with all private and public rights, restrictions and responsibilities including land use and land valuation components. In Victoria the State's land administration system is administered through the Department of Sustainability and Environment, a department with a longstanding and close working relationship throught the centre to the Department of Geomatics.

Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI)

Spatial Data Infrastructures are an evolving concept providing the spatial or geographic base underpinning a state's or a country's economic, environmental and social activities. Originally this was provided by a statewide mapping system. Now SDIs involve a complex digital environment including a wide range of spatial data bases and are concerned with standards, institutional structures and technologies including the World Wide Web (WWW) and Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). Spatial Data Infrastructures underpin an information society and enable a society to become spatially enabled. They are an essential part of eGovernment strategies, and key to provision of timely and relevant information about land to the public, business and government.

Formative activities include:

  • The UN/FIG Bogor Declaration on Cadastral Reform in 1996.
  • The International Workshop and Conference on Cadastral Infrastructures to Support Sustainable Development in 1999. The Workshop was supported by and attracted participation from State and Federal governments in Australia , five United Nations agencies including the Director of Sustainable Development in New York , as well as the World Bank.
  • The UN/FIG Bathurst Declaration on Land Administration for Sustainable Development in 1999. The Declaration was presented to and endorsed by United Nations conferences in New York and Malaysia.

Increased interest in spatial data and land administration infrastructures at State and Federal levels in Australia and internationally resulted in the establishment of the Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructure and Land Administration in the Department of Geomatics in 2001.

Our research includes best practices in land administration, the SDI hierarchy, capacity building, marine environment spatial data and administration, decision support systems, evolution of land markets and tenure systems, and servicing of the complex commodities retailed in modern property markets.

Education and Workshop Activities

The Centre’s research activities support the undergraduate and graduate teaching programs in the Department of Geomatics. Major projects involve workshops to obtain critical peer review of research, attract interest in outputs, and encourage collaboration and initiatives in government and private sectors.

Center organise and run different specialist training programs and seminars as required.

  • The Centre for SDIs and Land Administration,Department of Geomatics, The University of Melbourne has designed and conducted an intensive course on land administration- Modern Cadastre and Land Administration in Melbourne for participants from Indonesian government agencies and leading universities from 13–17 July 2009.
  • 3rd UN Sponsered Land Administration Forum for the Asia and Pacific Region (Re-Engineering the Cadastre to Support E-Governance was supported by UN sponsored Permanent Committee on GIS Infrastructure (PCGIAP) together with the Iran’s Deeds and Properties registration organization, Iran Government, the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association (GSDI) and the Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructures and Land Administration, University of Melbourne in 24–26 May, Tehran, Iran 2009.
  • International Seminar on Land Administration Trends and Issues in the Asia and Pacific Region run on 19–20 August was sponsored by The UN sponsored Permanent Committee on GIS Infrastructure (PCGIAP) together with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Malaysian Government, the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association (GSDI) and the Centre for SDIs and Land Administration, University of Melbourne as part of 14th annual meeting of PCGIAP in Kula Lumpur, Malaysia 2001.
  • SDI Governance workshop to explore the SDI Governance as a part of current research activity, University of Melbourne, Melbourne 2008.
  • Spatial Enabled Workshop (Land Administration Infrastructure), Korea, 2007.
  • The workshop on Spatial Data Infrastructures development and Implementation for national coordinating agencies for Surveys and Mapping Of Indonesia (Bakosurtanal), 2007.
  • UN supported Workshop on Data Integration, Thailand, 2006.
  • International Workshop on Marine Administration: The Spatial Dimension (as part of Marine SDI and Marine Cadastre research), Malaysia, 2004.
  • A Short Course on Spatial Data Infrastructures designed for people in the Asia-Pacific Region was run in November 2003.
  • International Workshop on Cadastral Template, Japan, 2003.
  • An International Symposium on Spatial Data Infrastructures run on 19–20 November was sponsored by State and Federal Governments, University of Melbourne, Australia 2001.