Big Step for a Small Country

For developing countries such as Benin, one of the largest obstacles is the absence of sufficient land titling and record systems. The Millennium Challenge Corporation is providing funding to Benin for its “Access to Land Project.” The purpose of the project is to document land titles in urban areas and rural villages, and to do so Benin needed to modernize its national geodetic framework for surveying and mapping.

Instead of the traditional approach of densifying the network of intervisible geodetic control points (which would have required more than 2,000 new control points), the National Geographic Institute of Benin (IGN) decided to create a network of seven Continually Operating Reference Stations (CORS), established with Trimble technology. To collect and manage Benin’s rural land information, IGN selected Trimble GeoXH™ handheld receivers with external antennas and Trimble TerraSync™ Field Software. For the survey control work, IGN selected Trimble R8 GNSS receivers and Trimble TSC2® Controllers running Trimble Survey Controller™ software. The teams use static methods to establish local control points referenced to the national CORS network, processing the GNSS data using Trimble Business Center software. They can then use the local control points as RTK base stations.

Benin’s decision to leapfrog the technology curve with Trimble is paying off. When the work is completed, roughly 30,000 occupancy permits in urban areas will convert to land titles and 85,000 households in rural areas will receive titles or certificates. Today, Benin has some of the most sophisticated geodetic and surveying technology in Africa. The benefit of Benin’s Access to Land project led by the Millennium Challenge Corporation is estimated to be over $50 million (increase in income over life of the compact investment from the project).

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