A cadastral survey for purposes of taxation was already at work in Babylonia in the age of Sargon of Akkad, 3800 B.C. In the British Museum may be seen a series of clay tablets, circular in shape and dating back to 2300 or 2100 B.C., which contain surveys of lands.
In the states of Australia cadastral surveys conducted by surveyors-general have been in progress for many years, as also trigonometrical surveys (Western Australia excepted), Australia.
The cadastral surveys in Canada are carried on by a commission of Crown-lands in the old provinces and by a Dominion land office, which lays out townships as in the United States, but with greater accuracy.
Accurate statistics with regard to the area occupied in different forms of cultivation are difficult to obtain, both on account of their varied and piecemeal character and from the lack of a complete cadastral survey.
The impost upon land is based upon the cadastral survey independently of the vicissitudes of harvests.