In the beginning, STDM is just known as a concept following the GLTN’s promotion of the continuum of land rights and the emphasis that the conventional land administration approach cannot support the continuum of land rights approach and will not deliver security of tenure at scale. The discussion then is that there is a huge ‘technical’ gap in the process. And there is a need for an alternative technical approach or tool to bridge this technical gap. Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM) and its underlying concepts were then identified. The need to further document its concepts and to transform the concept into a practical and functional information tool has been identified by GLTN partners.
In 2008, UN-Habitat/GLTN partnered with the International Institute for Geo-information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) (now the University of Twente) to develop the STDM design elements (user, technical and functional designs) and a ‘prototype’. FIG and its selected land professionals conducted a peer-review on the draft designs and technical documentation and provided its findings and recommendations to ITC-Netherlands and UN-Habitat/GLTN. The STDM prototype was based on a client/server architecture that had been developed using free and open source software, where all the data was stored in an integrated spatial database (using PostgreSQL and PostGIS) and required Apache Tomcat on the server side, whereas the client was a user interface based on ILWIS functionality/libraries.The prototype testing was carried out in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia in August 2009. After the first cycle of prototype development, the system was further revised to a far more stable version. In April 2010, the STDM prototype together with the documentation – user, administration and user manuals, was launched in April 2010 during the FIG Congress in Sydney. Other improvements were carried and the final product or version was delivered to UN-Habitat in September 2010.
In late 2010, minor changes were made in order to simplify the installation process as well as support a wider range of GIS data viewers which could be used to access and visualize the data in the PostgreSQL/PostGIS database. The installation enhancements included scripts that automatically restored the STDM template database in PostgreSQL/PostGIS during the overall installation of the server tools.In the subsequent months, a decision was made to replace ILWIS with Quantum GIS software to provide the core GIS functionalities. This entailed rewriting the primary keys for spatial tables from GUID-based to integer-based, and creating the data management modules in QGIS where the STDM system was deployed as a QGIS plugin written in the Python programming language. In this version, changes were made in order to improve the installation process and make it more user-friendly by incorporating a one-click install script which combined the installation of PostgreSQL, PostGIS, QGIS and restoring the STDM template database.
This version was released in July 2012 and its development focused on addressing land information requirements of the urban poor in the context of participatory enumeration and in undertaking settlement upgrading initiatives. It incorporated major updates on reporting and analysis tools as well as minor enhancements in the data management modules and the one-click installer. The updates included the following:
This version has some revisions and updates made as the result of the pilot experience. The updated pilot version was released in March 2013. The updates/revisions included the following: