Implementation of LADM using INTERLIS - Colombia

The third week of June 2016 was given the INTERLIS Course, seen as a language and instrumentation to facilitate the implementation of the Land Administration Domain Model (LADM) In the land management environment of Colombia.

The course was developed in two stages, one at a basic / theoretical level with a large group of different institutions linked to territorial management, seeking to understand what INTERLIS is, the use of developed applications, how it can be used and results of its application in Land Administration in Central / Eastern European Countries; The second day of the course is more practical with a team of smaller thematic specialists, who has been participating in the construction of the LADM model of Colombia.

An interesting challenge, bearing in mind that the facilitator of the Course is Michael Germann, No less one of the LADM speakers based at INTERLIS at a recent FIG event, along with Jürg Kaufmann, Daniel Steudler, Christiaan Lemmen, Peter Van Oosterom and Kees de Zeeuw. And I say challenge, because characters of this level often have limitations when exposing topics smoked before ordinary audiences of the Latin American context.


It is a conceptual schema language (Conceptual Schema Language - CSL), which is used for model description, although it can be used for any system, is specialized in geospatial models, since it includes several types of geometries. It should be noted that INTERLIS is not a software, but a platform-neutral neutral language, which also includes a data transfer format that is derived directly from the model; INTERLIS is also not a programming language, although it has its own syntax to accurately describe models, including the definition of constraints (constraints).


The data transfer format is the ITF (INTERLIS-1) or XTF (INTERLIS-2, an xML) derived, as already mentioned, from the data model using standardized rules. The strict division between modeling and transfer (Model driven approach) Is very interesting, because in the background it gives merits to the smoking of the LADM that once modeled the immediate question is And now what the hell do I do?

The INTERLIS transfund is almost in the 30 years, when in 1989 the Swiss begin to venture into the use of computers under modern methods. Although they used the computer for cadastre since the 70 years, it is through the Project known as RAV (Official Cadastre Reform) to propose a proposal with a central idea based on freedom in the use of methods for cadastral work. It is obvious that the introduction of this principle implied the need to have an independent platform solution for the description and storage of data, and this is how INTERLIS-1 was born in 1989. Its philosophy of birth is valuable, with the precept of «freedom in the use of methods», because it promotes that each municipality, department, geographic region or institutional entity can use the tool that suits you, with such adherence to INTERLIS you can have total interoperability. The pilot was in the early nineties, the first official cadastral model was published in 1993; interesting if we consider that the 1994 Cadastre initiative began in 2014 and was finally published in 1998.LADM INTERLIS COLOMBIA

After the launch of the first official cadastral model, there are developments of the first tools such as the Compiler for the verification of the correct syntax of models, Translator to pass data from one model to another, and the Checker to validate XTF data against the model; INTERLIS-1998 was developed between 2006 and 2 and for that year the Checker with a free license is published. For 2007 INTERLIS becomes a national standard in Switzerland and for 2014 there are already 160 models of the national IDE, described with the standard, which among other generated the basis for the implementation of the new Cadastre of Restrictions of Public Law on Property , the realization of the 2014 Cadastre.

As a preliminary conclusion, INTERLIS is not a programming language, but rather a language of description and transfer of data. Although it is written in UML, it has other data types such as the transfer and update of data that are already own.

Advantages of INTERLIS

The main advantage is the "freedom of methods." It is important to support the concepts of Cadastre 2014, especially regarding the management of thematic independence with models by subject but within the same reference system; additional to its flexibility to create data models in general, although it would have to be seen if it looks like the Swiss army knife for modeling.

It is easily understandable by IT experts as well as land management specialists. It is understood that with the syntax and rules to derive the transfer format, it can be processed and validated by computer programs.

Other advantages assume that it can be implemented easily, although after viewing the 160 manual pages ... I must admit that it takes an effort of at least a week to see examples and try to construct them. Of course, having a model built with a UML editor and subsequently generating the code for an application or the physical model of the database is definitely to get ahead ... if it is well done, of course.

The manual is in German, French and English. With the advantage that when adopted in Colombia has made an effort to get a version in Spanish that is certainly in the process of improvement; We hope you will be available for download soon in

Differences between INTERLIS-1, INTERLIS-2 and other languages

The 2 version of INTERLIS is object oriented, more flexible and supports more complex classes; Is compatible with the 1 version and already supports extensions, complex constraints and transfer via XML.

Compared to other protocols and languages, INTERLIS is more accurate than the simple UML, although everything is based on this language. In addition it is more specific in the geographical field by the inclusion of different types of objects (points, lines, arcs, areas and surfaces). Compared to GML, it facilitates transactionality, which is not even in LADM and for those of us who have tried to send WFS services using GML we understand the limitation. INTERLIS is now also part of the OGR / GDAL (2.0) library and you can view XTF files using QGIS. Other Open Source tools allow the generation of a database schema in PostgreSQL / PostGIS, the import of data to that schema and export to an XTF file (ili2pg). And of course there are many proprietary applications from large, GEONIS for ArcGIS based on FME, GeosPro from Geomedia, INTERLIS for AutoCAD Map3D.


As mentioned before, for the use of INTERLIS there are some important freeware licensing applications for data modeling and validation in the standard, such as Compiler, UML Editor and Checker.

The INTERLIS Compiler is used to validate the syntax of a model, the INTERLIS Checker allows to validate the compatibility of a data file with respect to a descriptive model, so to use it requires a model (.ili extension) and also a transfer file ( .itf o.xtf); It also requires executing the .cfg extension file for the configuration characteristics (where the requirements for minimum compliance with the model are defined). The UML Editor is executed using the umleditor.jar, allowing you to edit the INTERLIS schemas in visual form. For now it is only in French and German. The GUI is somewhat primitive compared to VisualParadigm or Enterprise Architect, however it is useful for basics - and the best thing is that it generates the model code with the correct syntax.

Application Methodology

The Course initially fulfilled the task that «geomatics should not be afraid of models», which implies that you have to read. On the second day, we worked defining the Topics; in the case of the Swiss profile of the LADM,

The themes are used:

  • -Cadastre
  • -Floor cover
  • -Checkpoints
  • -Hydro-sanitary chains

In the case of the Colombian Model, a platanized equivalent was made, with the following themes:

  • -Cadastre
  • -Registry
  • -Ordenamiento Territorial
  • etc.

Sub-themes were then defined:

  • -Catastro Objects:
  • -Check Point
  • -Predio (includes land and construction)
  • -Administrative limits
  • - Cadastral zoning
  • - Homogeneous physical areas
  • -Economic areas
  • -Etc.

Finally, some rules of the current LADM Model were ordered; for example, if prepositions are to be eliminated, if the classes will be in the plural ... etc. It is suggested that the Topics be in Plural, while the classes in the singular. So, on the fly, the model went like this:

TOPIC Control Points =

END control_points;

TOPIC Buildings =

! Limit Point

! Land, Construction, ...


TOPIC Limits =

! Administrative divition

! Division Area Limit


Types, subtypes and rules are then disaggregated; It seems complex, but it is not. With the variant that the Colombian model has its peculiarities, in two days it has been possible to build the INTERLIS model of the LADM built in the month of March. Latin Americans definitely do more rounds, in addition to having all the domains, types and subtypes included in the INTERLIS model; Things that may eventually disintegrate. See how simple the Dutch model is:

!! --------------------
!! ISO 19152 LADM country profile NL modelled with INTERLIS 2
!! --------------------
!! Revision history
!! --------------------
!! 03.02.2014 / mg: initial version
!! 17.11.2014 / mg: some syntax corrections
!! --------------------
!! (C) Swiss Land Management (
!! --------------------



AT «»
"2014-02-03" VERSION =


STRUCTURE UnknownValueType =
END UnknownValueType;

CLASS NL_SpatialUnit (ABSTRACT) EXTENDS LADM.Spatial_Unit.LA_SpatialUnit =
Dimension (EXTENDED): LADM.Spatial_Unit.LA_DimensionType;
LandConsolidationInterest: LIST {0..5} OF UnknownValueType;
PurchasePrice: Currency;
Volume (EXTENDED): LADM.Spatial_Unit.LA_VolumeValue;
END NL_SpatialUnit;


Name (EXTENDED): CharacterString;
Role (EXTENDED): LADM.Party.LA_PartyRoleType;
END NL_Party;

CLASS NL_AdminSourceDocument EXTENDS LADM.Administrative.LA_AdministrativeSource =
Claim: Currency;
PurchasePrice: Currency;
END NL_AdminSourceDocument;

CLASS NL_RRR (ABSTRACT) EXTENDS LADM.Administrative.LA_AdministrativeSource =
Description: CharacterString;

CLASS NL_BAUnit EXTENDS LADM.Administrative.LA_BAUnit =
Name (EXTENDED): CharacterString;

TypePurchased: (other);
TypeSold: (other);
END NL_RealRight;

END NL_Restriction;

CLASS NL_Mortgage EXTENDS LADM.Administrative.LA_Mortgage =
Description (EXTENDED): CharacterString;
END NL_Mortgage;

CLASS NL_Parcel EXTENDS NL_SpatialUnit =
END NL_Parcel;

CLASS NL_BuildingUnit EXTENDS NL_SpatialUnit =
END NL_BuildingUnit;

CLASS NL_Network EXTENDS LADM.Spatial_Unit.LA_LegalSpaceUtiliyNetwork =
Dimension (EXTENDED): LADM.Spatial_Unit.LA_DimensionType;
LandConsolidationInterest: LIST {0..5} OF CharacterStringListValue;
And so on until you find the END LADM_NL

Entering the internationalization of INTERLIS in the Latin American context seems to us an interesting challenge of the Agustín Codazzi Institute and the other institutions linked to the Land Administration in Colombia, not only for the support in itself that represents the Swiss Cooperation but also the specific weight of the Colombian institutionality in the South American context. I think that a good adoption and extension of the model in the areas of Cadastre, linkage with Land Registry, Territorial Planning and the Colombian Infrastructure of Spatial Data will concentrate the look of countries beyond the southern cone.

INTERLIS will allow for a relative ease in the implementation of the Land Administration Domain Model (ISO 19152), at least in terms of interoperability, especially because it shortens the route of adoption of GML files as exchange formats, taking advantage of the check-up tools , transfer and validation. You just have to imagine the potential, considering that Colombia, with its new legislation, is about to start a multi-purpose Cadastre sweep, which will require tools to control the quality of data from both private companies and certified professionals and near 1.100 municipalities that they will gradually enter irreversibly a cycle of delegation of powers by the IGAC Cadastre or decentralized entities ... for which INTERLIS is highly functional.

imageAnd in short, the geomatics must learn to understand models, if not, GML, UML, LADM and these acronyms will seem like themes of programmers. interlis

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