Cheaper, Faster, and More than Good Enough: Is Gps the New Gold Standard in Land Area Measurement?

50 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2016

See all articles by Calogero Carletto

Calogero Carletto

World Bank; World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Sydney Gourlay

World Bank - Development Data Group

Siobhan Murray

World Bank

Alberto Zezza

World Bank; World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: July 21, 2016

Abstract

In rural societies of low- and middle-income countries, land is a major measure of wealth, a critical input in agricultural production, and a key variable for assessing agricultural performance and productivity. In the absence of cadastral information to refer to, measures of land plots have historically been taken with one of two approaches: traversing (accurate, but cumbersome), and farmers'self-report (cheap, but marred by measurement error). Recently, the advent of cheap handheld GPS devices has held promise for balancing cost and precision. Guided by purposely collected primary data from Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Tanzania (Zanzibar), and with consideration for practical household survey implementation, the paper assesses the nature and magnitude of measurement error under different measurement methods and proposes a set of recommendations for plot area measurement. The results largely point to the support of GPS measurement, with simultaneous collection of farmer self-reported areas.

Keywords: Rural Communities, Community Based Rural Development, Rural Development Knowledge & Information Systems, Regional Rural Development, Rural Development Strategy & Policy

Suggested Citation

Carletto, Calogero and Gourlay, Sydney and Murray, Siobhan and Zezza, Alberto, Cheaper, Faster, and More than Good Enough: Is Gps the New Gold Standard in Land Area Measurement? (July 21, 2016). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 7759. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2813013

Calogero Carletto (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Sydney Gourlay

World Bank - Development Data Group ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Siobhan Murray

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Alberto Zezza

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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