The majority of the world 7 billion people live in areas, where land records are poorly managed, land attributes are poorly documented, and governments at the national or federal levels are inadequately resourced to undertake long-overdue land registry (i.e. cadastral) updates.
For decades, economists have argued that accurate, accessible, and transparent land-administration systems would expand economic opportunity. Attempts to realize this theoretical vision have repeatedly fallen short for a variety of reasons, including systems that are incompatible with social norms; resistance to change on the part of economic and political elites; the frequent bias of external consultants toward high-cost and proprietary technical systems; and countries’ own lack of capacity to maintain new systems once installed.
As governments have developed a growing awareness of the importance of digital land data infrastructure to economic and social development, they are increasingly investing to update cadastral records. The infrastructure options available to governments have long been limited to consultant-driven models built on proprietary technology, but a convergence of technological innovations and social evolution may at last provide the data-gathering and validation tools needed to address centuries-old inequities in landownership at low cost and with high effectiveness.
Our innovation is based on an obvious foundational technology: the mobile phone. Today’s phones, which are actually mobile computers, are used by more than 5 billion people, or 65% of the world’s population; 80% of those users, or 4 billion people, have Internet access. Less obvious is the fact that most mobile and Internet users exploit only a small portion of the capabilities that their devices offer. In short, the 4 billion global mobile phone users with Internet access represent a capital base worth more than US$1 trillion that is being utilized at a mere fraction of its full capacity.
On this base of mobile, Zilla Global LLC proposes to innovate sophisticated solutions that enable the collection, validation, and application of land data by layering exponential technologies such as Blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI) into the baseline mobile solution.
Employing this approach enables Zilla to perform cadastral updates at comparable quality, at a substantially lower cost, and with far greater sustainability than is possible utilizing consultant-driven models built on proprietary technology that remain the current default.
Improving land data and increasing access to formal titling has the potential, in turn, to create new products & services; open new pathways to wealth creation; and enable latent transactions that will boost economic growth. Better land data will lead to better urban planning and insurance markets, thereby enhancing societal resilience. Better land data also will lead to stronger environmental management. Finally, deploying crowdsourced data gatherers will create a task-based context for large-scale training in digital skills, which will further boost prospects for long-term economic growth.