The 3D real estate cadastre (‘3D cadastre’ in short) is an important interdisciplinary research topic at both the European and international levels. Initial theoretical scientific discussions on the 3D cadastre began in the 1990s and gained momentum at the turn of the millennium, when the first international forums were organised. Their principal aim was to develop the theoretical concepts for the 3D cadastre that would foster the research activities and their implementation. At the time, the FIG Working Group on 3D Cadastres was formed to connect the research activities in the field. To date, five international thematic workshops have been organised. This article aims to provide a chronological overview of research activities by highlighting publications that have had a significant impact on 3D cadastre research. Our main sources have been publications at the FIG international thematic forums, doctoral dissertations, and papers published in scientific journals (included in the DOI system). Many issues and challenges have been resolved, and major progress has been seen in the past two decades. Nevertheless, numerous new complex issues have arisen, particularly regarding the realisation of 3D concepts within cadastral systems in the various countries, the idea of a multipurpose of 3D cadastre, and the integration of various spatial datasets within a 3D cadastre.

Key words: cadastre, real property, 3D cadastre, land administration, LADM