Contact person for provided information:

Last modified on 08-Oct-2015

Mr. Narongsak Osottanakorn
Department of Lands
Survey & Mapping Bld. Changwattana Rd.
osottanakorn.o(at) / narongsak.o(at)

Part 1: Country Report

A. Country Context

A.1 Geographical Context

Last modified on 08-Oct-2015

Thailand is situated in South East Asia surrounding by countries namely, Myanmar in the West, Lao People Democratic Republic in the North and North East, Cambodia in the East and Malaysia in the South. Thailand consists of 77 provinces with the total land area about 514,000 square kilometres (320 million rai) and having population65 millions of which 10 millions reside in the Capital, Bangkok. The number of title deeds and other land right certificates are 34 million parcels covering the area of 204,000 square kilometres (128 million rai) over Thailand.

A.2 Historical Context

Last modified on 08-Oct-2015

Historically prior to the reign of King Chulalongkorn all land in Thailand belonged to the King, with his long vision aspiration and intention to establish security of land tenure for Thai people, King Chulalongkorn introduced the procedures for recognition of private rights of ownership in land initiatively for taxation purposes. The first official system of land registration has been introduced since 1901 by establishing the Department of Land Record under Ministry of Agriculture on 17 February 1901. Until 19 August 1941 the Department’s name has been changed to Department of Lands under Ministry of Interior since then. Various law and regulations were prescribed thereafter to regulate private rights in land. Those acts were consolidated into the Land Code in 1954 which provided the legal framework for the land administration procedures implemented by the Department of Lands.

A.3 Current Political and Administrative Structures

Last modified on 08-Oct-2015

Thailand adopts a democratic regime of government with the King as Head of the State. The institution of the monarchy in Thailand is in many ways unique. It has a history back more than seven hundred years. Thailand is Southeast Asia’s second largest economy with a gross domestic product (GDP) of around USD 300 billion with traditionally an agrarian economy with rice as its main product and a free-market economy. Thailand is a key player in the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN), enjoying a strategic location that provides easy access to a larger market of nearly 600 million people, which is expected to gain even more strength when the ASEAN vision of One Community materializes in 2015.

A.4 Historical Outline of Cadastral System

Last modified on 08-Oct-2015

In the past Thailand has tied the horizontal coordinate since the reign of King Chulalongkorn (King Rama V (by using coordinate from the enlargement of triangulation network from the Mount Kaleanper in India pass Myanma into Thailand. The evolution of cadastral method in Thailand was began since then from triangulation traverse first order, traverse first order, surveying from the Doppler satellite positioning or in the other name Transit system. At present Thailand use Navigation Satellite Timing and Ranging Global Positioning System: GPS. It is the system that using data that reference from the satellite orbit and center of the world.

The horizontal coordinate has related to datum, the developments of datum in Thailand are as follows:

  1. Rajchaburi Datum: Since India has determined the origin system of ellipsoid Everest 1830 at Mount Kaleanper and enlarged the triangulation network first order throughout the region pass Myanma to border of Thailand at Khao Laung, Rajchaburi Province; it has been ratified since year 1899. Later in year 1907 Thai Mapping Department in that era conducted triangulation network first in order to connected the control mark at Khaolaung and conducted line datum Rajchaburi including azimuth astronomy from Mount Ngeam to Mount Ngu in order to use as the first station of the enlargement of triangulation network throughout the country.
  2. Indian Datum 1916: in year 1916 US Army Map Service has assigned US Coast and Geodetic Survey to calculate and rectify the new triangulation network in India, Myanma by using previous data and new data from the astronomy surveying and additional line datum. This lead to the change of origin at Mount Kaleanper, therefore the coordinate at Khao Luang had changed accordingly. The result of the aforementioned rectify was called Indian Datum 1916
  3. Indian Datum 1954: in year 1954 Thai Government cooperated with the United States of America in the Project of Producing Topographic Map, scale 1: 50,000 from aerial photography for increasing density of triangulation and reliable of the geodesy coordinate of Thailand. Therefore, US Army Map Service had rectified all enlargement of triangulation network by using 10 triangulation traverses at the borders of Thai-Myanmar as a control point network. It deemed that it has not any error to those control marks as they were the coordinates received from Indian Datum 1916. The result of the aforementioned rectify was called Indian Datum 1954.
  4. South Asia Datum: in year 1957 in the 11 th International Ordinary Meeting of Geodesy Association at Toronto, Canada had set up the committee in order to rectify the triangulation traverse in South Asia Region which comprised of Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Malaysia and Thailand to use the same geodesy coordinate. The result of this rectify has been completed in year 1963 and namely South Asia Datum. However, no country in this region has been used this rectify coordinate in mapping affairs.
  5. Indian Datum 1975 in year 1975 Defense Mapping Agency Hydrographic/Topographic Center: DMAHTC has rectified and shifted the origin of Datum at Mount Kaleanper in India to Khao Sa Kea Kraug, Uthaithani Province. This rectifies used technique of surveying from 9 stations of Doppler which relative location from Doppler had high accuracy than relative location from triangulation traverse. It was the point of controlling triangulation which comprise of 426 stations of triangulation mark. The result of this rectify has been completed in year 1963 and namely Indian Datum 1975.
  6. WGS 84 (World Geodetic System 1984) Datum
    This Datum could be world datum system due to the fact that it has been used as global reference datum which developed by Ministry of defense of the United State of America by using the World Gravity data perform with the survey information from Doppler satellite station which coverage all over the world. This Datum could be benefit in development of outer space operation especially satellite positioning system. The Datum uses world center point as the origin point which similar to Geocentric Reference System (GRS) and has the same physical description as the ITRS (International Terrestrial Reference System). Also, the world center point and Datum origin point are the center of GPS satellite’s orbit. The WGS 84 Datum is accepted as the datum with accurate detail and high reliability (The deviation of world center position is approximately +/-1 meter). Thailand has used this datum as horizontal reference to create the new map called L7018.

Apart from horizontal datum, there are other methods to receive the horizontal coordination which can be classified as follow

1. Surveying to expand Triangulation Traverse Network is the method to find the coordination by using the angle of each mark in the network to calculate the coordination. The marks of Triangulation Traverse Network are often established in the high land so they can be seen remotely. There are 2 types of Triangulation Traverse Network’s Mark, first, Big Triangle Mark (Deviation +/-1.7") and, second, La Plas Mark (deviation +/-0.5"). In 1984, there were 362 Mark stations in total.

2. Surveying by making Traverse First Order is to survey the angle and similar distance with the Triangulation Traverse Network. It will not perform as a network but will perform as a circle that circulate to meet its own and find the distance by using the Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM) to disperse the deviation value to each mark in the circle. The method to find this horizontal coordination is to add more mark from the Triangulation Traverse Network. There are 154 mark stations from 1976 to 1986.

3. Surveying by Doppler Satellite is the method for setting a position between satellite receivers and centering point of satellite in orbit (center of the world). It has surveyed in 2 periods which were in year B.E. 2514 to 2522 approximately. That is the first time in plane coordinate survey with satellite which is Thailand and United State cooperation. Having to make new mark and survey on original triangulation network for main proposal, to improve datum Indian 1954 with WGS 72 to be Indian 1975, total amount 19 stations. However, it has extended survey network until year B.E. 2533 continuously, total amount more than 120 stations.

4. Surveying by Satellite GPS is the method for setting a position between satellite receivers and centering point of satellite in orbit (center of the world) as same as Doppler. It starts to survey in year B.E. 2533 by using original mark and also having make new mark. For service the information gives both datum Indian 1975 and WGS 84, that’s being the survey method which using the improvement datum of mark.

B. Institutional Framework

B.1 Government Organizations

Last modified on 08-Oct-2015

The Department of Lands, Ministry of Interior is the agency responsible for the registration and surveying. The Department of Lands has a total of 77 of the provincial land office and sub-offices in each province which responsible for the management and maintenance of land parcel maps and land ownership.

Overview, the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (Public Organization), the Department of Lands, and the Royal Thai Survey Department are the main agency responsible for policies, development of state mapping system, ground control points, and base maps.

B.2 Private Sector Involvement

Last modified on 08-Oct-2015

The private surveyor board office provides contractors of cadastral survey for the land ownerships. The land ownerships can show the surveying contracts to the officers at provincial land office or branch/district land office for cadastral surveying by their requirements according to the regulation of private surveyor board on the operational control of private surveyors the private surveyor board office B.E. 2535.

B.3 Professional Organization or Association

Last modified on 08-Oct-2015

Surveyor Association (about 2891 members)

  1. The center promotes friendship relations and occupations among members of the association.
  2. To promote research and education in the field of science in the survey in order to provide members with expertise in the academic standards and plans.
  3. To disseminate knowledge and information regarding to surveying.
  4. To help each other among members.
  5. To promote health, sports, entertainment and recreation among members.
  6. To promote public charity and cooperate with the government in the assembly.
  7. Other public affairs which not relate to political.

B.4 Licensing

Last modified on 08-Oct-2015

There is no issuance of work licenses by the qualification, diploma in surveyor field for working at the Department of Lands.

For private surveyors must qualify under Section 19 of the Private Surveyors Act of B.E. 2535. Qualifications and backgrounds are as follows this.

  1. Have a minimum high school vocational or graduate study program relating to survey and mapping according to the private surveyor board certification and experience in the field of surveying and mapping not less than two years, or
  2. Have a minimum high school vocational or graduate study program relating to survey and mapping according to the private surveyor board certification and passed the training courses as defined by the private surveyor board, or
  3. Held a surveyor position at Department of Land for not less than five years.
  4. The applicants under (1) and (2) must pass must pass knowledge tests defined by the private surveyor board
  5. The applicants must provide a certificate of conduct at least two people who are private surveyors for not less than five years or government officers (level 6 up) to certify that candidates are not as incompetent or lacking in morality.

B.5 Education

Last modified on 08-Oct-2015

None of the education system for cadastral surveying in high professional level.

C. Cadastral System

C.1 Purpose of Cadastral System

Last modified on 08-Oct-2015

Cadastral System is defined to the limit of land parcel based on laws, rights, and title/deed registration for the parcel or property, traditionally. Thailand, Department of Lands (DOL), had upgraded the cadastral system on Land Tilting project completely for 20 years. A new series of 1/4000 cadastral mapping were produced base on rectified photomap. The procedures for title deed survey is on new technology, on line processing. On this learning, the cadastral survey have been interesting that DOL cadastral system under law are reviewed including cadastral survey for mapping processing for hardcopy data. After the system had developed on Land Tilting Project for new tenure system which cadastral base maps were created Universal Tranverse Mercator projection on Indian datum and new technology started implement. Currently, the system is on digital era the official or license surveyor can work online via internet. The cadastral survey system have been transformed to digital model as database.

C.2 Types of Cadastral System

Last modified on 08-Oct-2015

There is only one comprehensive cadastral system, a Title Registration system, covering the whole territory of Thailand. Department of Lands (DOL) is involved in cadastral system i.e. providing the technical aspects, surveys, mapping and the registration, transfers etc.

C.3 Cadastral Concept

Last modified on 08-Oct-2015

The modern Thailand Cadastre was based on Registration of Titles. The main unit in the cadastral system of Thailand is the cadastral parcel. About 127 Million Rai of registered area are divided into 33 Million parcels. The cadastral systems in Thailand are operated by Department of Lands (DOL).

Land parcels are surveyed in the field while the corresponding land ownership titles are recorded in Department of Lands (DOL). Two different types of real properties can be registered: land parcel and apartment in condominium. All types of real properties have a unique identity number and are registered separately.

Department of Lands (DOL) uniquely identifies each parcel corresponding to the title. The Cadastral System in Thailand is organized as follows:

  • The cadastral map shows all land parcels graphically
  • Legal survey measurements are used to precisely identify all new parcel boundaries determined by cadastral surveys such as subdivision, etc.
  • Titles deed identifies the legal rights based on the cadastral identification.

A land parcel is defined as a piece of land delimited by its boundaries and represented in a cadastral map. Every parcel has its unique parcel number within so called "cadastral unit". Land parcels, are surveyed in the field and survey plans are submitted to Department of Lands (DOL) for checking in accordance with Survey Regulations and conditions of the Town Planning. Only when a survey plan is approved as to survey, leases are registered accordingly.

C.4 Content of Cadastral System

Last modified on 08-Oct-2015

The cadastre is a parcel based and up to date land information system and is managed by Department of Lands (DOL). The cadastral system consisting of:

a. Record of ownership (land books and condominiums registers) managed by Land Registration Section. Textual component, which includes all land parcels and identifies owners’ rights, restrictions, and responsibilities, ownership, special rights, mortgages, area of land parcel, history of the parcel etc. The record of ownership is fully computerized.

b. Cadastral maps, survey documentation and geodetic information files corresponding to the registered title with unique identifiers, managed by Cadastral Survey Section.

D. Cadastral Mapping

D.1 Cadastral Map

Last modified on 08-Oct-2015

Thailand, the Civil and Commercial Code(1932) has been dealing in private land under the Land Code (1954) that contains the main legal provisions covering tenure and administration of land. Under this code the Department of Land (DOL) is responsible for all cadastral surveys, including subdivision, for maintaining the land registers and for issuing land title document. Private land can be divided in to three categories (Angus-Leppan and Williamson):

  1. Land held by title deed (NS4) which are based on a full survey and adjudication.
  2. Land held by certificates of utilization which some circumstance these are negotiable documents and can be used for mortgages, they have limited legal standing. The plan consists of a sketch based on rudimentary survey (NS3) or identification of boundaries on non rectified photograph (NS3k).
  3. Undocumented land which some of this land is held on the basic of pre-emptive or claim certificates, some without any documentation, though the occupiers may have a legal claim to the land.

The title deeds and certificates of utilization are two major documents which are both negotiable and can be registered. All transfers and dealing of land titles are carried out a recorded in the province land office for each a province. There are various indexes and records supporting the registration system to actual title documents

  1. a proprietorship index showing, the proprietor of all land titles or certificate listed alphabetically in the province or district
  2. a survey file giving all survey and subdivision information for each parcel
  3. a series of official cadastral plans covering the province or district
  4. a dealing file for each parcel, consolidating all dealing documents for initial adjudication onwards, in chronological order

For mapping, DOL has been carried out cadastral surveying and mapping of land titles based on 1/4000 scale is showed the graphical parcel in meters and boundaries, cornerstones, and land information data. It is generated from 1/50,000 topographic map scale, under Loyal Thai Army Department (LTAD), called L7017 series. A 1/50,000 map is covered 15X15 minus (about 27X27 kms) and equal to 169 sheet on 1/4000 scale. On 1/50,000 map, the grid lines are 1,000 meters apart in both rectangular axis and showed UTM coordinate on India datum with two zones, 47 and 48, for each grid line in the ten thousandth and a thousandth meter unit (the tenth and a kilometer unit) on bold capital number. So a 1/4000 map sheet, 2,000 meters distance on ground is equal to four rectangular grids on a 1/50,000 map sheets.

The land tenure system in Thailand concerns the use and possession of land in order to retain ownership or legal interest. The physical boundaries of parcel are generally defined by the legal boundaries, following the general boundary approach which based on aerial photography. There are two categories of cadastral system for land title (NS4).

For the first class in urban area, most of individual survey job is for subdivision. These systematic surveys are used usually carried out in area where sufficient cadastral control can be provided. The first class survey is as followed:

a. boundaries are adjudicated, adjudication documents have to be signed by all adjacent owners and numbers concrete blocks are placed at each corner
b. all boundaries corners are surveyed by radiation from the control traverse, using theodolite and chain
c. all calculation are checked in the field, The final calculation is done in head office in Bangkok, where the cadastral map is plotted by computer and
d. the final plan is checked in the field, certificated of title prepared and issued by temporary field office set up for the systematic survey.

The second class surveys are base on rectified photomap at 1:4000 in rural area, on traverse and tape survey at 1:1000 in village and urban area.

D.2 Example of a Cadastral Map

Last modified on 01-Jan-1970

D.3 Role of Cadastral Layer in SDI

Last modified on 08-Oct-2015

The cadastral mapping information is the mapping part of the Unified Land Registry System. The common data of cadastral map (parcel number, address, area, etc. must be consistent with the descriptive data of the property sheet. This is one of the basic requirements of the Unified Land Registry System. The updating and maintenance of common data is a simultaneous task of the mapping and legal part.

Today digital or analogue cadastral maps (land registry map) are the basic information to establish different database supporting development and environmental interests. The land registry map, according to law, is compulsory to use for spatial, town planning, building regulations and basis map for public utility companies. For local governments, municipalities land registry map is basic layer managing their activities. Extracts of land registry map (cadastral map) are widely used for different purpose by the public.

E. Reform Issues

E.1 Cadastral Issues

Last modified on 08-Oct-2015

In Thailand there are three main problems to be solved very soon:

  1. Convert data from hardcopy to digital form.
  2. Plans to solve the problem overlapping boundaries of state lands.
  3. Online Registration.

E.2 Current Initiatives

Last modified on 08-Oct-2015

Convert data from hardcopy to digital form.

F. References

Last modified on 08-Oct-2015


Part 2: Cadastral Principles and Statistics

1. Cadastral Principles

Last modified on 08-Oct-2015

1.1 Type of registration system

title registration
deeds registration

1.2 Legal requirement for registration of land ownership


1.4 Approach for establishment of cadastral records

both, systematic and sporadic
all properties already registered

2. Cadastral Statistics

Last modified on 01-Jan-1970

2.1 Population


2.2a Population distribution: percentage of population living in urban areas


2.2b Population distribution: percentage of population living in rural areas


2.3 Number of land parcels

--- Number of land parcels per 1 million population

2.4 Number of registered strata titles/condominium units

--- Number of strata titles/condominium units per 1 million population

2.5 Legal status of land parcels in URBAN areas:

percentage of parcels that are properly registered and surveyed
percentage of parcels that are legally occupied, but not registered or surveyed
percentage of parcels that are informally occupied without legal title

2.6 Legal status of land parcels in RURAL areas:

percentage of parcels that are properly registered and surveyed
percentage of parcels that are legally occupied, but not registered or surveyed
percentage of parcels that are informally occupied without legal title

2.7 Number of active professional land surveyors


2.8 Proportion of time that active professional land surveyors commit for cadastral matters (%)

--- Approx. full-time equivalent of land surveyors committed to cadastral matters

2.9 Number of active lawyers/solicitors


2.10 Proportion of time that active lawyers/solicitors commit for cadastral matters (%)

--- Approx. full-time equivalent of active lawyers/solicitors committed to cadastral matters