Upkeep - Introduction

From Wikicap - European Commission


Purpose of the guidance

The purpose of this guidance is to provide a comprehensive view of the technical activities and interactions related to keeping an LPIS up to the specifications, which aims at removing the non-conformities.

Indeed, a reference parcel is not always an appropriate representation of the concepts that it is supposed to represent. A non-conformity can appear when

  • the physical land has changed, which creates a need for update
  • the IACS rules have changed, and consequently an upgrade is necessary
  • poor or erroneous processing has been performed, an error correction is required
  • incomplete processing has occured, a remediating completion action should be launched.
If a non-conformity cannot be linked to any of the four above causes, further and deeper investigation in the design and procedures should take place.
LPIS QA identifies a sixth cause of non-conformity due to the "Historic GAC". Since this latter is of a regulatory character, it is not addressed in this guidance. Please see detailed instruction 3 the LPIS QA methodology for more details.

The upkeep process is primarily documented by the activity model built in Enterprise Architect software. This model is a powerful tool for reinforcing integrity of the guidance. The wikiCAP articles are textual representations of the various components of the model.

This model is available in the download section and can provide a better insight inside the logic and business rules to IT staff and to anybody else who is familiar with UML.

The purpose of this upkeep guidance is to detail the general upkeep processing and update/refresh activities. Error correction, completion and upgrades are not detailed in this document and have to be tackled on a case by case basis by the custodian.


Essential use cases

Figure 1.1: essential LPIS upkeep use cases

This guidance addresses the technical aspects and activities required to keep the LPIS reference parcels up to specification. Their upkeep is a continuous process that runs quite separate from the annual process of farmer aid declaration. Although the individual components of the aid declaration process (pre-established form, application, OTSC) are not within the scope of this guidance, the feedback threads that they generate are indicated.

The guidance is built around and affects two database features:

  1. the anomaly, the vehicle to manage the information exchange on the state of a reference parcel
  2. the reference parcel, defined in the Regulation, with its key attributes such as geographical perimeter and maximum eligible area.

The anomaly is the more abstract of these concepts: it may carry the feedback for various stakeholders, or give the managerial information needed for appropriate planning, reporting, and analysis of the upkeep activities. Analysing the instances of anomalies literally tells the managers what is going on.

The Reference parcel is the traditional core feature of LPIS. Correct, complete, relevant, and up-to-date attribute values of a processed reference parcel are the main is the objective of the upkeep processes.

Actors and anomaly threads

figure 1.2: main stakeholder loops: with agricultural parcel (left) and reference parcel (right)/ 1=farmer, 2=OTSC inspector, 3=LPIS custodian

In general, anomalies can be detected by five stakeholder threads and each LPIS should monitor and address anomalies of each of these threads (see illustration).

  1. a farmer should "correct the pre-established form" 1122R2009 art 12.4
  2. an OTSC inspector should indicate a "further control measure" 1122R2009 art 32.1.g
  3. the LPIS custodian runs dedicated upkeep processes:
a. third parties (mapping agency, cadastral institution) provide the updates and corrections of the databases under their custody
b. dedicated personnel or contractors systematically review parcels during either a regular refresh cycle
c. operational (GIS) personnel sporadically reports anomalies detected during their daily operations
d. database (RDBMS) personnel reports anomalies detected during database operations
e. dedicated personnel or contractors systematically review all parcels during an "once off" LPIS refresh project.

See this 2010 presentation for some details on the upkeep processes and their stakeholders.

The LPIS design (i.e. type of reference parcel such as agriculture parcel, farmer's block, physical block and cadastral system / topographic block) determines the relative importance of each thread as well as the conditions for the processes to operate: e.g. a farmer's block requires good farmer input facilities; a topographic block implies working protocols with the mapping agency, etc... This has, however, little effect of this guidance.


What is NOT in scope of this guidance, apart from the already mentioned elements of the aid application/control process are:

  • LPIS RP quality (i.e. the criteria for non-conformity or critical defect, other than those caused by a change of land)
  • frequency of refresh cycles, to be made on LPIS QA findings and other criteria
  • organisation of third party protocols, to be made based on local conditions and design considerations
  • standalone mapping methodologies (i.e. CAPI, use of RFV, survey), where common best practices are expected.
  • rules for retroactive recovery in cases where undue payments were made


anomaly: observed non-conformity
non-conforming: failure to fulfill one or more specified requirements
observation: act of measuring or otherwise determining the value of a property (ISO 19156:2001 (E))
property: facet or attribute of an object referenced by a name (ISO 19143:2010)
value: element of a type domain (ISO/IEC 19501:2005)


AABB : axis aligned bounding box
AP : agricultural parcel
CAPI : computer assisted photointerpretation
CwRS: control with remote sensing
EAEA: expected area error amplitude
IACS: integrated administration and control system
ID: identifier
LPIS: land parcel identification system (also: identification system of agricultural parcels)
OTSC: on the spot check
QA: quality assurance
QC: quality control
RDBMS: relational database management system
RFV : rapid field visit
RMS : root mean square
RP : reference parcel
RA : reference area

Go back to the main upkeep page