The Land Surveyors Office will probably provide state maps for free as open data

The Land Surveyors Office will probably provide state maps for free as open data

The Geodetic Survey will probably provide state maps for free as open data

Map. Illustrative photo.

Prague – The Land Survey Office, which manages state maps and database data, will probably provide this information free of charge as open data. Limited access to them will only be due to the protection of critical infrastructure under the emergency law. The change will be brought about by the government's amendment to the Land Surveying Act, which was approved by the Senate today. The bill, which will be reviewed by the president, also enacts the creation of a professional Czech Chamber of Surveyors. The chamber is supposed to grant authorizations for verification of building plans or state maps.

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The Chamber of Surveyors is supposed to grant authorization for the verification of the results of surveying activities used for the administration of the real estate cadastre, in particular the geometric plan or documentation on the demarcation of the land plot, activities used in construction and for state maps. The authorization will be granted by an “authorized surveying engineer”.

According to the proposal, surveyors with at least five years of experience will receive the authorization after passing the exam, the chamber would enter them in the register of authorized surveying engineers. The chamber, based in Prague, will be led by a board of directors elected by its assembly, and will have a supervisory and authorization board. For a disciplinary offence, the chamber could, among other things, impose a fine of up to 50,000 crowns or withdraw authorization.

The establishment of the Chamber was initiated by the Association of Entrepreneurs in Geomatics with the support of the Czech Chamber of Architects, the Directorate of Roads and Highways of the Czech Republic and the Railway Administration. The creation of a new professional organization was supported by the Ministry of Regional Development.

The government amendment assumes that all public authorities will now provide geographic data to the office and, conversely, all these institutions will have free access to them. “The aim is to create prerequisites for the further development of geographically oriented public administration information systems,” the government stated in the justification of the amendment. According to the government, the land surveying office will thus lose approximately five million kroner a year. The state expects compensation in the benefits it should have, for example, by taxing the activities of private individuals whose use of geospatial information will have a positive effect on their income. Costs will also be reduced by the fact that the office will not have to manage this data separately for other offices.

The government amendment is almost identical to the draft prepared in September 2020 by the cabinet of Andrej Babiš (ANO). But the Chamber did not have time to discuss this amendment in the last election period.