When spatial land tenure relations are not available, the only effective alternative data method is to rely on the agricultural census at the regional or national scale, based on household surveys and a participatory mapping at the local scale. However, what if even these are not available, which is typical for conflict-affected countries, administrations suffering from a lack of data and resources, or agencies that produce a sub-standard quality. Would it, under such circumstances, be possible to rely on remotely sensed Earth Observation (EO) data? We hypothesize that it is possible to qualify and quantify certain types of unknown land tenure relations based on EO data. Therefore, this study aims to standardize the identification and categorization of certain objects, environments, and semantics visible in EO data that can (re-)interpret land tenure relations. The context of this study is the opportunity to mine data on North Korean land tenure, which would be needed in case of a Korean (re-)unification. Synthesizing land tenure data in conjunction with EO data would align land administration practices in the respective parts and could also derive reliable land tenure and governance variables. There are still many unanswered questions about workable EO data proxies, which can derive information about land tenure relations. However, this first exploration provides a relevant contribution to bridging the semantic gap between land tenure and EO data.
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