222nd Anniversary Celebration Message


Today is the second day of the month of August, two thousand and twenty-two AD. At the moment when the Survey Department of Sri Lanka marks its proud approach of two hundred and twenty two years, I humbly mention that it is an absolute blessing of my life being able to hold the post of the fifty-second Surveyor General of that prestigious institution. The inauguration of our department runs to a great past. It was in the year one thousand eight hundred. In order to establish a formal mechanism for dividing lands by having surveyed, the royal decree for establishment of the department was issued in Galle on the second day of the month of August in the year one thousand eight hundred and it was issued by Mr. William Boyd, the Acting secretary of the government.

Having started with five surveyors under the complete supervision of a Surveyor General, our department is an institution progressed step by step. The current staff, consisting of surveyors, map technological officers, photogrammetrists, photo lab technicians, remote sensing technicians, litho technicians, survey field assistants & the officers belong to miscellaneous services in combined service, is about six thousand. This department is crowned today as the first and oldest department in Sri Lanka inheriting a proud history of two hundred and twenty two years.

Presently, the Sri Lanka Survey Department is performed a valuable service to the nation, having prepared maps and plans by collection of more accurate data and carrying out of surveys. Since the role of the department have expanded with the introduction of modern technology in the field of surveying and the use of different kinds of technical strategies and equipment, having performed the tasks carried out so far more quickly and accurately with great dedication of the entire staff of the department is now enriched enough to build a closer relationship with the public as well as with other institutions related to this field.

I think I should take this opportunity to offer my respectful obeisance to the entire staff, including the 51 former Surveyor Generals, who served with dedication to create a proud and noble history of 222 years to this department. I offer my respectful obeisance on behalf of the Survey Department to the entire staff of the current department, engaged in their duties together as possible even in the face of the current economic and social crisis in our country. Having followed "The characteristic of a true professional is to offer more than what he receives" and having determined to do what is necessary to escape from the severe economic and social crisis situation in the country, to put the next step of the department, I bless that the entire staff will get strength and courage to lead the future of the country towards prosperity having hand in hand with mutual support.

A.Dissanayake
Surveyor General

Who We Are

As the oldest Government Department of Sri Lanka, established on 2nd August 1800, the Sri Lanka Survey Department (SLSD) is the National Surveying & Mapping Organization pioneering the fields such as Land Surveying,Mapping, Satellite Remote Sensing (RS),Global Positioning System(GPS),Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Land Information Systems (LIS), Airborne Remote Sensing and Photogrammetric activities in Sri Lanka.Those fields were become more IT contributed fields today as the fast development of ICT technology related to those fields, the department drive towards new direct to increase it's efficiency

The recently established two branches, namely Geo Names (Geographical names) and NSDI (National Spatial Data Infrastructure) play a significant role to share the land related information cooperating with other interested organizations in the country.

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The Sri Lanka Survey Department (SLSD) under the Ministry of Land and Land Development acts as the National Surveying and Mapping agency of the government and is responsible for the standardization and production of all Surveying and Mapping activities in Sri Lanka. It is also responsible for the establishment of the national Cadaster under the Land Titling Program.

The national budget of the Sri Lanka allocates approximately about Rs. 2200 million annually for the activities of the SLSD. Ministry of Land and Land Development and the National Budget Department intervene improve the Surveying and Mapping activities because of the urgent needs in produce the quality of Geo/Land information which needs by the Planners, Administrators and Industrialists involved in decision making and contributing developing projects in the country.

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Ceylon was ceded to British in year 1796. Sir Frederic North was proclaimed the Governer of Ceylon with the exception of the Kandyan Territory ruled by the King of Kandy, by a commission dated 06th March 1798. The famous land proclamation dated 3rd May 1800 desired abolition of common land holdings and envisaged individualization of land ownership and there by land surveys become a vital needHaving explored whatever the existing mode of Surveying of land in the island, the proclamation dated 2nd August 1800 was made outlining the original functions of the Surveyor General by the Governor “Sir Frederic North” and as a consequence, the Ceylon Survey Department was established.

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Services Provided to Citizen

Digital data is produced by several methods such as data extracted from Aeiral photographs, Scanned maps, Digitized paper maps, Satellite images and LiDAR Data. Currently the department is issuing such data to customers in standard GIS and CAD formats. Customer oriented Maps in digital JPEG format and hardcopies are also produced by the department on request. Litho-printed standard Topographic and Thematic maps produced by the Survey Department can also be purchased.

Copies of Plans / Tenementery List (TL) of the lands already surveyed by the Survey Department can be purchased in following formats.

(a) An extract of Lots / Parcels

(b) A certified true photocopy of a relevant statutory plan

(c) A certified true photocopy of Tenementery List (TL)

(d) A Scanned image of a relevant statutory Plan /Tenementery List.

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