Introduction, Context 

Inherent to the success of an Automated Construction Permitting System, is the integration of all of the Town and Country Planning Division’s (TCPD) legacy data, which have been acquired since the inception of the organization in 1969. The TCPD possesses almost fifty (50) years of information on the spatial development and growth of Trinidad and Tobago, making it one of the most comprehensive sources of historical record, in the post- independence era of our Country. It is therefore essential that a high premium is placed on the maintenance and management of this critical data.

The TCPD’s dataset includes previous applications (‘green’ files) (145,017 (for the period 2000 to 2017), plotting maps (2,592) and layout folios (containing 4,664 layouts), housed in various locations and in varying condition, due to excessive handling.  This data is therefore being actively lost on a daily basis. Records must be converted to a digital format to halt degradation and maintain the information therein for as long as is required.

Definition of Digitization 

Digitization is; “The conversion of information…in analog form (text, photographs, voice) to digital format so that information can be processed, stored and transmitted through digital…networks”(, 2018).



Project Details 


  • Complete shift to digital capture, management and storage of the TCPD’s paper- based development control legacy data to allow for easy incorporation into the Automated System of Construction Permitting



100% repair of damaged files and maps within project dataset

100% scanning and digitizing of all files and maps within project dataset

Establishment of searchable databases/ document libraries for the housing of textual and graphical legacy data

Universal access to all staff of data within project dataset



3 years (June 2017 to June 2020)



This project will digitize approximately 145,000 application files and 7,300 plotting maps and layouts over TWO PHASES:

Phase 1:  North Regional Office (NRO) and South Regional Office (SRO)

Phase 2: East Regional Office (ERO) and Tobago Regional Office (TRO)