Research into practice: Victorian Government Land Use Victoria ‘ePlan’ Partnership

e-Plan, a partnership to modernise the Victorian land administration system has been successfully completed by researchers in the Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructures and Land Administration (CSDILA) andLand Use Victoria (LUV).

Key points:

In 2016 the Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructures and Land Administration (CSDILA) in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology was contracted to the Land Use Victoria (LUV) agency within the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to provide technical expertise to advance and modernise the Victorian Land Administration System (LAS).

An initial 18 months engagement was followed by a further five-year partnership agreement launched in 2017.

Total funds for the partnership were over $6 million for the period 2016-2022 to modernise the Victorian land administration system by conceptualising, designing, developing and maintaining a suite of innovative tools and services under the ‘ePlan’ banner.

Through the ePlan partnership, the CSDILA team successfully translated research findings into practice to address real world problems. The team has significantly advanced Victorian land administrations system by providing a set of world first capabilities.

ePlan is an infrastructure for the lodgement and processing of digital subdivision plans (ePlan). It can contain all the information in a cadastral survey and subdivision plan including: surveying measurements; land parcel description and identifiers; dimensions of the parcels and interests in land such as easements; administrative information on the subdivision; annotations; plan approval status; and the surveyors’ details. ePlan benefits the Victorian LAS stakeholders because it:

  • Provides a standard data exchange format for cadastral data sharing among stakeholders
  • Provides a workflow for exchange of digital cadastral data among stakeholders
  • Enables stakeholders to re-use the existing digital cadastral data for different purposes, such as re-establishing subsequent surveys, updating databases and populating data into other systems
  • Provides spatially accurate input data for updating the Digital Cadastre
  • Provides the stakeholders with the spatially accurate cadastral data required for different applications such as planning, development, subdivision, asset management and disaster management
  • Improves the quality of cadastral plan and survey data through validation checks
  • Standardises the presentation of cadastral plans through visualisation service
  • Improves access to/delivery of cadastral and survey information
  • Assists with improved digital plan examination/checking process
  • Reduces errors, anomalies and requisitions in cadastral plans and surveys
  • Improves cadastral plans examination and registration turnaround times.

Through the ePlan partnership, and based on the outcomes of the partnership, LUV achieved a major milestone in late 2021 in the progress toward 100 per cent digital cadastral lodgement with the launch of the ‘ePlan Portal’ in SPEAR. According to the LUV website, embedding the ePlan Portal in SPEAR makes it world-leading: the first digital data-driven cadastral system that facilitates end-to-end processes when combined with the SPEAR Electronic Lodgement Network (ELN), as lawyers and conveyancers can electronically lodge ePlans in SPEAR to LUV for registration. This crucial new digital infrastructure is also the connecting piece with the Digital Cadastre Modernisation (DCM) program, enabling Victoria’s property boundary spatial data to be born-digital, breaking the current cycle of PDF digitisation.

The ePlan Portal (shown below) houses the suite of all ePlan services, as follows:

  • Single CAD Format File (SCFF) Validation Service which ensures that the cadastral plan and survey data have been captured based on a standard co-designed with the surveying industry, namely SCFF. This service comprises 24 validation checks.
  • SCFF Viewer which assists surveyors to address any non-compliance issues of SCFF by previewing the CAD features causing validation errors.
  • ePlan Creation Service which converts SCFF into LandXML and pre-populates ePlan attributes from cadastral systems and databases, such as SPEAR, Vicmap, Survey Marks Enquiry Service and Surveyors Registration Board of Victoria. All pre-populated data can be reviewed and edited, and new data entered using an ePlan Editor.
  • ePlan Validation Service which checks the completeness and correctness of the ePlan file against 130 rules covering schema compliance, surveying, and plan examination business requirements.
  • ePlan Visualisation Enhancement Tool (VET) which enables surveyors to enhance plan presentation, particularly for heavily detailed and complex plans.
  • ePlan Visualisation Service which converts the ePlan file along with any enhancements made in VET to a PDF plan. The PDF plan becomes the legal title diagram in Victoria when the plan is registered by LUV.

For more information, contact Professor Abbas Rajabifard, FEIT Director of Smart and Sustainable Development and Director, Centre for SDIs and Land Administration, via email:

First published on 2 August 2022.

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