Government to integrate Artificial Intelligence in surveying to deal with land wrangles

Government has directed surveyors to integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI) in surveying if they are to end the surging cases of land wrangles in the country.

While opening the two Day 27th CommonWealth Association of Surveying and Land Economy (CASLE) conference 2023 at Makerere University Ms Judith Nabakooba, the Minister of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development asked surveyors to be ready to fit within the Artificial Intelligence trend to save time and money spent on surveying land.

“The cost of the survey does not serve the local person, you realise that it is very expensive for them to do a survey because they cannot afford it. We want survey services that are affordable to each and every Ugandan to enable them to appreciate the size of their land,” she said.

She noted that surveyors are very important people whose role in national development is critical in ensuring land governance and administration, boundary opening, valuation, measurements of properties, and land compensation among others.

Ms Nabakooba also revealed that her ministry is reviewing the Surveyors’ Registration Act amendment legal framework and guidance. 

“We believe that with that, we will be able to accommodate the current and the modern trends in the work which are very critical to the land and built up environment.”

The minister revealed that traditionally, surveyors had to collect and analyse data manually but now this system is going to help surveyors simplify data analysis.

“Manual system is time consuming but also prone to human error. However, these tasks can be automated by AI resulting in more accurate but also reliable data. This not only improves the quality of the data but also allows surveyors to make more informed decisions,” she shared.

Artificial Intelligence is believed to redefine the surveying profession in numerous ways from automating data collection and analysis to improving the accuracy of measurements. 

“AI is enhancing the efficiency and productivity of surveyors and the latest innovations provide a glimpse into the future where the surveying profession is more accurate, efficient and productive,” Nabakooba explained.

The conference was organised under the theme: “The impact of Artificial Intelligence on the surveying profession in the commonwealth.” It had attendance of CASLE members from different member states including Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana, Malawi, and Kenya among others.

Prof Moses Musinguzi, the Principal of the College of Engineering, Design Art and Technology (CEDAT) acknowledged the growing rate of technology which has informed the integration of new surveying techniques in teaching and learning of the future surveyors. 

“The focus of our training is not about training a person in a specific technology. It should be giving a person an open mind. We are training a person with an open mind. When something comes, be flexible to change and adapt quickly,” he said.  

Mr Aloysius Gonza, the president of Institutions Surveyors of Uganda (ISU) said that the association has embarked on training surveyors about the current technologies to give them things that are happening outside there that they are not aware of.

He revealed that they have a number of members that are using drones for surveys (Aerial Surveys) and these take images and come back and reference the information to produce a map, something they want all surveyors to be.

Mr Joseph Segun Ajanlekoko, the President CASLE said surveyors need to embrace the new technology if they are to produce competitive surveying products.

“Over the past two decades, technology has taken a center stage. It has increased educational information, efficiency and convenience. The digital era is about fundamental change. There must be a transformation to use technology.”

CASLE was formed in 1969 as a federation of independent professional societies representing surveying and land economy in Commonwealth countries. It comprises over 40 societies in 34 countries.

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