Talking Titler: Evolutionary and Self-Adaptive Land Tenure Information System Development

Michael Barry, Richard Molero, Abdel-Rahman Muhsen


Conventional land registration systems often do not produce the desired results in uncertain land tenure situations such as peri-urban areas in developing world cities, post-conflict situations, land restitution claims and aboriginal land systems. In the Talking Titler system, flexibility in creating relationships between people and between people and their interests in land has been the primary design feature. It is a tool for prototyping different designs and for developing land tenure information systems suing evolutionary strategies. The methodology was originally conceived in urban informal settlement upgrade projects and land reform and land restitution projects in South Africa in the 1990’s. In recent years, the concepts have been tested through interviews with aboriginal peoples groups in Canada, field trials and an initial implementation in land regularization in Nigeria, and a land administration study in Somaliland. The paper overviews the conceptual design of the system, how the design was formulated, testing of the system, and current development. The paper concludes by overviewing an initial design and testing with evolutionary database development and self-adapting software using an extensible markup language (XML) database to reduce the human input into system changes as it evolves.

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