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RFID Helps Land-Surveying Agency Chart an Efficient Course
Taiwan's National Land Surveying and Mapping Center has gained visibility into each of its 200,000 maps so that they can be accessed by individuals who need to borrow or copy them.
Feb 10, 2016—
Taiwan's National Land Surveying and Mapping Center (NLSC) is using radio frequency identification technology to locate land-survey maps at its central facility in Taichung. Although mapping is now being carried out electronically, with digital versions available for those who need them, paper maps are the only record for surveys completed before 1989.
More than 200,000 paper cadastral maps, which show property boundaries, are stored at the facility and accessed for such situations as lawsuits, legal disputes and real-estate sales. The maps are placed in binders and stacked on shelves until needed. The system, provided by EPC Solutions Taiwan, includes handheld and fixed RFID readers, passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tags, an RFID printer-encoder, and software to manage the collected read data and forward that information to the agency's existing management software.
Locating the paper maps when they are needed poses a challenge, says T.H. Liu, EPC Solutions Taiwan's president. Originally, the agency sorted and stored maps according to drawing numbers, but it was unable to conduct inventory checks to ensure that all maps were present, since it simply took too long to open every map's binder and compare its drawing number with what was listed. The agency approached EPC Solutions Taiwan to create an RFID-based system that would make it possible to easily locate a map, conduct regular inventory checks and record when someone borrowed or returned a map.
EPC Solutions Taiwan helped the agency encode RFID tags on a Zebra Technologies R110Xi4 printer-encoder. Altogether, the two companies processed more than 200,000 Alien Technology ALN-9720 tags, which were then attached to the top corner of a map and to the binder in which they were stored. Maps typically measure 30 by 40 centimeters (11.8 to 15.7 inches) in size, though some measure 60 by 80 centimeters (23.6 to 31.5 inches). According to Liu, the company tested the read rate before tagging, to determine the best location for a tag to be attached to a binder or map. The firm opted for the top of the map or binder, where the tag could be closest to the handheld readers as personnel walked by holding them in front of the shelves. The tags were attached via an acid-free glue, Liu explains, so as to protect the documents.
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