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Physical land-use survey

It is still the most effective way of
determining illegal land uses


Why is it important?

  • Spatial land use data serves as a crucial tool for assessing the applicability of current land use rights.

  • Additionally, it plays a pivotal role in establishing land use rights in areas where a land use management scheme is either absent or has not been upheld.

  • The maintenance of an accurate valuation roll necessitates the availability of precise base data.


For who?

  • Developers and government bodies at all levels require dependable data to inform policy formulation and implementation.

  • Our parcel-based land-use survey module enables direct land-use surveys using your cadastral GIS data.

  • While online satellite, aerial, and street view images offer historical development sequences, only a physical land use survey delivers current and accurate data


Point or polygon?

  • Regardless of whether the survey area is defined by an existing cadastre or encompasses a dispersed rural community, various input types can be utilised individually or in combination during the survey process.

  • An existing cadastral layer serves as a foundational reference for the survey, providing essential context.

  • Field workers have the flexibility to augment this data by adding new points to indicate the positions of houses, informal dwellings, or roadside infrastructure.

Is Aerial/Satelite imagery or Street View better?

Aerial photos only gives a toangle

mamelodi aerial.png

Street View does not cover whole study areas


Our "OnSite" surveys can capture signage and photograph them

mamelodi photo.png

Street View is most of the time outdated


The ScoutMaster Questionnaires

The survey questionnaire will always be designed to be fit for purpose.  Therefore, we will always spend some time with clients to ensure it is correct and well-designed to make field work easy and effective

Pre-prepared questionnaires

However, we have pre-prepared land-use survey questionnaires that will satisfy most local authorities in South Africa, from Metros to Small Local Councils. The level of detail can even be simplified.

land use categories2.png

The survey interface works with "skip logic". 

Skip logic is a feature that changes what question or page a respondent sees next based on how they answer the current question. Also known as “conditional branching” or “branch logic,” skip logic creates a custom path through the survey that varies based on a respondent's answers.


This means that a survey with hundreds of detailed categories can be added to ScoutMaster.  The fieldworker will never see all these categories at once and all the questions can fit on the survey handheld device, even on a normal smartphone.

Below is an example of how ScoutMaster manages a land-use survey with 411 categories


15 categories


63 categories



240 categories



411 categories

ScoutMaster Capabilities

Attach photos to your survey records

  • Designed to use your smart-device camera.

  • Take a photo of each survey location.

  • Photo evidence for accurate survey approval.


Track and report where your field workers are

  • Get the right field worker to the right place.  

  • Give assignments while your field workers are in the field.

  • Real-time field worker assignments and planning.


Integrate with your GIS

  • Export collected data to SHP files.

  • Results are fully compatible with ArcGIS, QGis and other.

  • Prepare your study area in your GIS and upload to ScoutMaster.


Easy to use, map-driven survey forms

  • Each survey record is attached to a specific location on the map.

  • Location determined by clicking on the map.


Save on expensive hardware

  • Successfully deployed on entry level smartphones and tablets.

  • Android location services is used to improve location accuracy with GPS.

  • On-screen map cursor location input.


Smarter forms with skip logic

  • Intelligent forms designed for speed surveying.

  • Smart drop-down lists to simplify complex input values.

  • Skip logic to minimise input complexity.


Online / Offline, your choice.

  • App operates both online and offline.

  • Offline syncing done when access to WiFi.

  • Real-time surveys possible with data bundle on device sim-card.

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.” 

Sherlock Holmes

Data gives insight. From land use planning to asset registers, all data starts with a survey.  Our tools are applicable in various areas to capture the most recent information.

Typical areas we apply ScoutMaster in:
Urban Planning

Urban environments are in a constant state of change. Access to timely and precise information is vital for effectively planning the future of our smart cities.

Land Use Schemes

Land use schemes play a crucial role in guiding and managing development in accordance with your vision, strategies, and policies. However, it's essential to assess how effectively these schemes are implemented on the ground. Allow us to assist you in evaluating their real-world manifestation.


Obtaining primary data is crucial, but we understand that budget constraints can pose a challenge. Our cost-effective survey tools offer a solution, enabling you to conduct high-quality research without exceeding your budget

Rural Development

Enhancing the quality of life and economic prosperity for rural residents necessitates access to accurate and current information. Allow us to support your survey efforts to gather pertinent data and insights tailored to rural communities.

Community Surveys

Community surveys serve as invaluable tools for gathering insights from residents within a community, offering a means to gauge opinions and solicit feedback effectively.

Environmental Planning

Effectively steward our invaluable environmental assets by capturing and reporting on critical factors such as endangered species, competing land uses, pollution, accidents, and other pertinent data.

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